Airline Reporting Corporation and IATA Billing and Settlement Plan: How They Work

What are BSP and ARC?

Payment workflows in BSP and ARC

In this case, BSP/ARC play the major role in a transaction
  1. A traveler pays an agent/OTA.
  2. The agent requests ticketing from a GDS.
  3. The GDS accesses the airline’s passenger service system for ticketing data.
  4. Also, the GDS sends the information about ticketing to the BSP/ARC data processing center.
  5. The processing center sends a billing report to an agent via BSPLink or My ARC, web interfaces that we’ll talk about below.
  6. The agent pays the clearing bank on a schedule (usually, once a week).
  7. And finally, the bank distributes money to the appropriate airlines.
This scenario doesn’t involve BSP/ARC clearing bank, but they are still involved in a transaction
  1. The agent requests ticketing from a GDS.
  2. The GDS accesses an airline’s passenger service system for ticketing data.
  3. The GDS also sends the information about ticketing to the BSP/ARC data processing center.
  4. The processing center sends a billing report to an agent via BSPLink or My ARC.
  5. The processing center sends transaction invoicing data to the airline payment processor.
  6. The payment processor invoices a traveler’s card issuer and a traveler pays via agent/OTA gateway.
  7. And finally, the airline’s payment processor sends money to the airline.
Here’s an IATA’s visualization of the BSP in NDC
  • BSP Billing Statistics and reports,
  • Agency Debit/Credit Memos with ability to dispute them (ADM/ACM are accounting notices that airlines send travel agents, if they believe the agent hasn’t complied with some ticket rules.),
  • Refund functionality, and
  • Communication tools with IATA and airlines.
  • interactive agent reporting (IAR) and sales summaries,
  • memo management tools,
  • accreditation portal, and
  • document retrieval.

IATA BSP and ARC accreditation

IATA accreditation

ARC accreditation

  • ARC Accredited agency — standard accreditation for travel agents;
  • ARC Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) — a non-ticketing option at ARC similar to TIDS at IATA;
  • ARC Corporate Travel Department (CTD) — a ticketing option for corporate flight booking.
  1. Be an ARC specialist or become one by passing the ARC Specialist Qualifier Exam. Before passing it, you must complete the training to use My ARC.
  2. Provide an Employer ID Number and any licenses for local jurisdictions.
  3. Fill out an application form.
  4. Have a bank account for ARC operations.
  5. Be ready to provide a $2,300 application fee and a bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit in the amount of $20,000.
  6. Wait while the application is reviewed and documentation is verified. ARC will contact you for an interview. The whole verification may take as much as 90 days.
  1. Create a My ARC account.
  2. Download and complete the VTC online request.
  3. Provide an Employer ID Number and any licenses for local jurisdictions.
  4. Pay an application fee of $195.
  5. You must have a bank account for ARC operations.
  6. Wait until ARC reviews your documentation. The verification may take up to 30 days.
  1. You need to be an ARC specialist.
  2. The organization must have an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  3. You must meet personnel requirements stated in Part II-8 of the Corporate Travel Department Reporting Agreement (CTDRA).
  4. Be ready to provide a $3,000 application fee and a bond, letter of credit, or cash deposit in the amount of $20,000.
  5. You must have a bank account for ARC operations.
  6. Fill out an application form.
  7. Wait while the application is reviewed. ARC will contact you for an interview. The whole verification may last up to 90 days.

ARC vs IATAN

Additional options and alternatives to IATA BSP and ARC that agents must know

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