News Briefs

  • 2/15/2024

    NMI Launches the Next-Generation of Embedded Payments Solutions

    NMI logo

    NMI, a provider of embedded payments, unveils NMI Payments, a comprehensive embedded payments solution for software companies, independent sales organizations (ISOs) and payment professionals. The NMI Payments platform easily integrates within existing applications and payment solutions, offering a flexible, modular approach that expedites and streamlines payments. The solution allows partners to manage the full merchant and client payment life-cycle.

    NMI Payments provides unparalleled merchant management and processing, allowing software vendors and ISOs to focus on their business. By optimizing and automating payment processes, underwriting and workflows, merchants can be onboarded quickly, ready to start accepting payments in minutes.

    By making multiple services available in a single integrated payment platform, NMI Payments creates more value for software companies, ISOs and their merchants, supporting everything from sign-up, through underwriting, to payment processing. NMI partners have the flexibility to choose from a variety of processors and shopping cart options that are embedded directly into their applications and can adjust these capabilities based on their merchants’ needs. The modular design quickly scales as business needs evolve, and the ability to white label or embed payments gives partners full control over their brand and their product throughout the payment process.

    Designed for frictionless payments, NMI Payments allows consumers to pay wherever and however they want – online, in-store, in-app, mobile and unattended – securely, easily and reliably, leveraging NMI’s feature-rich payment gateway.

    NMI Payments was created with the developer in mind. The simple, flexible set of APIs and SDKs make for easy integration into any software platform or payment solution. NMI’s new developer portal offers code samples and reference materials together with ‘Try It’ functionality, to provide everything a developer needs to quickly and easily integrate payments into their application. Now software companies can generate additional revenue streams by leveraging NMI Payments to monetize every transaction. Integrating and embedding payments also makes for a superior and more confident consumer experience, providing a seamless way to pay.

    Vijay Sondhi, Chief Executive Officer at NMI said:
    “Our company mission is to provide our partners with payment capabilities from sign-up to pay-out in minutes. By managing risk, optimizing monetization and offering revenue-sharing models, we can support our partners wherever they are on their payments journey, no matter the size or expertise of the business. The launch of NMI Payments reaffirms our promise to deliver unparalleled value through flexibility, modularity and choice, ensuring our partners are equipped with the tools to thrive and expand in the ever-evolving world of payments.”

    Jared Drieling, Chief Innovation Officer, TSG (The Strawhecker Group) said:
    “Embedded payment solutions built directly into a software platform increasingly centralize these services and provide merchants with a more streamlined, integrated offering. Software organizations offering payment processing directly to their merchants open up a huge revenue opportunity and significantly boost convenience. Going forward, expect more merchants to find their payment partner through these relationships.”

    This news comes on the heels of consecutive acquisitions by NMI to enhance its suite of enablement solutions and simplify the payments process for partners and their merchants, most recently through the Sphere Commercial Division acquisition.

  • 2/15/2024

    Smokey Bones Updates Loyalty Program

    Smokey Bones dining room 2024

    Smokey Bones, owned by FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. unveiled its new and improved Bones Club loyalty program. The revamped program offers guests an instant reward upon joining, exclusive ongoing deals and offers, the opportunity to earn valuable points to be redeemed towards future purchases, and special surprise and delight features. 

    After enrolling guests receive an instant $5 reward and 50 Bones Club points to use on a future visit, and they earn five points for every dollar spent. Points are redeemable for favorite food items, as well as get access to exclusive features, including drink specials, limited time offers, birthday treats, and other promos reserved. 

    “In a time where guests are placing increasing value on exceptional experiences, we're thrilled to introduce our refreshed Bones Club. The enhanced program is customizable and better in tune with our guests’ desires, allowing it to work harder for them – and thereby inspire true loyalty,” said Cole Robillard, Chief Marketing Officer at Smokey Bones. “The Bones Club is our way of recognizing our most engaged and important guests, providing exclusive offers and privileges designed to resonate with meat lovers and eating out enthusiasts alike, thus amplifying the impact of every dollar they spend at our restaurants.”

    Current Bones Club members will experience a seamless and automatic update to their program with no action for any additional steps. 


  • 2/15/2024

    Arlo Hotel's Loyalty App Turns Social Media Influencers into Travel Agents

    Arlo Chicago Hotel Room

    Are influencers the next generation of travel agents? Arlo Hotels, an independent, experience-driven lifestyle hotel brand with properties in New York, Miami and Chicago, and Washington D.C. launching in 2024, is further innovating the hospitality industry with the launch of their If You Arlo app. The unique loyalty program ushers in a new era of travel where traditional travel agents are superseded by social media agents composed of influencers, friends & family, and content creators who creatively drive bookings while earning perks along the way. Through the If You Arlo (IYA) app, influencers can share insider discounts and tips with their followers while being rewarded with credits, status, and surprise rewards at any of the Arlo Hotels.

    [Related Content: @hotel describes itself as an OTA for Instagram and has found that social media is the perfect spot to find, attract and market to valuable leisure consumers.]

    According to a recent survey, 83% of millennials said they are more likely to book a hotel after seeing images from someone they follow on social media. Social media is the number one medium to influence travelers’ decisions. Arlo Hotels is carving its path to acknowledge and reward those who truly drive their guests’ decision-making process.

    “Social influencers are a new class of travel agents, but they have lacked the infrastructure to make it actionable - until now,” explains Jimmy Suh, chief commercial officer at Arlo Hotels. “Travel is tailor-made for socially driven commerce. Our aim with the If You Arlo app is to offer influencers an opportunity to capitalize on their passion for travel and Arlo Hotels. We recognize that many of our guests’ decisions stem from the folks they follow and trust, i.e. their social network. With the app, we can now understand who these folks are and reward them for it. We’re also very community-driven, and if we can offer our community a program to pay it forward by offering their friends and followers exclusive discounts, it’s a win-win.”

    Independent, lifestyle hotels are at a disadvantage compared to big chain hotel brands as they do not have the distribution reach. Further, independent hotels rely heavily on online travel agents (OTAs) for much of their distribution. OTA’s do not offer the consumers the insight of the unique stay experiences that many of the lifestyle hotels, such as Arlo Hotels, offer to their guests. Social media can level the playing field between independent hotels and big chain brands while offering more relevant information about the hotels. If You Arlo app capitalizes on both opportunities and along the way paves a unique path to a powerful new distribution channel.

  • 2/15/2024

    Lighthouse Expands Into Distribution With Acquisition of Stardekk

    lighthouse and stardekk logos

    Lighthouse (formerly OTA Insight), a commercial platform for the travel & hospitality industry, announced the acquisition of Belgian-based Stardekk, a market leading provider of channel management and distribution software for the hospitality industry. This move represents another advancement in Lighthouse's commitment to empowering hospitality commercial teams with a single platform to drive revenue growth.

    The merger will create a unified technology platform, combining Lighthouse's data and artificial intelligence with Stardekk's distribution reach, offering hoteliers unprecedented dynamic channel optimization. The combined offering will streamline real-time decision-making in a rapidly evolving market, particularly benefiting independent hotels by providing advanced distribution tools and pricing insights to drive top line revenue growth.

    "We are delighted to welcome Stardekk to our team," said Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of Lighthouse. "Their innovative solutions and team complement our mission to reimagine commercial strategy for the hospitality industry. Together, we will deliver unmatched value to independent hoteliers through the combination of better data, better automation, and dynamic distribution.”

    Focus on independent hotels

    While the Lighthouse platform serves travel and hospitality businesses of all sizes, from independents to the largest global chains, this acquisition specifically targets the underserved sector of independent hotels. “Our ideal customer profile for this solution is independent hoteliers who are time starved and overwhelmed managing disparate systems and data," added Fitzpatrick.

    Addressing market fragmentation

    The hotel industry has long been hampered by a fragmented approach to pricing, promotion, and distribution, often leaving independent hoteliers at a disadvantage with disjointed data and systems. Lighthouse aims to bridge these gaps, offering an intelligent channel management solution for independent hotels that combines dynamic pricing optimization and distribution decisions in a single platform, driving top-line revenue growth and profitability.

    Harnessing the power of AI and automation

    With a unique understanding of the challenges faced by independents in an increasingly complex distribution landscape, the combined forces of Lighthouse and Stardekk will deliver an industry-first solution. Independent hotels often lack the time, data, and budgets to compete with larger chains. This acquisition will combine the expertise of Lighthouse and Stardekk in their use of data, AI algorithms, and automation to offer hoteliers unprecedented capabilities to more effectively and efficiently optimize their commercial strategies.

    A shared vision for hoteliers 

    Vincent Goemaere, founder and CEO of Stardekk, commented, "Joining forces with Lighthouse marks a significant milestone in our journey. We've always been dedicated to empowering hoteliers with easy to use, powerful tools. This merger not only aligns with our vision but expands our joint capabilities, offering immense value to independent hoteliers who need to stay competitive in rapidly changing markets, by driving revenue and profitability. The potential we can unlock together is incredibly exciting."

    Together, Lighthouse and Stardekk are poised to redefine the distribution landscape for independent hoteliers worldwide, ushering in a new era of innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness. It's a move that promises to level the playing field in a rapidly changing market.

  • 2/14/2024

    Apaleo Sets ‘New Record’ for Tech Rollout

    apaleo logo
    Apaleo has set a new benchmark for tech adoption after moving all 7,500 rooms at operator citizenM's US and European operations to its property management platform in under two months.
    The Dutch-based hotel brand has just completed the switch at sites located in 18 cities around the world. All this happened in the space of just eight weeks, with the Apaleo team managing to roll out multiple properties per day.
    PMS migrations have traditionally been highly difficult to execute, but the teams at Apaleo and citizenM believe this will have been the fastest onboarding for any mid-sized hotel group to date, owing to modern, self-service architecture, plug-and-play onboarding, and scalable project management. 
    Together, citizenM and Apaleo, worked as partners on state-of-the-art program management that unlocked the ability to take multiple properties live simultaneously, following successful data migration from legacy systems and the complete change of the tech stack. The migration included every citizenM hotel in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Geneva, Glasgow, London, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Austin, Seattle and Washington DC. Significantly, all of the installations were remotely managed without going on site for any aspect of the implementation.
    Mike Rawson, CIO of citizenM, commented: “The migration was a hugely ambitious project, requiring very detailed planning for many hotels across the globe. Compared to any other PMS of similar size and scope, it was the quickest implementation ever witnessed in our industry. Our congratulations go to our fantastic citizenM team and to everyone at Apaleo, who have proven to be such valuable partners.”
    “Our decision to adopt an API-first platform is futureproofing our business and guaranteeing our ability to move with the times and create exactly the kind of guest experience we want for our guests. Beyond a mere PMS migration, our initiative embraces numerous components and leverages the Apaleo Store to enhance our service capabilities.”
    Philip von Ditfurth, Co-founder and Managing Director of Apaleo, added: “For years, citizenM has been associated with pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve in hospitality, so it was only logical that we would eventually join forces. The team at citizenM are as passionate as we are about the transformational power of digitisation and personalisation. They want to stay ahead of the game with a digital guest journey that is unique and helps define them as a brand, and we’re going to help deliver that. This project was important because it also demonstrated to other operators labouring under the weight of legacy PMS systems that implementation time is no longer a reason to delay modernisation. It’s now a seamless process with no business interruption.”
  • 2/15/2024

    eDreams ODIGEO and Travelport Significantly Expand Strategic Technology Partnership

    Travelport Logo teaser version

    eDreams ODIGEO, a travel subscription platform, and Travelport, a global technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, announced the expansion of their strategic technology partnership. 

    The agreement represents a significant milestone in the worldwide evolution and adoption of NDC  (New Distribution Capability) technology. Both parties are committed to co-developing the most advanced NDC platform in the marketplace, incorporating unique retail functionalities, a comprehensive suite of ancillaries, and unmatched post-booking features. Leading airlines are already actively engaged in NDC distribution. NDC enables airlines to deliver modern retailing, offering more competitive and flexible offers that benefit all consumers.

    As part of the expanded agreement, Travelport will continue to support eDreams ODIGEO’s leading travel retailing platform. This will enable access to a wide range of rich content, fares, and unique offerings that are set to improve the experience of the 20 million customers booking through the eDreams ODIGEO’s leading travel agency brands: eDreams, Opodo, GO Voyages, and Travellink. 

    Javier Bellido, Air Content Strategies Director at eDreams ODIGEO said: “We are thrilled to expand our strategic partnership with Travelport. Our collaboration has been instrumental in enhancing the travel retailing experience for the 20 million customers who choose our leading travel agency brands. As we embark on this new phase with expanded features, including New Distribution Capability (NDC) content, we are excited about the opportunities we have with Travelport ahead. We look forward to continuing to innovate alongside Travelport and deliver exceptional travel experiences to our global customer base.”

    Jason Toothman, Chief Commercial Officer – Agency at Travelport said: “The expansion of our partnership with eDreams ODIGEO is a testimony to the strength of our NDC roadmap and our industry-leading technology.  We’re honored to be selected as one of eDreams ODIGEO’s key partners after a robust comparison to other global technology providers. Having the confidence from one of the world’s leading online travel agencies (OTAs) is validation of our laser-focus on innovation and breadth of choice.”

  • Show MoreShow More
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds