When conichi launched, founders Maximilian Waldmann and Frederic Haitz concentrated on digitizing the hotel check-in and check-out process and streamlining it. Their innovative approach resonated in the global corporate travel industry, as best illustrated by conichi's winning of Business Travel News' Innovate competition in 2016. Companies like Siemens, Telekom and Volkswagen use conichi's smarthotel services to optimize their travelers' hotel stays. With that as conichi's foundation, the startup focused in recent years on developing an industry-leading standard for corporate hotel check-in/outs processes at the front desk - a solution that serves the needs of corporate hotel programs and hotels.
HRS will continue to use the conichi technology for the automation of check-in/out processes. Conichi in turn will become an integral part of a new HRS business division focusing on payment. HRS will use conichi's technological know-how to further leverage its corporate payment solutions to the next level. Conichi's employees, including Mr. Waldmann and Mr. Haitz, will work jointly with their new HRS colleagues to develop the next generation of data-driven, automated payment technologies. HRS is creating a scalable, globally-accepted payment solution that goes far beyond the actual transaction, delivering incremental savings and process efficiencies.
Nicole Mantow, who joined HRS in June 2019, heads the payment business unit and reports directly to HRS CEO Tobias Ragge. Ms. Mantow has nearly two decades of experience in the payment industry. Before joining HRS, she was Managing Director for Germany at EVO Payments International. Prior to that role, Ms. Mantow was responsible for the strategy, marketing and sales of payment service provider ConCardis for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
"Payment has long been one of our most important strategic pillars. The new structure ensures the agility of the division while emphasizing the importance of payment solutions as managed travel evolves," said Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO. "An innovative and reliable payment process achieves 23 percent higher acceptance of the travel program by travelers; no other solution offers companies such savings potential, especially with an uncertain global economy looming in 2020."
Beyond focusing on virtual payment, the HRS solution has an integrated service. HRS collects, audits and reconciles all invoices on a global scale, and digitizes this into level three data. "This hasn't been possible in our industry before," said Mr. Ragge. "It increases the transparency of traveler data and enables the continuous optimization of travel programs."
"The acquisition is proof of the strong performance of the entire conichi team over the last few years. I am grateful for every second with this unique team," said Max Waldmann. "We are proud that our HRS roots only grow stronger now, and that together - leveraging global resources, superior data integration and regional expertise - we'll be on the front lines of global corporate payment automation for years to come."
Mr. Waldmann will present at next month's Innovate Conference in New York City, highlighting specific elements of HRS' pioneering new payment solutions for multi-national companies.
By creating Lodging as a Service, HRS is revolutionizing the accommodation category for corporations, hotels and business travelers worldwide. Leveraging its proprietary technology and consultant services, HRS provides global corporations with an integrated platform that facilitates savings, efficiencies and customer satisfaction. HRS technology and its 1,500 experts drive the hotel programs of more than one-third of Fortune 500 corporations. HRS solutions also deliver newfound efficiencies for hotels and event planners. HRS was founded in Cologne in 1972. More information at www.hrs.com/corporate.