MasterCard's New Travel Voucher Gets Industry Nod

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MasterCard's New Travel Voucher Gets Industry Nod

MasterCard International Inc. plans to develop a travel voucher that has been endorsed by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), an industry trade group.

MasterCard's voucher, to be introduced in early 1985, would be used by consumers who pay for their travel services in advance. Although the industry now uses vouchers for this purpose, MasterCard claims its product will be a standardized, more efficient alternative.

After paying the travel agency for the service, the customer receives a voucher that he or she presents to the service provider, such as a hotel or car rental agency. The voucher, bearing a MasterCard logo, will guarantee that the service provider will be paid.

There are now no standard vouchers for the travel industry, according to MasterCard. Travel agencies use vouchers when they work out credit arrangements with particular merchants or pay for bookings in advance with checks, MasterCard said.

But with MasterCard's voucher, "it's accepted just as if it were a MasterCard,' said Russell E. Hogg, MasterCard president and chief executive officer. And the vouchers will be handled by merchants as if they were credit card sales slips, he explained. …