Abtot introduces hybrid escrow accounts and bonding initiative

An Atol franchise scheme is being expanded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (Abtot) with new solutions designed to meet the evolving needs of the travel industry.

Abtot has become the first Atol franchise to accept a hybrid solution combining trust/escrow accounts and bonds, in what the association described as a “significant development”.

Abtot, with 300 members, is also the only government-approved body to provide a bonding scheme and an Atol franchise.

The association’s members have been granted franchise Atols supported by bonds since 2017.

The new options aim to cater for larger SME Atols, including existing licence holders who segregate customer funds and are looking for greater flexibility through an escrow accounts, as well as travel organisers seeking alternatives to the small business Atol.

Central to the hybrid solution is an escrow account bolstered by an insurance-backed bond, claimed to provide Atol holders with “unprecedented flexibility” in managing supplier payments. 

The association is collaborating with trust and escrow account management partner PT Trustees aimed at “redefining industry standards”.

“The trust and escrow accounts usher in a new era of streamlined processes, underpinned by a seasoned team and a cutting-edge reporting tool,” Abtot said. 

Abtot can offer Atol franchise membership supported by an unsecured bonding solution from an insurer or a secured bonding solution from a bank with the applicant charged an annual premium based on their financial strength. 

Applicants’ suitability will depend on their requirements and companies’ financials, according to the association. 

The reporting tool offers comprehensive data analysis and reporting, “rendering licensable transactions and Civil Aviation Authority reports not only manageable but reliable”. 

The addition of intuitive dashboards enhances visibility for Atol holders, “empowering them to navigate claims management with ease”.

Abtot membership director Samantha Bradbury said: “These new solutions have been in planning for a few months, and we are really proud that Abtot is launching a CAA-approved hybrid solution.”

PT Trustees chief executive Sudheer Sharma added:“We are really pleased to confirm that we are working in partnership with Abtot, and that our trust and escrow arrangements have been accepted by the Abtot Atol franchise. 

“With our experienced team and bespoke reporting tool, we aim to offer Abtot members peace of mind, knowing that their transactions are managed with care and transparency.”

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