Planned audit requirement changes for smaller travel agents under a revision of Iata rules have been backed by payment solutions firm Diners Club.

Reducing the indirect costs of Iata licenses is good for smaller travel agencies and for competition in the industry, the company claims.

While the requirement for weekly Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) returns will be a ‘challenge’, it is one that Diners Club says it is well placed to help agents meet.

The company, responding to a possible amendment to the Iata Travel Agency Handbook, said small businesses will be allowed to revert back to an original agreement of supplying a weekly BSP return and certified accounts, without the need for expensive and time-consuming audited accounts.

Although this will involve some change for the industry, with the right systems and processes in place this can be a “smooth transition”.

Diners Club provides a live reporting system for instantaneous BSP reconciliation, in addition to offering up to 56 days credit.

Spokesman Adrian Steele said: “Enabling healthy competition from challenger brands is good news for the industry and the customer.

“Removing the need for fully audited accounts is a positive move for the industry, enabling small and independent agents to regain their status as Iata members.

“As the industry continues to enjoy the opportunity of a recovering economy, this ruling provides the much needed boost for smaller agents to take advantage of this economic surge.

“We understand that there will be a certain degree of pain involved in weekly BSP reporting system, however we have had the tools in place to facilitate this system for a number of years.”