CitizenM: Optimizing the customer experience with Adyen
Agoda and Adyen began our partnership in 2015 as part of Agoda’s on-going effort to enhance the booking journey for its fast-expanding customer base.
Darren Makarem, Vice President, Commercial Finance, Agoda, and Warren Hayashi, President, Asia Pacific, Adyen, share how we enable better payment experiences together.
From its beginnings in Singapore in 2005, Agoda has since grown to offer a global network of 2 million properties in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. It provides travelers with easy access to a wide choice of luxury and budget hotels, apartments, homes, and villas to suit all budgets and travel occasions.
Agoda is among Booking Holdings’ network of travel companies including booking.com and kayak.com. Darren Makarem reveals that Agoda’s in-depth understanding of the Asia Pacific audience, and its variety of accommodation, are just some reasons for its popularity. So, what is Agoda’s key success factor?
Darren shares, “What makes Agoda special is that we are passionate about helping people to travel. We invest in state-of-the-art technology to ensure that we are offering our customers seamless and frictionless booking journeys. That is supported by AI and machine learning to truly optimize the customer user journey.”
He adds: “Customers today expect a service that satisfies their needs quickly and clearly. We aim to provide that service and be there from the point where they are researching their destinations through to making payments – with 24/7 payment support service – all of which Agoda provides, within a state-of-the-art technology framework.”
Ensuring seamless, frictionless customer journeys is no easy task – especially when travelers are from diverse backgrounds, and have varied payment preferences. As Darren mentions, “We serve a number of different markets with different needs, languages and currencies. Some countries have a large proportion of unbanked population. Some of them have moved on very quickly, skipping past credit cards straight to e-payments.”
Warren adds, “Payments in Asia isn’t just about credit cards – it’s also about debit cards, online banking, paying at convenience stores as well as paying through digital wallets.”
"What’s allowed Agoda and Adyen to continue the relationship over the years is that we are very like-minded."
Darren also shares, “Through the partnership with Adyen, we are able to offer innovative solutions including alternative payment methods to our customers. Our card acceptance rates have also increased.”
Adyen partners with Agoda to make sure Agoda can accept payments from consumers all across the region, but it’s not about launching as many payment methods as possible.
“We want to provide payment preferences that are suitable for Agoda’s business model so that Agoda can offer the most seamless customer experience. We want to make sure that payment doesn’t become a friction point because it’s critical to the checkout flow,” says Warren.
Darren agrees, “What’s allowed Agoda and Adyen to continue the relationship over the years is that we are very like-minded. Adyen’s solutions are innovative and focused on the merchant’s needs. We can create seamless and frictionless journeys for our own customers all through the technology.”
As payment methods evolve in this region, Adyen will continue to add new payment methods. This is to ensure that payments methods are always relevant for Agoda as it pursues new consumers in the region and across the world.
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