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Amadeus signs partnership deal with UNICEF

Amadeus signs partnership deal with UNICEF All images courtesy of UNICEF

Amadeus has signed an agreement with UNICEF which will see the travel tech giant share its technical expertise with the UN charity to raise funds.

The partnership, announced earlier in London, will enable travel providers to raise money for UNICEF by giving customers the opportunity to make a micro-donation when paying for travel online.

The deal is being described as a modern equivalent of the Change for Good scheme, which sees passengers donate spare coins following an overseas trip.

That scheme has raised in excess of £150 million over the past two decades.

“This joint initiative represents an innovative model to drive donations.

“The technology solution Amadeus has provided to UNICEF as a philanthropic contribution will help this international organisation harness a collective, global action to raise funds for children.

“The process itself will be simple for travellers: a single click, that is it,” said Tomás López Fernebrand, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Amadeus.

The micro-donation process will be user-friendly, allowing travellers to simply add a donation to UNICEF as they complete the shopping process online.

During the first stage of this programme, selected travel providers and sellers, such as airline websites and online travel agents, will integrate a ‘check box’ on their online booking pages.

If a traveller chooses to make a donation, they will receive a confirmation email.

Spanish flag-carrier Iberia and Australian airline Qantas are both in discussions with Amadeus over the launch of the process.

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence

For participating travel brands, the product will exist as a neutral standalone system, cross-channel merchant engine.

This consists of a donation interface to collect donation data that is linked to an Amadeus payment gateway.

The donation payment is processed as a separate transaction from the travel purchase.

While simplifying things for the partner and for UNICEF, the process is also scalable, allowing the UN body to roll it out to other sectors over time.

“Partnerships are at the heart of how UNICEF achieves results for children, in the field but also in the area of fundraising.

“Many of UNICEF’s existing corporate partners have established track-records of raising funds for UNICEF and engaging their staff and customers in UNICEF’s work.

“We believe that this new initiative with Amadeus will significantly improve UNICEF’s ability to reach a large number of people online and to provide them with a ‘one click’ opportunity to help some of the world’s most vulnerable children survive and thrive,” said Tim Hunter, international fundraising director, UNICEF.

Funds raised will help vulnerable children around the world

To launch this partnership, Amadeus and UNICEF hosted a roundtable event in London where the role of innovation and the importance of partnerships between the private sector, UN agencies and NGOs were discussed.

The roundtable also featured a contribution from professor Linda Scott, DP World chair for entrepreneurship and innovation at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

“Addressing some of the major development and social challenges in today’s world requires increasing collaboration between the private and not-for-profit sector,” Scott explained.

“Deploying some of the processes, technology and expertise present in the private sector can make a significant difference to organisations that rely on funding and donations.

“Both Amadeus and UNICEF are leaders in their respective fields with significant global reach and scale, making them well matched to ensure this collaboration is a success.

“The potential for the initiative to generate significant donations is limitless.”

Scott also moved to quell suspicions the move was a simple PR exercise from Amadeus.

“The corporate world has grown tremendously in wealth over the previous century and is now coming to understand its role in the not-for-profit sector.

“As we move away from the traditional aid givers, nation states and churches for example, the role of corporate sponsors has developed.

“Amadeus and UNICEF offer two networks – one for collecting wealth, one for distribution. In the middle is the travel industry; the relationship is beneficial for all parties.”