March 1 marks the 45th birthday of the BSP, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). On March 1, 1971, the very first “Billing Settlement Plan” was established in Japan.
BSP is a system designed to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents, as well as improve financial control and cash flow for BSP Airlines.
The BSP has become a truly worldwide system. At the close of 2014, there were BSP operations in 181 countries and territories. The system currently serves 400 participating airlines with an on-time settlement rate of 99.98 percent. In 2014, IATA’s BSP processed $255.7 billion.
Benefits of a BSP
Agents issue one sales report and remit one amount to a central point
Airlines receive one settlement covering all agents
Simplifies and reduces work through the use of electronic ticketing on behalf of all BSP Airlines
Agents’ sales are reported electronically
Less resources required for billing and collection
Electronic distribution of billing reports and generation of debit/credit memos (ADMs/ACMs) via BSPlink
Increased financial control thanks to centralization and grouping
Consolidated document flow, permitting accelerated quality controls
Overall process monitoring by a neutral body
Participation in a BSP
Participation in a BSP is open to all airlines (IATA members and non-members) serving the country or area concerned.
IATA Accredited Agents
All IATA Accredited Agents in the BSP country of operation are automatically eligible for participation in a BSP. When a new BSP commences operations in a country, all Agents are notified by IATA and invited to participate.
General Sales Agents (GSAs) and Airport Handling Agents (AHA)
GSAs and AHAs may participate in a BSP (in the same way as Accredited Agents), on nomination by the airline they represent, and subject to the airline entering into a standard agreement.