In some way, I feel that the future of our jobs will be similar to this Hackathon process. Lots of brainstorming and discussions about how we envision new solutions, leaving execution processes to artificial intelligence. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had at work. – Elías Matheus, CTO of Reservamos.
Author: Elías Matheus, CTO of Reservamos.
2022 was a year full of discoveries in Artificial Intelligence. Many technologies with unprecedented capabilities have emerged. However, it is essential to recognize that implementing AI entails significant challenges, such as job displacement, bias, discrimination, privacy, and security. At Reservamos, we are committed to being part of this transformation responsibly, and proactively addressing these challenges.
With this spirit, we organized the first AI-focused Hackathon at Reservamos in May. The goal was to explore tools that would allow us to imagine new future innovations.
The first step was to conduct virtual brainstorming sessions to identify the challenges we wanted to address and generate ideas based on technology. More than 100 proposals emerged from various areas of the company! It was a creative process where we discussed their needs and realized that there were many projects with common requirements.
Out of those ideas, we selected 15. On May 18th, we gathered physically in our offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Mérida, as well as virtually with more Reservamos team members located in other cities and countries.
A total of 36 Reservamos collaborators participated. We explored everything from content generation products, chatbots for more direct traveler connections, and projects for enhanced user personalization on websites, to internal tools for speeding up data analysis processes, API integrations, and quality control processes, among others.
Some examples we tested were:
Illustrations with Midjourney
Imagining new landing pages with dynamic content
Apps that help us summarize user feedback
And why is all this important?
With these demos, we can get an idea of the future of our industry and our organization. Undoubtedly, AI has the power to transform our technological ecosystem and improve the way we carry out each of our internal processes at Reservamos.
At Reservamos, we want to be part of this transformation. We know that artificial intelligence will be the key to being the ally that continues to drive companies in our sector to achieve great things with the help of the most effective tools.
Our role in the workplace should also be that of mentors so that young women interested in pursuing financial careers feel supported to break stereotypes and eliminate barriers.
Author: Pamela López, Head of Finance at Reservamos.
Throughout my professional life, I have wondered, how can I address the challenges I face as a woman to have a successful career. To be honest, I still don’t have a clear answer, but over time I have come to understand that it is a balancing act.
Today, despite the times we live in, it seems that gender still determines lower chances of success for a woman; we have been underrepresented and limited for a long time. Of course, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity in the workplace, and the financial sector is no exception, but we still have significant challenges to overcome.
Women and Finance
According to a 2021 report by consulting firm Spencer Stuart, in Mexico, the percentage of women CFOs in companies on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) index is 10%, while in Latin America, it is 12%.
The above does not detract from the impact we have on the financial sector. As women, we play a fundamental role, providing unique perspectives and experiences that can lead to greater innovation and success in problem-solving, more efficiently. By having a diverse team, it is feasible to propose innovative ideas and solutions, which ultimately drive business growth and success. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), if the gender gap in labor force participation rates in Latin America and the Caribbean were closed, the region’s GDP could increase by 16%, equivalent to $1.7 billion.
It doesn’t sound too bad, but how can we get to that reality? Our role in the workplace should also be that of mentors, so that young women interested in pursuing financial careers feel supported to break stereotypes and eliminate barriers.
It is vital not to lose sight that there are still many challenges to face in the industry, including underrepresentation in leadership positions, the gender pay gap, as well as the lack of balance between work and daily life.
Women, not only in the financial sector, are often paid less than their male counterparts, even when they have the same level of education and experience. This can make it difficult to achieve financial independence and directly contributes to the lack of diversity in senior leadership positions. The gender pay gap on average worldwide is 23%, while in Mexico, it exceeds 34%, according to reports by IMCO and Inmujeres.
The long hours and demanding nature of the industry make it difficult to balance our careers with our personal life. This can be particularly challenging for women, who often take on greater responsibility for caring for children or elderly relatives at home. Addressing these challenges is crucial to ensuring that the financial sector is diverse, inclusive, and reflects demographic needs.
Women, Technology, and Development
Technology is transforming the market in many ways, from the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to blockchain and digital currencies. These advances are changing the way the customer interacts and risk management operations.
The rapid evolution of the market demands that we adopt new skills, but also create the necessary mechanisms for technology to be a driver, not an obstacle, to women’s professional development. In this sense, women in financial leadership positions must lead the way in adopting digital platforms and services, exploring their potential to shape a more inclusive future for the financial sector, and accelerating positive change among customers, employees, and shareholders alike.
For all women pursuing a career in finance, I share some suggestions to develop and strengthen their skills and competencies:
Invest in professional development opportunities. Attending conferences, workshops, and training sessions can help stay up to date with emerging trends and best practices in finance and accounting. Continuous learning helps us bridge gaps and provides us with communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills.
Seek mentorship from experienced executives who can provide guidance and support as they advance in their careers. Mentors can also offer information on the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the CFO role.
Financial directors must create networks of peers and colleagues who can provide support and share knowledge and best practices. Networking events, professional organizations, and social media platforms can be excellent sources of connections and support.
Take on new challenges and opportunities. Gradually assume new projects or roles that require us to extend beyond our comfort zone to develop and strengthen skills and achieve greater leadership.
Undoubtedly, the challenges for women remain significant. Therefore, it is essential to continue working as a team to help more women develop their skills, establish support and mentorship networks, and not fear new challenges and constant learning. Only in this way can we not only achieve our professional success but also drive the economy of our countries.
COVID is not the first pandemic that the world has faced, and it will certainly not be the last.
We are pleased to share with you a note created by our CEO – Andrés Sucre, published by Business Venezuela Magazine, where he shares his optimistic perspective on the future of tourism.
It is not news that one of the most affected industries after the pandemic has been the tourism sector. But, despite that reality, I would like to outline five reasons why the tourism industry can offer greater long-term opportunities.
The tourism industry is huge.
In 2019, the annual spending in the tourism industry exceeded 1.4 trillion dollars and came with an average growth of during the last five years of 5% annualized, according to Phocuswright. The last quarantines have generated a pent-up demand waiting for the right moment to go out and travel when conditions allow it.
COVID is not the first pandemic that the world has faced, and it will certainly not be the last. And what we have seen in the past is that the tourism industry always recovers after a crisis. Skift published a graph showing the tourism industry’s resilience after pandemics (SARS, MERS, etc.) or economic crises. If history is any indicator of the future, we will have more trips in the years to come!
Despite its size and growth “megatrend”, this crisis has been particularly severe for the sector. For this reason, we can estimate that the recovery will be slow. Bain & Co published a report in June 2020 where they estimated a return to pre-crisis travel levels by 2022 in an optimistic scenario and by 2023 in a moderate one. With the return of lockdowns and new strains in recent months, it is more likely that we are looking at a modest recovery scenario.
We can see how the current context benefits certain segments during the demand rebound process:
Domestic destinations will be the first to resume their growth vs. international ones. Travelers have a preference for short distances and road access.
The economic impact is beginning to be felt. So we see that cheap trips will have greater demand than those in the luxury segment.
Due to the characteristics of COVID, young travelers are going to be the first to venture compared to the senior market.
Flexibility in remote work and video conferences reduced the volume of business travel. While vacation trips or visits to the family will continue to see accelerated demand as the pandemic is controlled.
Companies that can invest will benefit.
“Every crisis brings great opportunities.” – According to Einstein. In this case, the pandemic has left a severely weakened tourism industry. The drop in passenger demand, combined with a forced closure of its operations, has reduced sales and therefore, cash flows of all companies in the sector.
The companies that will emerge stronger in the long term will be those that can access capital to invest in their technological structure and health protection processes and gain market share.
If these last years have taught us anything, it is that anything can happen in the short term. Despite this uncertainty for the tourism industry, we have every reason to be optimistic in the sector if we look at the long-term opportunities.
Written by: Andres Sucre
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eCommerce frauds result in more chargebacks and less safe purchases.
Sometimes, there is an irrational fear of sharing sales history when hiring a payment gateway and/or new service provider, leading to a loss of opportunities for improvement, safe purchases and growth; driving an increase in fraud if the rules and parameters of the business rate improperly calculated.
Pamela López, Head of Finance at Reservamos SaaS.
The value of Reservamos SaaS in payments outlines in its extensive experience and the use of different control and measurement tools for payment attempts. Each industry, sector, and company presents distinct challenges, so it is necessary to know and create unique rules for each season and type of service to secure safe purchases.
The needs, such as processors and anti-fraud systems, may be different. Evaluating possible scenarios and sales history will help adapt the parameters and tools needed.
We monitor the acceptance rate, fraud level, user behavior, and changes in the market.
We use machine learning tools as the first review filter and payment processors or aggregators to transact. Sometimes two step-verification when applicable, as long as it does not limit or harm the conversion rate.
There are some concepts and required procedures you need to know if your bus company has an eCommerce platform:
Chargebacks, what are they, and which are the most frequent?
eCommerce frauds result in more chargebacks. A chargeback is a process where a buyer communicates with the card issuer to be unaware of a transaction or report a problem in search of paying compensation.
There are several types and scenarios of chargebacks. They are usually fraudulent or friendly, for example:
The cardholder does not recognize the transaction (fraud).
The cardholder did not authorize the transaction.
The consumer did not receive the goods or services they purchased.
The consumer claims that the goods or services do not match the offer.
How payment acceptance impacts sales?
Payment acceptance measures the proportion of purchases accepted in respect of payment attempts.
The acceptance level depends on the market and the payment method to be measured. According to information shared by Visa in March 2021, the general acceptance in the payment sector in LATAM was 56%, Mexico was 48%, and Colombia was 49%.
Reservamos SaaS offers a high impact in increasing the acceptance rate and a low volume of fraud.
Many companies make the serious mistake of limiting or lowering their payment acceptance rate because they have 0% fraud. It not only limits their potential for sales growth but denies or blocks a service to users who may not be fraudulent.
Fernando Aguilera, Head of Sales & Expansion.
Understanding the process.
Market and current behavior.
2020 was an atypical year for eCommerce due to restrictions. Goods and services purchases through online platforms increased by +30% globally. As a result, besides boosting the market, the digital market also changed consumer behavior:
The purchase frequency becomes difficult to predict. The consumer takes short-term actions to avoid complicated scenarios.
Buyers use new payment options and registration.
Users search for destinations that were not so attractive before.
In this new market, fraud increased considerably, along with the theft and testing of bank databases, for which it became essential to prioritize specific fields.
The challenges for the coming years are: to adapt and implement new analysis techniques due to the fact that consumer behavior is now more complex and changing. At Reservamos SaaS, we are always looking to implement new tools and parameters that minimize the percentage of chargebacks and increase the rate of payment acceptance to reduce a company’s losses and increase its income.
Do you also want to ensure safe online purchases for your travelers and increase the conversion at your eCommerce? Contact us at: [email protected]
Innovative eCommerce, with new features, and all in ONE WEEK? Challenge accepted!
Author: Jair Pérez – Lead Product Designer at Reservamos SaaS
The decisions we have made about our eCommerce and the solutions designed have been supported by data and evidence, from the slightest change to the development of new functionality. But how far have we gotten with this?
Thanks to the learning process and experience acquired, we knew that having a visual variant of the eCommerce solution would be necessary for brands to differentiate themselves, even with the services we offer to the bus sector.
Recently, we had the challenge of designing and developing innovative eCommerce with new features in ONE WEEK for one of our allies, and we had only one chance to make it right. Once we agreed on a schedule with our client, we challenged ourselves to accomplish our goals, and boy, was 2020 a pretty tough year!
During the first meeting, we came up with the idea of having a product with a sidebar throughout the funnel. The information in the sidebar would change according to every step of the journey; at this point, we began to think about what changes we could implement that would not require so much support from the Front-end area.
Having an organized and well-structured architecture needed us to think about the possible changes that we could integrate. Although some ideas came up, such as changing the product’s visual style and playing around with shadows and borders of the same components, the team remained uncertain as the ideas sounded a bit abstract.
We have created a product area with functions focused on performing more efficient maintenance processes and reducing development times to achieve an organized code structure. Since these principles have been of great help to us, we have also transferred them to the layout part with “Atomic Design”, allowing more agile interfaces and efficient project management.
The work structure we designed and the team expertise made us possible to create the product funnel proposal in only ONE DAY! This mock was necessary because, in a certain way, it would work as a map to execute the essential changes at the code level.
We kept the sidebar during the funnel, reduced shadows, and added borders with a decreased radius; it was also possible to design a different component to show the trip results and display a cleaner and more friendly design.
Once we presented the mock to the internal team, they were able to verify that we had managed to have a new product version by making this series of small changes. We had overcome part of the challenge!
Having a solid code structure and certain variables within it, we began to implement the essential changes for this product version without affecting the standard version code. Also, we could switch versions if we needed to. Despite the time pressure, the work was always executed in the most orderly way possible, thanks to our structure guidelines.
The second part of the challenge was a complete unknown. We did not have enough data and history to know if this product version would have the purchase conversion we were expecting and the necessary loading speed. We started having a conversion very similar to the results of the current product, and little by little, it started showing growth.
A few months later, we reached record sales figures for online sales, higher than offline sales in over 60 years.
Do you want to be part of small changes that turn into big sales? Contact us for more information at [email protected] and manage to promote your bus line eCommerce.