Category Archive: Member Stories

  1. Becky Bakeman – How Paynode helps keep things simple for this complex business.

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    I see that RAI Jets has a very broad remit, Becky

    Yes, we do a lot of different things. There’s aircraft charter, aircraft management and maintenance, we have hanger space, and we have our own fuel farm so we can fuel our aircraft and those of our hanger tenants. 

    Our main base is in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but we also manage the airport for the city of Sturgis. 

    You’ve been an Avinode member for many years too

    Oh yes, it seems like forever! We’ve also been using Schedaero for a long time – we’re probably one of the first customers. 

    We’ve had nothing but good experiences with Avinode and Schedaero, so it was a simple decision to also begin using Paynode. I think I first heard about Paynode through an email from the Avinode guys, or maybe at the Scheduler Dispatcher convention, but I’m glad we made the leap because it’s changed our business massively.

    What was life like before Paynode?

    As a business, we use a smaller bank – a credit union – and in the past, getting funds wired was not as simple as it should be. Also, we couldn’t accept credit card payments through the bank, so we had to use our own credit card machine. We even tried the credit card payment functionality of our accounting program, but that too was far from ideal. 

    There are many strands to your business. What challenges does that pose and how does Paynode help with these?

    Obviously we see a lot of funds coming in all the time, and we also send a lot out as well, so Paynode helps us keep track of everything.

    There’s also plenty of paperwork to do. With Paynode, it’s so nice to have all our documentation already filled out for the companies we work with regularly. I’d say that having all that information saved – so I don’t have to type it in every time when dealing with a repeat customer – is the feature I love best about Paynode. 

    The old way would see me complete a form by hand, scan it in, then fax it to my bank because they wouldn’t accept email. Then I’d have to wait for them to call me back, review the form with me and make sure I am who I say I am before approving the release of funds. Even then, things didn’t always go smoothly. 

    Now, I just go into Paynode, fill out the information once and hit send. Then I get my email confirmation. It’s that easy. 

    So no more having to deal with banks around incoming funds

    Thankfully not. In the past, our credit union used an intermediary bank, so funds would go to a bigger bank first, then to our bank, then into our account. 

    The problem is that there’s often a step that customers would miss, so the funds would go to the big bank and sit there in limbo because they didn’t know where to put them. I would have to make countless phone calls to sort things out.

    Now, with Paynode, I have no issues. The funds go in and we’re ready to go.

    It must be nice having everything in one system

    Yes, it really is. I like to have all my charter funds in one place so when I reconcile that account, all I’m looking at are my flights. 

    In my other bank I have all sorts of funds going in and out – everything from buying jet fuel and landing fees to catering and office supplies – so it’s very helpful to isolate those funds that are specifically related to our aircrafts’ movements.

    Are there any other features in Paynode that you find really useful?

    In the past, once every couple of years, I’d have a customer in, say Canada, trying to send me funds. It was always a fiasco. But with Paynode there’s no problem thanks to the different currency accounts we have set up. Dealing with different currencies is now effortless.

    Would you recommend Paynode to other companies in the aviation space?

    I would definitely recommend Paynode. It’s simple and makes life easier. 

    For us – because we also use Avinode and Schedaero – everything is joined up and it  works so well. There are so many little details that save us time. For example, I know that all my wire information is on my quotes, which is one less thing for me to think about. 

    The good thing is that I’m starting to see a lot more companies coming onboard now. It used to be that I was the only one in my network that I saw with the little Paynode symbol, but that’s defiantly changing.

    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.

  2. Ronny Dominguez – How Paynode is the perfect payment partner for this fast growing brokerage.

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    I believe Moonlight Jet is a new name in the industry, Ronny.

    That’s right. We’re a charter brokerage company which only started trading in January 2022. We’re in the early stages of the business, but already things are going really well.

    Have you been using Paynode since the start?

    Not since day one, but from very early on. We did maybe five transactions before moving to Paynode and enjoying the benefits of having a dedicated payment system.

    Can you tell us what a typical transaction looked like before Paynode? 

    I’ll give you the example of our very first payment as a company. 

    The online bank we were using – which didn’t offer a payment solution – was based in the US and only accepted payments in US dollars. Our client was flying from Switzerland to France and wanted to pay in either Swiss francs or euros. I ended up having to meet the client in person and use a credit card terminal to charge him in Swiss francs. 

    While this was far from ideal, it did act as the catalyst to find a more stable solution.

    How did you hear about Paynode?

    I was doing my research into payment solutions which incorporated credit card payments and transactions. I have a background in finance and accounting, so I had a really clear idea of what we needed. 

    At the time, we had just starting using Avinode. I was looking through all the support materials and instructions and I saw that there was a payment solution linked to Avinode. It seemed perfect for us, so I contacted the Paynode team to find out more and we went from there.

    Did you find Paynode easy to use?

    Yes, given my experience with many other finance and payment systems, I found it straightforward to use. You run your KYB form, set up your account and the different currency accounts you want, and away you go.

    But I have to say, the training and support is also excellent. The Paynode guys are truly knowledgeable and have been able to answer even some very specific questions I’ve had. If I have any issues, I know they’ll be resolved within a few hours.

    What is your favourite Paynode feature?

    It’s so useful being able to easily trade currencies in the system – to buy, sell and move your money around. You can see the rates for that day, as well as days in advance, so you can always get the best rate at the right time. The fact that all this happens in real-time, is great.

    Another cool feature is when buying a long trip – the figures we’re talking about can be big – Paynode gives you the option to hold an amount on the credit card while you wait for the wire transfer payment to come in. This gives some guarantee for us brokers and the operators.

    I also like the security features. When generating a payment link in the system, there’s an in-built internal approval process, which helps make the entire process safe and secure for everyone. 

    And what feature would you like to see in future?

    I’d love it if American companies were able to send payment requests in different currencies for credit cards. That would be a big win for all involved.

    What would you say to other brokers or operators who are considering Paynode? 

    I would tell them that in my research, there’s nothing else like Paynode on the market.

    From experience, it’s perfect for new start-up companies who are very flexible. For bigger businesses that are more established, it may be a little trickier to incorporate a new system, but Paynode will help them grow and save them time and money. It will also really help their accounting team to consolidate accounts at the end of each month. 

    Another thing that I’ve seen is that Paynode becomes a key central point for clients, brokers and suppliers. It’s a go-to application that brings all parties together.

    Is that because people trust Paynode?

    For sure. The Paynode symbol creates credibility. For me as a broker, I know that the operator must feel comfortable even if the payment is not yet secure. Paynode gives them that piece of mind.

    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.

  3. JetClub – How Paynode offers the human touch that means so much.

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    Hi, Salvatore. Please tell us a little about JetClub

    Well, JetClub is a European company created by Co-Founders Vishal Hiremath and Glenn Gonzales who started operations last year. The business has seen good growth and reputation in Europe.

    Things are going very well at the moment – we’re growing up fast. 

    As you grow it’s so important to have the best possible payment system in place

    For sure, and we knew that a traditional bank on its own was not really the answer. Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with banks when you’re a totally new company like we were in Europe. 

    We currently use Paynode and also a traditional electronic bank. It’s difficult to work with the bank because there are many issues, and each time you have to call the customer service line, they can’t help you. 

    With a bank, we don’t have the personal relationship that we need. Paynode gives us that.

    It sounds like you were looking for a payment partner more than anything

    That’s exactly right, and as the key person in the company using Paynode day-to-day, that was essential for me.

    With Paynode we found a partner and a friend. I can’t speak highly enough of Paynode staff, Brenton Melville and Evelyn Franco. From the beginning they’ve always been available to help us figure out solutions to our problems. And if they don’t know the answer, they work to find it.

    That personal service sounds particularly important to you

    Absolutely. Maybe it’s my Sicilian nature but human connection means a lot to me. I prefer to speak to a person on the phone instead of by email where possible. By talking you can understand the tone of their voice and the attitude of the person. 

    If I do have to send an email to the Paynode team, I know I won’t need to send a reminder because I’ll receive a reply quickly. Even if there’s no solution, the response will be, “Salvatore, I’m working on it for you.”

    Is there anything that Paynode can’t do that you’d like it to?

    One thing that I know is being worked on is the inclusion of bank statements. I currently have to request those, but they’re always provided quickly. Our auditor recently asked for something different from normal bank statements and the Paynode guys sorted it out, no problem. 

    Also, being able to obtain a Paynode issued credit card would be great.

    Tell me how Paynode makes your life easier

    It simply saves me time every day. For example, if I need to send a bank transfer or a wire transfer in another currency – such as Swedish Krona – I can do that in seconds. Even with currencies that we don’t use very often, I have the exchange rate there, right in front of me, immediately. 

    If I were to use our Swedish bank account to make that payment, I’d have to send an email and wait maybe two hours for a reply, then another couple of hours to complete the transaction. That’s useless if we need to land in a Swedish airport in five minutes’ time. 

    In our industry we don’t have time to wait, and with Paynode we don’t have to. 

    So, you’re happy with Paynode?

    Of course, 100%. It’s a very intuitive system and you don’t need a degree in finance to make a payment or find information easily.

    There are other companies who offer a similar product, but I have a strong bond with Paynode and the people behind it. Evelyn and Brenton have helped in so many ways and we have a mutual trust that I value. 

    Finally, can you see any reasons why people would not use Paynode?

    The big issue is that many people still think traditional banks are the only solution. The truth is that those banks are now very slow and old fashioned. 

    Convincing clients to use Paynode is not always easy, but I work hard to show them how Paynode is the perfect option. I don’t need to send the POP to prove I’ve made a payment because they receive the funds instantly. It couldn’t be simpler.

    Interested in simplifying your payments? Welcome to Paynode, your new comfort zone.

  4. Paul Malicki – How Paynode is helping one digital broker navigate the currency minefield

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    Hi Paul, tell us a little about Flapper

    Well, we’re a digital broker based in Brazil. We use Avinode especially to source aircraft outside of our core market of Brazil, also act as marketing agents for four air taxi operators in Avinode.

    We’ve been an Avinode customer for two years and started using Paynode just three months ago. Straight away we’ve seen the positive impact it has on many aspects of our business, not just payments.

    Is it fair to say that Paynode has made life easier?

    Absolutely. One of the big problems it solves for us is dealing with payments in multiple currencies.

    Customers in the US or Europe are from a mono-currency culture, but we don’t have that luxury in Latin America. Although Flapper has a US bank account and the primary currency for private flights is dollars, there are multiple currencies to deal with in the region. And that’s before you consider our other customers – both operators and end-users – all around the world.

    With so many currencies in use, and conversion rates to think about, things can get complicated. It’s here where Paynode really streamlines the process and makes it painless.

    We also love the credit card charge feature in Paynode. Here in Brazil, we tend to pay by bank transfer because of issues around fraud. With brokers in Europe preferring to pay by credit card, the feature lets us do that instantly.

    That increased speed of payment must be crucial to you

    For sure. As an industry we’ve been seeing a reduction in the time between requests and actual flight operations. In the past, the average was maybe six days, and that’s now down to three or even two days. People are not planning too far ahead, and while that’s understandable given the pandemic, it makes it really difficult to manage payment in such a short time.

    With Paynode making this fast turnaround possible, it’s the perfect solution for our time. It really is the one-stop-shop for payments in private aviation today.

    How quickly were you able to get up and running with Paynode?

    Really quickly, actually. The support and training we’ve received has been outstanding. We’ve been really looked after, from the onboarding process and beyond. My team, to be fluent with a new tool, may typically require two or three training sessions because it’s a complex market we work in. But with Paynode, we literally had training on the Tuesday and on the Wednesday, we closed our first flight with a client from Italy. My team just remembered exactly how to use Paynode, so that’s testimony to how intuitive the system is and the quality of the onboarding.

    And finally, how do you think Paynode is perceived in the sector?

    Speaking from my own experience – and that of Flapper – I would say that Paynode is like a stamp of quality for many foreign customers who may not have heard of us. In our business, trust counts for a lot, and that’s part of the reason we joined Paynode.

    A customer in Australia might see that we’re based out in Brazil, and when they see that we’re a Paynode customer, that gives us credibility. I think it’s a real brand boost.

  5. Wingman Aircharter – How Paynode has been a game-changer for one broker business

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    When did you first become an Avinode Group customer, Thomas?

    I’ve actually been using Avinode for the past 13 years. I spend ten years working in sales for another operator, before starting my own broker-only business – Wingman Aircharter – in October 2017. Throughout all that time, Avinode has been a constant partner for me.

    And how about Paynode?

    I’ve used Paynode since the beginning. I had it before the Paynode to Paynode transaction feature existed, which meant I didn’t use it too much, but it has progressed so much since then.

    With all the new features, I depend on Paynode for a lot of my business, including all of my non-Danish accounts and everything except credit card payments. I use it almost as a normal bank account.

    What pain points has Paynode taken away from your daily life?

    There are a lot of benefits to using Paynode and many ways that it makes my life easier – I can still remember how time-consuming and complicated things were in the past.  

    One of the biggest positives is that I can pay operators 24/7. If a client decides at the last minute they want to fly somewhere, it’s not for them to worry about the banks being closed and what that might mean for transferring money to the operator. I can now do that instantly thanks to Paynode.

    The alternative would mean me paying with a credit card until I’m able to do a bank transfer on the next working day. I’d have to have the funds to use my credit card and have the money in the bank too, so I’d need the funds twice to make just one payment. Paynode does away with this problem and makes everything much simpler and smoother. That’s one of the things I really like about it.

    Also, if you pay euro to euro there are no transaction fees, which is great. I have a euro account, a Pound Sterling account and a US dollar account, so it’s very flexible and lets me pay in a range of currencies.

    Have you been well supported by the Paynode team?

    I really have. They were great in the beginning especially, showing me how the system works and how to get the best out of it. I still rely on the support team in the US and ask them a lot of questions. They’re always available by email and they reply quickly.

    And I believe you worked with the Paynode guys on the recent developments

    Yes, I was happy to volunteer and help the product team make improvements by sharing my thoughts. I told them how I personally want to use Paynode and what I would like it to do. I enjoyed being part of the process.

    What new features would you like to see in the future?

    One of the things I asked for is the ability to connect a credit card to an account. That might seem like a small detail, but it would be nice to have in the future. Also, while my customers can pay with Visa and Mastercard, some have requested being able to use American Express. I’m very much looking forward to when EU based members can do that as the US based members can today – I believe it’s coming soon.

    I think we’ll see the full potential of Paynode realized when the whole industry is hooked up and we can pay all of our operators directly and instantly.

    Would you say that being a Paynode user has helped build trust in your business amongst operators?

    Yes, I would. For a start, operators know that they will receive their money instantly. They can depend on that, which is nice. Many operators won’t fly if they don’t have the money beforehand and that’s how the industry works. When you have an urgent flight that occurs with just two hours’ notice and you can’t pay them, they won’t fly. Paynode is the perfect solution. For us, the fact that we can make those payments in seconds is a game-changer.

    Interested in Paynode? No fee to sign up. No subscription costs. No monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Contact us here!

  6. Aurora Aviation shares how crew scheduling can massively improve the day-to-day lives of others like them

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    Peter, tell me how you got involved in the testing process.

    When I became a Chief Pilot here at Aurora Aviation, some of the team were already using Schedaero, but certainly not to its full potential. I was trying to learn about it and get up to speed, so I attended a couple of online webinars and watched the YouTube videos you guys have on there. They were extremely helpful.

    Questions kept popping up and I was back and forth on those with Sandro (Chiappe) and he was great. Every query I had, he would say, ‘yeah man, that’s a good question. Let me come back to you on that’. He was always quick at responding and explaining things.

    It was during one of our conversations that he asked if I’d mind beta testing the new products because I was giving him a lot of feedback. I said no problem.

    Were you completely new to Schedaero before this?

    Not quite, no. I’ve been a pilot for 20 years and I’ve used Schedaero before on the pilot side for a couple of other companies I worked for, and one company used the Pilot App a little bit. I knew it was a good product.

    How has your team found the new functionality?

    It’s all been incredibly positive. I flew on a trip recently with one of the other pilots. We were going through the Crew App and he seemed to really like it because he was able to record everything easily. I explained to him that once you do this, it’s going to keep your aircraft time, duty time, flight log etc, so you don’t have to worry. It’s no surprise that I’ve had some really good positive feedback from the pilots.

    We also have a new dispatcher, and she has been doing well with it too and really likes it. Being able to add things like hotels has been great for her. She’s really enjoying using it.

    And you’ve been feeding back comments as you go.

    That’s right. I’ve been extremely pleased with the response time of the Schedaero team. It’s been a great experience. It was a little daunting at first for me, to learn everything, but they really helped me along.

    What system were you using previously for crew scheduling?

    I think they were using spreadsheets and the previous Chief Pilot had a free online calendar that he was using. As for the times on the aircraft, the pilots were taking a picture of the FMS, sharing that through a WhatsApp group and someone else had to take the numbers down from the picture and put them into the log book.

    Basically, the whole system was incredibly cumbersome and there was a lot of room for error.

    And what are you most looking forward to the new functionality being able to do?

    I would say helping us go paperless is a big goal. I inherited a system where the pilots were in control of their duty times. At the end of the month they’d have to fill out and submit their duty logs, and I was forever chasing them for this because they’d never turn them in on time.

    Having everything in one system – aircraft availability, maintenance, pilot duty times, their training and when that’s due – that will be so easy and seamless. I think we’re almost there… we’re actually really close. That’s what we most look forward to having.

    I imagine that’ll really improve how efficiently you can operate.

    The new crew scheduling functionality will save us a lot of time and stress, and ultimately money too.

    At the operator’s end, if we miss a training time for a pilot, then we could potentially not have  a pilot that’s current to use on a trip. And for dispatchers, being notified exactly when an airline must come in for maintenance lets them plan around that.

    Having a scheduling system that helps think for us will be invaluable.

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    Are you also interested in accessing our latest crew scheduling features? Watch our webinar to get full coverage, register your details and we will reach out to you. Register here!