Tag Archive: The Node

  1. Mike Prachar – How Paynode is proving to be the perfect payment partner for this fast-growing operator

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    Hi Mike. Can you tell us a little about Volato

    We are a full-service private aviation company that primarily operates the HondaJet. We offer fractional ownership, the Stretch Jet Card, charter and aircraft management. In our fractional program, by offering shares down to a 16th size, we remove the cost of entry barrier for more people who want to get involved and enjoy the benefits of private jet ownership.

    What’s special about our model is that owners in our fractional program can fly as little or as much as they like, and they earn a revenue share every time their aircraft flights a live mission – even when they fly. The HondaJet is perfect for four passenger missions, is 40% less expensive to operate, is quieter, and yet has all the comfort and luxury of larger jets.


    And I believe you’re growing fast

    Yes, we are. We’re getting a lot of requests for larger aircraft, which is something we weren’t planning to do right away, but we’ve listened to our customers.

    We have 11 HondaJets in the fleet with 18 more on order and we just announced our order for four Gulfstream G280s in a ten passenger configuration that we will also fractionalize.  

    Our charter operations incorporate an even broader range of modern aircraft. These are exciting times for sure.


    How did you first come to use Paynode?
    When we were exploring how to best manage payments on the charter side, it made sense to choose a solution that was as close to turnkey as you can get. Paynode was an easy choice for us because it ticked that box, plus we were already Schedaero and Avinode customers since day.

    With the revenue share model we offer, we want to fly our planes as much as possible to offset our owners’ costs. If they themselves only fly a little each year, the majority of their costs can be covered by us. That’s where Avinode and Paynode play a big part in our story.


    How about dealing with other brokers who are Paynode users?
    That’s something we’re not taking as much advantage of just now, but we hope to do more of in the future. We have a couple of customers buying from us through Paynode, and it’s so nice to avoid the whole wire situation. As Paynode’s footprint grows – especially here in the US – we’ll be doing even more of that for sure.


    What features would you say offer the biggest benefit to your business?

    Not so much a feature, but I find the entire process of managing a reservation very easy with Paynode.
    From placing a credit card hold, then either collecting the money on the card or, if the ACH comes in time, switching to that and being able to manage that as a single translation. In my opinion, that’s the most useful feature in terms of saving us time.

    Paynode also manages credit card holds seamlessly and removes the complexity that you find with the standard direct banking way of doing things.


    And what would you improve?

    There are a few improvements that I’d like to see which would enhance Paynode.

    Right now, there’s a ten day hold on the system, and it’s not always clear when these are going to expire. Some form of notification on this would be helpful. Also, if we have to do a refund there’s no way to do that or track it with Paynode. It would be nice if we could design something into the system that makes this easier to manage.

    Having said that, the overall concept of Paynode is really sound, and the feature set is very good. It would just be even better with these new additions.


    How have you found using the Paynode system?

    Personally, I was shown the system, and was up and running right away. It’s that straightforward. Part of the beauty of Paynode is that you train your team – like we did with our Charter Sales team – and it just works.

    It enables them to always be fully aware of what’s happening. They can access the payment mechanisms and know when cash comes in, without having to go back and forth to accounting all the time. Also, we don’t have to give every team member access to more of the financial system than they need.


    So, you’re happy with what Paynode brings to Volato

    Absolutely. The integration with Avinode is a big deal for us. Avinode is one of our key input streams for charter business and as long as there continues to be enough business for us on the platform, we’re happy there.

    We have a number of accounts payable and accounts receivable mechanisms in and out of the company, and we’re very happy keeping the charter business on Paynode. We haven’t found the need to look for a better solution, and I don’t think there even is one that’s more tailored to the charter industry.

  2. 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.

  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.