TUI Group enforces B2B contracts with esignatures

TUI Group is a multinational travel and tourism company headquartered in Germany. It is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world, and owns travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise ships and retail stores.

4 minute read


Executive Summary

Business Objectives
  • Find a fast, efficient, and legally enforceable way to do business with travel agency partners online.
The Problem
  • TUI had digitized their bookings contract and made it available online, but without a signature, the contracts were not enforceable.
The Solution
  • OneSpan Sign
  • The OneSpan Sign e-signature service made it easy to get started and demonstrate success; TUI is now expanding e-signatures to other use cases
  • EU data hosting
  • Legal enforceability
  • Click- or tap-to-sign on any device
  • Bulk Send feature makes it easy to send 750 contracts in a single transaction

Challenge: Capture Signatures Online

Prior to e-signatures, TUI Group struggled to find a fast, efficient and enforceable way to transact with third-party travel agency partners. Twice a year, travel agencies place their bookings with TUI, the tour operator, for flights and other services. Rather than send out contracts for signature by courier or postal mail, which was expensive and time-consuming, TUI simply made its contracts available online.

However, the company had no means to capture signatures online from travel agencies. This exposed TUI to financial risk. Without a signature, the contracts were not enforceable – agencies could claim in court that they had not read the contracts and therefore did not know the applicable policy rules.

Vendor Evaluation & Requirements

TUI’s IT department was tasked with evaluating four e-signature vendors for their various offices and departments throughout Europe. While two vendors were already being used in small pockets elsewhere in the company, TUI needed a single e-signature provider that could meet all enterprise requirements, including:

  • A browser-based solution with no desktop client install
  • World-class document and transaction security
  • A click-to-sign solution that could be used on any device
  • Ease of use, especially for external users
  • Flexible authentication options to accommodate a range of processes across the enterprise
  • Cost-effective pricing, even for small volumes of documents • European data hosting with disaster recovery back-up also in Europe

To the last point, TUI’s corporate rules forbid data storage outside the EU; OneSpan’s European data centers gave TUI options for using the cloud service within Europe and in compliance with the company’s IT policies.

We have to meet security and compliance rules and the local data hosting was a deciding factor in our selection of OneSpan.

Didier VerscheureIT Manager

Solution: OneSpan for TUI’s Belgium and Netherlands partners

TUI decided to start small, testing OneSpan Sign’s cloud-based e-signature service with the travel agency use case involving more than 750 agencies in Belgium and the Netherlands. TUI was able to start sending documents for e-signature immediately.

Twice a year, one TUI employee sends the 16-page PDF contract to all agency partners. Because the OneSpan Sign web app includes a Bulk Send feature, the employee does not need to create and send separate transactions for each agency. She simply imports the list of signers, specifies details such as the authentication method (in this case, email authentication), and OneSpan Sign takes care of the rest. The job takes three hours, from preparing the list of recipients in Excel to the time she sends the contract out through the OneSpan Sign service.

The process also has to be quick and efficient for signers. Once TUI sends out the contracts and associated promotional pricing, travel agencies have only one week to e-sign and lock in their bookings. The signer experience happens in four steps:

Solution: OneSpan for TUI’s Belgium and Netherlands partners

An email notification informs the owner of the travel agency that a contract requires their e-signature.

The owner clicks the link, authenticates, and the 16-page PDF is displayed in the web or mobile browser.

The owner clicks or taps to sign in the browser, to confirm agreement with TUI’s terms and conditions.

Finally, the owner has the option to download a copy of the e-signed document.

TUI can also track which agencies have signed. This is important – if the travel agencies don’t sign, TUI cannot do business with them. Once each agency finalizes their contract, it appears in OneSpan Sign under that particular agency’s name. TUI stores the e-signed contracts directly in the OneSpan Sign service, but also has the flexibility to download and store them locally.

Result: Success encourages expansion among other TUI functions

Positive user feedback and the ROI experienced to date have laid the groundwork for the expansion of e-signatures. After 18 months of successfully capturing signatures from external partners, TUI is now expanding e-signatures to other functional areas across the company:

  • Human Resources will adopt OneSpan Sign for performance evaluations and other confidential documents among its 1,500 employees.
  • Field reps who visit, inspect and close contracts with hotels will be given access to e-signatures to sign documents on the road, from any country.
  • Accounting will integrate OneSpan Sign with its RACS financial management platform.


Taking a crawl-walk-run approach is a common way to get started with e-signatures. Across organizations of all sizes, the stand-alone OneSpan Sign web app and OneSpan Sign connectors for Salesforce, SharePoint, Box and other common business applications are all low-risk ways to prove success, ROI and user adoption. And by laying the groundwork with an initial use case, your organization can apply and refine best practices for training and change management before expanding the technology across the board.

To learn how e-sign technology can benefit your specific use case, visit