WEX Inc. said Wednesday that it has partnered with an electronic billing services company called Voxel Group to provide “virtual payment solutions” to the hospitality industry.

WEX, a publicly traded provider of corporate payment systems based in South Portland, described the partnership in a news release as “a major breakthrough in our business model.”

Based in Barcelona, Spain, Voxel operates a service called baVel that communicates directly with hotel property management systems to provide virtual, paperless invoices to clients such as online travel agents, tour operators and travel management firms.

Combining the technologies owned by WEX and Voxel enables automatic validation of invoices and payments to be processed in real time, allowing travel companies to streamline their settlement procedures, and hoteliers to get paid significantly faster, WEX said.

WEX started out by offering electronic payment systems to vehicle fleet operators but has since branched out into the hospitality and healthcare industries.

In midday trading Wednesday, WEX’s stock price was down slightly to $82.01.

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