Air travel can be stressful to both fliers and staff. Fliers race to make connecting flights or finalize payments on vacation, while staff are caught up with overwhelming queues, not mentioning monitoring and preventing fraud in a small period of time with a big amount of fliers.
Anything that can remove frictions — including making payments easier — can make a big difference. In the midst of digitalization era, the travel industry have been working with third-party payment service providers (PSPs) to revolutionize their payment solutions and deliver a more seamless method. They take outside talent with greater expertise, but hiring and handling such firms impedes many travel companies’ from fostering the innovation initiatives necessary to maintain in the competitive space. Flyers
As costly as hiring third-party payment service providers can be, building an in-house payments system represents even more expense and responsibility. That said, the global travel industry knows it must innovate to win over customers. Travel companies understand that being innovative means managing a complex, multichannel and
international system. They are also well aware of that they must protect customers from
fraudsters whose methods grow more sophisticated by the second.
Travel companies give the
main factors behind payments innovation drivers
- internal operational stress
- customers’ suggestions
- employees’ suggestions
- competitors’ innovations
36% of travel companies believe payments innovations will decrease their costs.
Why innovation measures run into problems? At
78%, consumer data security is one of the biggest inhibitors to payments innovation. Following that was credit card data security imperatives, at
74%, which were listed as either "very" or "extremely" impeding. Incurred fraud losses came third.
Another problem companies encounter is abiding by
consumer protection laws while developing innovative payment methods. "It is important to take a step back and realize that consumer protection laws are not logistical variables, per se, but rather legal and operational imperatives. They also increase the value of a company’s services in the eyes of the customer, a fundamental facet of a travel company’s business model."
In-flight payments take off
Flight attendants also need better ways to accept flight payments, a need coming into focus under a recent Air Serbia initiative. The airline tapped U.K.-based mPOS provider ECR Retail Systems for its AirPoS solution, which aims to help airline staff sell food and other items to passengers at their seats. The devices accept payments via credit card, debit card and mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, and include a 2-D scanner, Wi-Fi 4G, Bluetooth connectivity and a silent printer. AirPOS is being installed in 20 aircrafts, according to a press release.