Airlines are focused on innovating their mobile payment offerings to capture anticipated revenue potential, according to the Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape: Airlines and Alternatives – The Facts whitepaper, launched by WorldPay, a leader in airline settlements and payments.
The whitepaper, based on a research study of 56 global airline carriers – from low cost to traditional – found that mobile payments (payments for transactions made on a mobile device) are now a key area of focus for airlines: 57 per cent of airlines said mobile has the greatest potential to drive revenue over the next two years – equal to credit cards (57 per cent).
The acceptance of mobile payments has already grown to 25 per cent in 2013, an increase from 10 per cent in 2012.
Chris Chandler, vice president, financial services, Emirates Airline, said, “We currently accept payment through mobile devices through the mobile version of the website, and plan to accept all payment types on all devices in the future.”
The research also explored the alternative payment landscape for airlines and the biggest drivers for adoption of alternative payment schemes. Meeting customer demand and offering choice was the top reason (89 per cent), followed by the cost savings that can be made by customers using alternative payment methods instead of credit cards (64 per cent).
Key findings from the alternative payment and distribution landscape whitepaper include:
Payment options – in 2013, credit cards (96 per cent), charge cards (86 per cent), debit cards (64 per cent), air miles/loyalty points (54 per cent) and e-wallets (38 per cent) were the top payment methods accepted by airlines.
Future of payment – a third (32 per cent) of airlines are planning to offer mobile payments in the next two years, with e-wallets (29 per cent) and online bank transfers (29 per cent) also on the development radar.
Benefits of multiple payment methods – providing the ability to reach new customer segments (63 per cent), lower payment processing fees (61 per cent) and lower fraud rates (50 per cent) were cited as the top three benefits of offering a range of payment options online.
Incentives offered – 86 per cent of airlines in 2013 offered discounts or rewards for customers using alternative payment methods to credit cards; an increase from 55 per cent in 2012.
Mike Parkinson, vice president, airlines, WorldPay, said, “Airlines have recognised the revenue opportunities of mobile, and are now focused on improving their mobile offering. Over