Connected consumers driving demand for mobile payment in airline industry

Airlines should enable mobile payments throughout their operations, according to a new industry brief from CellPoint Mobile.

The brief — Passengers, Payments & Profitability — says that travellers are looking to use their smartphones and built-in digital wallets to make on-the-go payment for a range of travel-related products and services.

By embracing passengers’ payment expectations and embedding mobile payment solutions into their operations, airlines can generate more revenues and enhance their profitability, CellPoint Mobile says.

Juniper Research estimates that as much as 20% of the world’s $12tn (£9.5tn) in retail transactions by 2021 will take place on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, research by Expedia/Egencia shows that consumers around the world describe the smartphone as their “most indispensable” device for travel. Travellers now have access to hundreds of global and regional mobile wallet solutions and alternative payment methods, and they expect the ability to book, buy and upgrade directly from the mobile environment.

“Airlines’ growth strategies must include operational integration and deployment of these new mobile payment methods if they hope to capture revenues from a payments ecosystem that is transitioning from credit/debit payments and cash to the mobile environment,” CellPoint Mobile said.

New revenues via mobile transactions could include the direct sale of tickets and services, ancillary products, day-of-travel purchases and upgrades, impulse purchases and loyalty scheme transactions.

Airlines that respond to this change “will be in a better position to meet the demands and expectations of their mobile-centric passengers and to reach their goals for continued growth and financial success for the remainder of this decade,” the brief concludes.

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