Airlines to focus on mobile payments and social media: WorldPay research

The number of airlines offering on-board mobile payments will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years, according to research by WorldPay.

The number of airlines offering on-board mobile payments will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years, according to research by WorldPay.

WorldPay surveyed 68 global carriers and found that 83% of airlines believe that deployment of new payment technology is a major business priority.

Over 70% of participants believe mobile is the future of airline payments, with 50% seeing mobile payments as a way to keep up with competitors and increase revenues.

18% of airlines plan to accept e-wallets on-board by 2016.

Alongside the focus on mobile payments, 29% of carriers are planning to enable sales via social media channels in the next 12 months.

Mike Parkinson, WorldPay VP Airlines, said: "Mobile is not without its challenges – carriers cite increased fraud risk, integration with current systems and processes and mobile platform diversity as the biggest concerns.

"But with more than three quarters of the world’s population now having access to a mobile device, airlines can’t afford to ignore this high-growth channel," he added.

The WorldPay research showed 40% of airlines believe self-service kiosks will be less important in the future, with only 17% of airlines planning to invest more in developing kiosk services.

This is due to challenges such as the cost to implement and maintain kiosks, difficulties integrating with current processes and the inability to read chip and PIN cards.

The survey was part of WorldPay’s "Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape: Airline Distribution Channels" report.

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