71% of Airlines See Mobile as the Future of Airline Payments

Airlines see mobile as future of payments
photo: Wikipedia Commons

Mobile and social media will be a focus for airlines over the next few years, according to a recent survey from airline payment processing company WorldPay. Kiosks will become less important, and sales will shift to social media and mobile. A whopping 83% of airlines believe that improvement and deployment of new payment technology is a major business priority.

And mobile looks like the future of those improvements. Over two-thirds – 71% – of respondents believe the future of airlines payments lies in mobile.  Mobile payments are considered both a way to keep up with competitors (50%) and a way to increase revenues (45%). In the future, mobile services will include seat upgrades, booking management, onward travel and inflight purchases.

Social media will also play a major role in this shift. Most carriers already have a presence on the major social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and this will increase in the next two years; 40% of carriers plan to be active on Google+ in the next year alone.

Nearly one-third (29%) of airlines will enable sales via social media in the next 12 months.  Social media-savvy KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began offering social media booking and sales as an option back in February.

Here are some additional highlights from the survey of 68 global carriers (including both low-cost and traditional airlines):

  • mobile acceptance on-board flights will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years
  • 18% of airlines will accept e-wallets on board by 2016
  • 40% believe self-service kiosks will be less important in the future

“Mobile is not without its challenges…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, ” says Mike Parkinson, WorldPay VP Airlines.

Download the full report here — Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape: Airline Distribution Channels.