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Here’s a closer look at the report’s section on payments
The new normal sees travellers call an Uber from an App, settle their lunch bill with Zapper and pay for their visa on arrival in cash. The way in which people pay for elements of their trip is changing rapidly, with alternative payment methods like mPesa in East Africa entering the cash and credit card fray.
And then we have tokenisation and cryptocurrencies, the latter consistently addressed in 2017 without much clarification on how it will impact travel. Industry pundits say it’s too early to tell how the likes of blockchain will replace existing methods of travel distribution.
Blockchain is a decentralised encrypted database where digital transactions can be stored and organised in a transparent, verifiable and secure way and brings such benefits as reducing fraud and errors, and ensures the information is auditable always.
The consensus is that it needs to be cheaper or better than the Global Distribution Systems that currently allow a travel agent to book a flight, hotel or car.
That said, however, travel suppliers are starting to experiment with Blockchain technology and are aware of where the technology can play a role in future, for example in settling payments between travel providers and streamlining traveller ID verification. Lufthansa and Air New Zealand, for example, are moving towards a blockchain-based distribution platform.