There is a lot of talk about mobile payments at the moment, especially with solutions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet arriving on the scene in recent years. It is getting easier for people to pay on the go, and it is also getting easier for companies to accept mobile payments.
One industry where this is already making a big impact is the travel industry, and many companies in the industry can benefit from offering greater options for travellers who want to pay on mobile devices.
What Are Mobile Payments?
Mobile payments allow people to download an app on their smartphone and use their devices to pay for products and services without having to use their cards. This technology is seen as the future of payments because it provides more convenience and consumers do not need to carry cash or cards on them.
Apple Pay is one such solution, and it has been making headlines recently. Forbes recently asked whether 2016 would be the breakout year for the technology, and it is likely to become a lot more popular over the coming years. More companies are accepting this and other mobile wallets as a payment option, and the travel industry is taking advantage of this.
Benefits for Travellers
Quite simply, paying by phone is going to improve convenience for a lot of travellers. Customers like booking travel on their phones because it provides them with greater convenience, and this is especially so for travellers who often do not want to carry around a lot of cards and cash with them. If they can arrive at a hotel, for example, and pay for their stay and their food all from a phone, this is going to be very positive for them.
Benefits for Travel Companies
The more types of payment options companies can provide, the better. This is especially true for travel companies, who should aim to make it as easy to pay as possible. As mobile purchases become more popular, travel companies need to tap into this.
50 per cent of digital visits to Marriott International now come from mobile devices, according to Craig S. Smith, the president of Marriott International, as reported in 4Hoteliers. This shows how the market is changing, and how important it is becoming for companies to accept online payments via mobile devices. Services like Merchant Services UK allow companies to quickly and easily compare the solutions and find the best ones for them and their customers, making it easier than ever to find solutions.
As well as using mobiles to make online payments, more consumers are now using their devices as a form of payment. Travel companies are now accepting such payments—JetBlue was the first airline to start accepting Apple Pay—and they are realising that mobile wallets are great for encouraging more impulse purchases.
Travel Companies Need to Take Advantage of this Growing Trend
With the growing popularity of using mobile devices to pay for travel goods and services, and the greater convenience for consumers of doing so, travel companies need to get on board and start taking advantage of the benefits.
This is a sector that is only likely to grow in coming years. Travellers are especially worth targeting because they like to carry fewer cards and less cash, so mobile payment solutions offer them numerous benefits. By making it easier for travellers to pay, travel companies will reap the rewards, and now is the time to start offering this as an option.
Laura Potts aims to provide IT solutions in her work and has been involved in numerous travel industry projects. She likes to share her insights online and is a regular contributor for several business and technology websites.