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Travel hacks for crypto lovers
As the business travel industry begins to return to normal after the Covid pandemic, companies in the sector are looking for new potential markets and revenue streams.
The impressive growth of the cryptocurrency market – even if the growth in their value does not necessarily go in the same direction as the market as a whole – means that many companies are starting to show interest in accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Travel companies may now have to get used to working with currencies like Ethereum, Tether and even Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started out as a “joke” but now has over 130 million in circulation.
Payments in cryptocurrency are not only popular with merchants. There have been only a few forays into cryptocurrencies in the business travel sector despite the potential of the market. Corporate Traveler partnered with BitPay in April 2019 to “lead crypto payments in the business travel sector”, becoming the first TMC to accept them. As the company began offering cryptocurrencies as a payment method, it has generated renewed interest from customers. In July 2022, Kuoni Business Travel announced that it would begin accepting crypto payments, with the company’s Andreas Schneider saying that customers are “becoming more modern and innovative.” Business Travel Association chief executive Clive Ratten says that despite Corporate Traveler’s pioneering status and Kuoni’s recent announcement, there is little or no desire to make payments using cryptocurrencies on business travel at the moment.
Online travel agent Alternative Airlines began accepting cryptocurrency payments in 2018.
The company says that crypto payments currently make up three percent of its total order volume, and that figure is growing rapidly.
According to company representative, one of the most attractive aspects of the cryptocurrency business for the company is that purchases are typically three times the cost of transactions made using other payment methods.
While TMC takeover has been limited, an increasing number of vendors are joining the crypto party. Air Baltic became the first airline in the world to accept bitcoin back in 2014. At the end of 2021, the airline said that the number of bookings made using cryptocurrency increased by 44% year on year and that more than 1,000 customers used them. as a payment method.
LOT Polish Airlines started accepting cryptocurrency a year later, but a stream of airlines has been slow to offer the same payment method. This may change.
In September 2021, BitPay signed an agreement with UATP, a global network for air, rail and travel payments.
One of the next carriers to join the UATP partnership will be Vueling, which will be the first low-cost airline in Europe to accept cryptocurrencies.
Some private charter companies have been accepting cryptocurrencies for years, according to some market insights and research.
Some reports suggest that 300 million people hold the currency in crypto wallets around the world. The number of companies operating in this sector is also growing. Cryptocurrency is unlikely to replace other forms of payment anytime soon, not least because existing methods such as corporate cards and house cards have proven themselves so well in the sector. However, Theobald is confident that everything will change. As business travel companies look to grow as the horrors of the pandemic fade, it would be a bold move for a company to completely ignore cryptocurrencies.
Licensed fintech and neobanking projects like Quppy offer competitive partnership purchase of transport and accommodation within the app using crypto and fiat accounts. These partnerships enable projects like Quppy to offer their customers travel facilities at competitive pricing while the purchase is being made in the comfortable currency for the customer at the moment of payment from any part of the world.