If you’re a college student who loves to travel, have a job that keeps you on the red eye or are have a frequent flyer account, then you’re sure to have those pesky airline miles or points that you just can’t use.
We all know how the story goes. You travel enough to have some points saved up but they’re never really enough for you to redeem say, a ticket. This can be both frustrating and counterproductive to the entire point of an airline’s customer loyalty points.
However, we might finally have a viable solution to this modern day problem. This issue could be solved with the help of blockchain technology. How you ask? Well, with blockchain businesses (in this case, airlines) can easily “tokenize” perks such as miles and points which they can then put to good use. This idea was first discussed in the International Air Transport Association’s “Blockchain in Aviation” whitepaper.
The paper outlined that unlike traditional airline databases and systems, blockchain has the ability to transform unused and limited flyer miles into mutually beneficial digital tokens and assets that can be redeemed to the delight of loyal passengers. These can then be exchanged for various services once the passenger is aboard the airline for example and can quite possibly help bring a newfound sense of goodwill for the airline.
This idea is not an entirely new one however, as Singapore Airlines’ KrisPay digital wallet made them the first airline in the world to launch their very own “blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet capability” which as per a press release will allow members to “Convert KrisPay miles earned to KrisFlyer miles (one KrisPay mile is equivalent to one KrisFlyer mile) instantaneously within seven days of accrual.”
According to Mr Tan Kai Ping, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President Marketing Planning,
“This latest enhancement to KrisPay will provide KrisFlyer members more opportunities to earn KrisFlyer miles through everyday purchases. It is part of our wider effort to leverage on digital technologies and innovation frameworks to enhance the KrisFlyer programme.”
This initiative by Singapore Airlines was the result of a collaboration with Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village which offers “audit, tax and advisory services” in order to provide “clients to mitigate risks and grasp opportunities.”
In a press release, Head of KPMG’s Digital Village, Singapore, Jan Reinmueller said about the project,
“With the blockchain-based digital wallet, it is a straightforward process for participating merchants to connect with the program and for customers to make purchases with their tokenised miles. The blockchain provides a distributed ledger that time-stamps every customer transaction in real-time, which provides significant cost and time efficiencies.”