United Kingdom’s largest travel firm, Corporate Traveller, has just added cryptocurrency as a legit method of payment, according to a press release issued on April 15.
When they first came around, both blockchain and cryptos were linked to the financial sector. However, they have managed to outgrow that association as major companies like Corporate Traveller have started incorporating them in their ecosystem.
Corporate Traveller is a division of Flight Center Travel Group. With offices in 20 locations nationwide, it is regarded as one of the largest travel companies not only in the U.K. but also around the world. The company has carved a niche in the market in providing services to SME companies. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) refer to the businesses with fewer than 250 employees. There were 5.2 million SMEs in the U.K. in 2014.
The travel firm has struck a partnership with BitPay in order to launch the new crypto service. BitPay enables transactions from any computer or mobile device. The invoices can be generated through email or as online transactions, making it convenient and reliable for companies.
The fact that the firm has partnered with BitPay gives it away that it is accepting bitcoin, which is basically an ATM for Bitcoin. According to reports, the company chose BitPay because they make it easy to handle the entire process of getting bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash from the customer and depositing cash into the company’s account.
Why is Corporate Traveller Accepting Crypto Payments?
The firm takes pride in leading the way for over 20 years in terms of looking after the specific business travel needs of SME companies. The company accredits this success to their customer oriented design. Andy Hegley, UK General Manager, Corporate Traveller, says:
“Our business is built around our customer and will only continue to be successful if we focus on the delivery of a customer service experience that clients will not receive anywhere else. That’s why we continue to evolve and pioneer products and services that are tailored to our clients in order to retain existing customers as well as reach new clients.”
This move is very much a result of customer demand, Hegley explained and said that the company had identified an increasing demand from their clients for the option to pay in bitcoin for business travel bookings made by their travel consultants. She further added:
The blockchain industry is growing exponentially and we are excited to be able to offer our clients the ability to pay in bitcoin.
However, with bitcoin comes price volatility. Only last week bitcoin dropped from $5,400 levels to below $5,000 and experts expect it might plummet further in the coming weeks. This begs the question: how will Corporate Traveller handle the volatility of the crypto market? Reportedly, the firm is rather unconcerned about it because they believe there is no risk to the company, as bitcoin payments will be converted directly into British pounds, courtesy BitPay. It only charges a 1% commission for approving the Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash transaction and settlement, which is surprisingly cheaper compared to the credit card processing fees.
Other Firms in the Travel Industry Accepting Cryptos
While Corporate Traveller is the first business travel management company to offer this payment option to SMEs specifically in the UK, it is not the only travel firm accepting crypto payments.
The Latvian carrier began accepting bitcoin for payment back in 2015 and utilizes BitPay as the payment processor.
Taiwanese Airline recently announced that it would accept crypto payments for flight tickets and other services.
Travel Industry and Crypto Driven Solutions
Despite substantial and continuous developments in engineering new machines for transportation, the travel industry still has its flaws. There are several projects that are leveraging the blockchain technology to make the industry as seamless as possible.
Trustabit aims at tokenizing airline rewards in order to eliminate redundancies in rebooking passengers whose flights have been delayed or canceled.
Through Airstayz travellers can easily choose all the services they will need for their trip in one place. Travel service providers – hotels, restaurants, transport providers, event venues, and other local businesses are pat of the marketplace’s ecosystem.
SandBlock is a platform that enables companies to tokenize loyalty rewards and enable customers to redeem them in a much easier and simpler way.
TripBit is a cryptocurrency-oriented project for the travel industry. The project proposes a mechanism which will facilitate payment all across the travel industry by including payments for flights, hotels and events that are in its scope via cryptocurrency.
With so many projects working on enhancing the travel experience, blockchain appears to be all set in making travel a breeze for everyone.