Travel Payments Reach ‘Tipping Point’ as Alternative Methods Surpass Cards and Cash

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Travellers now choose to pay for digital travel with alternative methods more often than cards and cash combined, accounting for 51% of global travel e-Commerce spend.

The way people shop and pay for travel is changing according to ‘The Travel Payments Guide’, a new report from ppro and Amadeus, charting the rise of alternative payment methods. The two companies have partnered to enable travel companies to accept high-growth alternative, local payments.

The report shows alternative payment methods are most popular in Asia, accounting for 59% of the region’s spend closely followed by EMEA at 52%. In North America cards remain the most popular way to pay, representing 58% of all e-Commerce spend but that share is down from 62% just 12 months earlier. E-wallets and bank transfers have both edged up by 2 percentage points during the same period.

Alternative payment methods now account for 51% of e-Commerce spend.

Growth in alternative payments is fastest in LATAM, with alternative methods capturing an additional 22% share of the market in both Argentina and Chile. This growth was driven primarily by e-Wallets with Argentinians choosing to make 16% of all e-Commerce purchases with an e-wallet in 2017, compared to less than 1% in 2016.

The report also marks a new partnership between ppro and Amadeus. The integration of ppro with Amadeus’ payment platform means travel companies can now easily accept the widest range of alternative, local payment methods such as real-time bank transfers, e-wallets and direct debit methods. Importantly, travel firms can now rapidly add and experiment with a new payment method, testing its impact in response to rapidly changing consumer payment preferences.

“Travel has always been at the forefront of e-Commerce and our data shows it commands a significant share of the pie. Our collaboration with Amadeus forms part of our mission to help companies get paid in any way their customer chooses to make that payment.

travel firms can now rapidly add and experiment with a new payment method, testing its impact in response to rapidly changing consumer payment preferences.

Some of the largest markets in the world are seeing alternative, local payments take more than 7% market share in a single year so travel merchants really do need to move quickly now,” adds James Booth, Head of New Business at ppro.

“This data highlights how quickly the payments landscape is changing and the increasing complexity facing travel merchants. That’s why we’ve teamed up with ppro to provide travel companies the ability to quickly add and test the widest range of alternative methods balancing revenue, cost and customer experience considerations to continually meet the evolving needs of travellers.

It should be noted that despite fewer travellers paying with cards directly, many e-wallets do rely on the card networks in the background. So cards will continue to be essential payments infrastructure for our industry,” comments Bart Tompkins, Managing Director, Payments, Amadeus.

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