Amadeus, PPRO team up on alternative payments for travellers

Photo by Suhyeon Choi

Travellers now choose alternative ways to pay for travel, such as e-wallets and bank transfers, more often than cards and cash combined, a report commissioned by Amadeus and PRRO shows.

The report titled “The Travel Payments Guide” finds that global fintech innovation is happening at a rapid pace and there are now more than 300 different ways to pay for travel across the world.

Growth is occurring across the world with e-wallets now twice as popular as cards in China, accounting for 49% of the country’s $155 billion digital travel spend.

In the United States, e-wallets may replace cards as the most popular way to pay by 2025, having gained an additional 4% share of the market in the last 12 months.

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.

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

Data from the report shows that Asia leads the way in alternative payments, accounting for 58% of the region’s spend, closely followed by EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) where alternative payments represent 53% of spend.

In North America, cards remain the most popular way to pay, representing 58% of all e-commerce spend, however that share has fallen from 62% just 12 months earlier.

“This data highlights how quickly the payments landscape is changing and the increasing complexity facing travel merchants,” said Bart Tompkins, managing director for payments at Amadeus.

“It should be noted that despite less travellers paying with cards directly, many e-Wallets do rely on the card networks in the background,” Tompkins said. “So, cards will continue to be essential payments infrastructure for our industry.”

James Booth, head of new business at PPRO, said some of the largest markets in the world are seeing alternative, local payments take more than 7% market share in a single year.