People will only begin to see the benefits of cryptocurrency and methods of alternative finance when they affect their lives. This comes in many forms, including when these payment methods become readily available. For example, The Metropolitan Hotel became the first location for a Bitcoin ATM in Sydney. Not only does this set them apart from competitors in the present, but it shows their commitment to the future of finance and consumer choice.
While it is a small step for alternative finance going forwards, could the travel industry become known for alternative methods of finance?
Changing Finance in Travel
E-wallets are a signifier of this move towards alternative payment methods. In China, for example, 49% of its digital travel spend comes from e-wallets. Some experts suggest in the US, by 2025, these methods could surpass the credit card. Smartphone payments are also on the rise. Many suggest this could be due to the extra authentication needed for using them. Indeed, many have thumbprint or facial recognition features. Most people who use e-wallets or alternate methods of payment do so because of the security factors built into their designs.
The ability to offer alternative payment options also gives travel a feeling of greater luxury and helps elevate it. First Class lounges could experience these methods faster, for example, and they could be used as a way for airlines and hotels to show their commitment to technology and their grasp on the current trends. As cryptocurrency is considered a high-value asset class, being able to spend the currency could be a mark of extravagance.
One of the main benefits of certain alternative finance options, such as e-wallets, is the way they simplify things. For those travelling to a wide range of countries in one trip, sifting through money and currency could add hassle. Instead, a quick fix through an e-wallet could allow for seamless financial interaction across borders.
As these methods are used by banking institutions to proliferate cross-border payments, it makes sense that they could be used for travellers when they want to expedite their crossing of borders.
Rise of Alternative Payments
It’s not just the travel industry that is embracing a multitude of different payment methods. Retail stores are increasingly expanding how they will accept payment. This comes as some e-wallets and methods are proven to be quicker and safer than some more traditional methods. Etsy, for example, allows its retailers to offer a variety of payment methods. Outside of retail other industries are also using this technology. Those wanting to choose an online casino site can go for more varied payment methods than they could before, with many sites offering Skrill and Neteller as payment options. This gives customers more variety and helps sites that allow more methods of deposit and withdrawal to use this as a point of differential advantage over competitors.
The travel industry benefits due to the interconnect global nature of it – so any trends in some countries may come more quickly to those lagging. Should international tourists, for example, suggest for these alternative payment options, then they may be more likely to be made available to the travel industry on the whole.