As we venture into an era of heightened global mobility, the airline industry faces a conundrum. According to a study by Edgar, Dunn & Company, airlines manage an astounding $977 billion in payments annually, from ticket sales to ancillaries and taxes. These transactions incur costs of around $20.3 billion, or 2.2% of the total transaction value. Traditionally, airlines have zeroed in on reducing these overheads, particularly the fees owed to card providers. Yet, as Natasha Ansell of Visa posits, "Looking at only cost is a very limited view." and costs don't fully encapsulate the value inherent in the payments ecosystem.
Credit Cards aren't merely a payment method; they are a multifaceted financial tool. They offer convenience, security, and instant authorisation, all underpinned by consumer trust. Indeed, the payment process through cards seldom deters customers while providing airlines with prompt, reliable payment. This aids immensely in financial planning and boosts overall sales, often through synergies with loyalty programmes.
In the evolving landscape of payments, where alternatives like #BuyNowPayLater schemes are emerging, cards remain resolutely pertinent. They're universal, secure, and, most importantly, they provide a trove of data at every touchpoint of a customer's journey. It is worth noting that there can be as many as 10 touchpoints during a single trip, from booking the flight to in-flight purchases. Each touchpoint offers data, helping businesses understand customer behaviour, thus providing invaluable insights for cross-selling and upselling.
At Tymit, we resonate with this ethos. Our uniquely tailored credit card service extends beyond mere transactional functions, adding layers of value for both consumers and business partners. Consumers relish the flexibility of customising their payments over monthly instalments, a boon for expensive, often unforeseen, travel costs. On the B2B2C frontier, we offer business partners, many of whom belong to the travel sector, full ownership of customer data, streamlined UX, and complimentary services. This facilitates not just cost-saving but also strategic, data-driven decision-making.
The Modern Airline Retailing program, spearheaded by International Air Transport Association (IATA) and backed by leading global airlines, proposes a shift to a system of “Offers and Orders”. This evolution is designed to parallel modern retail practices, ensuring customers experience a seamless digital journey. The program stands on three pillars: Customer Identification, Retailing with Offers, and Delivery with Orders. These elements are devised to enhance customer experience and simplify complex travel processes.
In the realm of Customer Identification, Tymit's tailored credit services align seamlessly with the proposed industry standards. Our focus on user-friendly identification and contactless transactions based on advanced data and biometrics could be a part of the future where airlines offer a frictionless experience across channels and touchpoints.
When it comes to Retailing with Offers, our platform can help airlines offer more personalised, dynamic pricing and bundled offers, including third-party services. We are a natural fit for the burgeoning New Distribution Capability (NDC) interfaces, which already account for over one in 10 travel agent sales. Delivery with Orders will transform the often cumbersome travel document system. Here, too, Tymit can play a role by simplifying payment and post-payment processes, especially useful when dealing with travel disruptions or itinerary changes.
Numerous industry leaders have backed this transformative approach. Lufthansa Group airlines, American Airlines, Oman Air, and Air Canada, among others, express strong commitment to this modernisation. They see this as a collaborative effort that benefits not just airlines but also tech partners, setting the stage for an industry-wide technological leap.
At Tymit, we believe that our credit card services are not just a means to an end, but a strategic tool in this significant transition. We're geared up to contribute to the transformation of the airline industry, offering both consumers and our B2B partners tangible value that goes far beyond mere transactional savings. As the landscape shifts toward being more customer-centric, Tymit stands as a value-added partner, ready to enhance and simplify the customer journey in this modern retailing era.