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Consumers want to book airline tickets by mobile
Airlines can attract more mobile customers by allowing them to pay for flights via a mobile device, according to new research from payment processing firm WorldPay. Half of respondents said they would use their smartphone or tablet to purchase an airline ticket if the option was given.
Few airlines currently offer mobile payments to their customers, yet many consumers want the option to purchase airline tickets via their mobile device.
Such are the findings of WorldPay's "Perfect Passenger Payment" report. The survey of 4,500 consumers in nine countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, Japan and China, and 51 airlines, found that while just 6% of consumers had already used mobile to book an airline ticket, 50% would do so if the service were available. Just 10% of the airlines involved in the study offered mobile payment options.
Overall, 39% of online flight purchasers said they are comfortable buying goods and services using their mobile as the payment device and over half (58%) of consumers would like to use their smartphone or tablet device to pay for airline tickets. Almost two-thirds (62%) expect it to be an option available to them in the future.
According to the report, mobile has the potential to radically change the airline industry "A shift to mobile technology for payments has the potential to not only alter the way people check-out, but also check-in. A purchase on a mobile device could link the online experience of browsing and buying tickets to the offline experience of check-in and boarding in just a few easy clicks. What's more, 38% would be happy to store their payment details with the airline if it made future payments quicker and easier."
Operators are aware of the shift in channels and 84% of the 51 that participated in the study expect to expand their payment options in the near future.
Chinese passengers are the most advanced in using mobile payments. One in three (34%) has used a mobile device to purchase an airline ticket in the last year.
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