Harness the power of payments: Goodbye credit cards, hello APMs

In the first of our series on how airlines can harness the power of payments, we delve into the evolving world of alternative payment methods (APMs).

As the world of payments evolves, airlines have an opportunity to turn payments from a cost to a profit by embracing APMs payments. With the convenience of mobile devices, e-wallet options, QR codes, and new approaches to authentication, consumers are increasingly turning to APMs for their purchases, including airline tickets.

Analysis by Capital Economics shows that credit card use has been falling as consumers adopt APMs. Barely half of millennials own a credit card, and of those that don’t, 93% don’t plan to get one. Services like Apple Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay offer customers the convenience of not having to enter their payment and address details every time they make a purchase.

This trend extends beyond e-commerce sites. By implementing APMs, airlines can improve customer experiences, increase revenue, and decrease costs. As an industry leader, it is crucial for airlines to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on the growing trend of APMs.

Benefits of accepting APMs Payments

APMs are not only a convenient and friction-free way for consumers to make payments, but they also bring significant benefits for airlines.

Firstly, offering APMs improves customer satisfaction by providing a more convenient experience for travelers. Additionally, in many regions, credit card penetration is low due to restrictions in obtaining credit cards, tight credit limits, and a lack of customer security. Offering APMs can open up new markets by tailoring payment offerings to local payment types.

Secondly, alternative forms of payment can save airlines money. The high use of credit cards can be costly for airlines, and even a small savings of one or two percent per transaction can bring significant gains.

Airlines should also consider accepting Buy Now Pay Later and similar financial instruments for their ability to convert, such as online banking (ACH Debit). Because banks guarantee the funds, they offer quicker turnaround, fewer fraud claims, and are generally cheaper to accept as the payment does not need to go through the card network for processing. Methods like split payments, where a traveler can pay with more than one card, are also essential in meeting the expectations of today’s travelers.

To ensure specific customer needs are met, airlines need a defined and tailored payment strategy. This can include leveraging different payment methods for each customer category or collaborating with local payment providers to define an operating model that best suits local customers.

The good news is that, because airline bookings and transactions are largely digital, adopting APMs and creating a tailored checkout experience is easily achievable using Payment Orchestration. CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration Platform, Velocity, has a large ecosystem of alternative forms of payments, acquirers, and gateways that are already in use with our airline merchants. Velocity provides easy access to our console where you can configure and deploy APMs for different markets based on rules that are unique to your business. With a confident and proactive approach, airlines can turn payments from a cost to a profit by adopting APMs.

Stay flexible, stay competitive

APMs are constantly evolving and dynamic, and airlines need flexibility and control over their forms of payment. With Payment Orchestration, airlines have the ability to deploy and retract any APM with the click of a button, providing complete control over their payment ecosystem.

CellPoint Digital is the perfect partner for airlines looking to maximise their results. Our platform provides access to local, regional, and global payment methods, offering a single connection for full control over the financial supply chain. This includes deploying payment methods into digital sales channels, to reconciliation from multiple different sources of payment on a global basis.

With our solution, airlines can confidently navigate the ever-expanding world of APMs and stay ahead of the curve in the competitive airline industry. In the next blog, we will take a more holistic view of the payments ecosystem and show how Payment Orchestration can help airlines take full control of every aspect.

Payment Orchestration allows you to flexibly offer APMs to your passengers

Interested in adding Alternative Payment Methods to your payment ecosystem? Reach out to our experts today.