Reimagining of money – time for travel merchants to act?

23rd December, 2020

Paying for a transaction, clearing bills, finalizing a loan…activities associated with money are evolving.

Not only the likes of Amazon and Google, but fintech start-ups and growth-stage companies are leading novel initiatives that are being deemed as simple and secure. Examples - using a palm for various activities is what Amazon is working, whereas Google is looking at a new way to bank.

Explaining how “challengers” are leveraging technology and data, for instance, in the manner in which credit is accessed, consumed and cleared, Jonathan Vaux says with a pragmatic approach tailored offerings are being crafted for consumers.

“(Challengers) have not treated credit as a “product”, but rather a feature or ingredient that can be tailored and configured to best serve the needs of the user,” he says. Vaux, in a blog post added, “If a customer has an immediate need to purchase a high-ticket item and needs some short-term funding until some cashflow pressures are resolved, this can now be easily configured in modern financial services.”


Counting on data 

Be it for travel e-commerce players or any other sector such as financial services, data analytics is going to become even more critical as entities look to gain access to alternative sources of data to enrich their understanding of customers and their risk exposures. 

Travel e-commerce players need to have a thorough understanding of their (limited) place in the customer’s circle of purchase points around daily needs. Travellers not only buy travel products, but they also need to assistance with paying bills, sending money, buying online, and managing expenses. 

Collaborative route 

Travel e-commerce players can partner with fintech apps by offering complementary products on each other’s platforms, thereby mutually growing customer bases without needing to develop entire platforms. Investing in new lines of business is a challenging undertaking, even for established online travel players. It requires long-term technological investment, brand development, as well as significant legal efforts and regulatory requirements to be addressed. Fintech apps will face the same challenges as established OTAs do when it comes to introducing new products or services. Organic growth is not for everyone. Instead, those who have the financial strength will likely look down the acquisition path as a way to expand business lines that support further access to the full circle of purchase contacts of their customers, including acquisition of some fintech players. 

How travel brands foray and strengthen their place in this “money-reimagined “loop is a trend worth watching out for.


Ritesh Gupta

Ai Team