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Payment is undergoing fundamental changes throughout the world. In Sweden, cash accounted for just two percent of the value of payments in 2016; India recently took 500 and 1,000 rupee notes out of circulation in a bid to move to a cashless future. And in Britain, it is no longer possible to pay for a journey on an iconic London bus unless you have a contactless card or mobile wallet.
Against this background, it is curious that paying for ancillary services in airports remains such an arcane and awkward process, despite airlines earning an estimated 67 billion dollars from the sale of ancillary services in 2016: to pay in the airport, passengers are typically sent from the check-in desk to an airline sales desk in a different part of the airport and in many cases are paying using the magnetic stripe on the back of a payment card, which is as easy to copy as that mix tape you made for the girl or boy liked in school in 1993.
Many airlines we speak to are looking to iron out this wrinkle in the airport experience and drag airport payments into the 21st century. Lufthansa is out in front here: in a few months’ time you will be able to pay for excess baggage or an upgrade to business class with Apple Pay or a contactless card at a Lufthansa check-in desk in 170 airports. If you are looking at how to improve the experience and increase the security of airport payments, this report is for you. Amadeus has spent a good number of years (more than we’d like to admit…!) investigating the problem, together with airlines like Lufthansa, and we have tried different approaches, some of which, once implemented, turned out to be dead-ends.
This document distils what we have learned into 6 key principles to help you choose an airport payment solution. You can apply these principles to any provider – they are not specific to Amadeus’ own product (although if you would like to speak to us about Amadeus Airport Pay…).
In fact we encourage anyone reading this to take the points in this document and discuss them with your IT provider, payments provider, Common Use Terminal provider and anyone else who can help you settle on the right payment solution for your airline or airport. We hope you enjoy it!