The idea of mobile payments being up in the air could be taking on a whole new meaning.
Many airlines appear to want to enable travelers to pay by phone on the plane.
The majority (71%) of airlines believes the future of airline payments is in mobile, according to a new survey, and more than a third (36%) of them plan to accept mobile payments on-board flights within the next two years.
The number of airlines accepting mobile payments increased from 10% in 2012 to 25% last year, based on the survey of 68 traditional and low cost global airline carriers by WorldPay.
Airlines already provide a number of services by mobile and more appear to be on the way. As any frequent flyer knows, most airlines have mobile check-in and the survey found that 71% expect to within two years.
The reasons pushing mobile payments along for airlines are somewhat split, with half (50%) seeing it as a way to keep up with competitors and almost as many (45%) as a way to increase revenue.
Airlines expect that extra revenue to come from a number of places within the next two years:
Mobile also is overtaking self-service kiosks as an investment priority, according to the survey, with almost a third focused more on mobile devices. More than a third (40%) of airlines say kiosks will be less important in the future. The current investment priorities:
Mobile payments also present airlines with a broad range of challenges, with the risk of fraud at the top of the list. Here’s the complete list of challenges, based on the Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape report:
The biggest behavior modification here may be changing the flight announcements to turn off and put away a phone to take them out and power them up.