Will Cryptocurrency Payments in Travel Become Mainstream?
Over the last few months, I’ve noticed more discussions online about the role of cryptocurrency payments in travel. It makes a lot of sense that cryptocurrency payments are receiving a lot of attention—as of the end of 2022, the global cryptocurrency market cap is almost $800 billion. At its peak in October 2021, it was worth a staggering $2.9 trillion! In nearly all industries, businesses have welcomed cryptocurrency as an acceptable payment method.
Travel Companies Embracing Crypto Payments
In the aftermath of the pandemic, travel companies are hunting for new income streams and are keen to tap into new markets. As a result, several travel companies are turning to crypto payments in the hope that they can turn a higher profit on sales when the value of cryptocurrency rises over time. Travel companies that believe in the potential of cryptocurrency are now accepting payment in various cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Below are a few travel companies that have allowed their customers to pay for bookings with cryptocurrency:
Expedia, one of the world’s largest full-service travel websites, started accepting payments in Bitcoin back in 2014. According to Expedia’s terms and conditions, customers can pay for bookings in Bitcoin through their partner, Coinbase.
Travala is a blockchain-based travel booking platform that allows customers to pay for bookings using credit cards, debit cards and cryptocurrency payments. Travala accepts a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Solana.
CheapAir, an online travel agency, prides itself on having a “long relationship with the cryptocurrency community going back a decade.” The platform allows customers to pay for bookings with cryptocurrency and claims to be the first online travel agency to accept Bitcoin Cash and Dash payments for hotel and flight bookings.
Destinia, a website that offers customers deals on flights, hotels, apartments and vehicle rentals, allows customers to pay in cryptocurrency. Currently, Destinia only accepts payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
What Are The Advantages of Crypto Payments for Travel Bookings?
Several travel companies are allowing customers to pay for bookings with cryptocurrency for several reasons:
Cheap and instantaneous
One of the main advantages of crypto payments is that they are cheap to process and instantaneous. There’s no need to calculate the exchange rate, and payments won’t encounter any time-consuming bank bottlenecks.
Better privacy and security
Unlike payments made via traditional banks, cryptocurrency payments do not require you to provide your personal data. Plus, crypto payments are considered more secure than debit and credit card payments.
No transaction size limits
Traditional payment methods sometimes have transaction size limits. On the other hand, cryptocurrency payments have no limits on transaction size. This benefits those paying for expensive travel services, such as private jet services.
Demand for cryptocurrency payments in travel is growing. A survey conducted by Travala in 2021 found that one in four American travellers plan to pay for a part of their travel with cryptocurrency. In response, forward-thinking travel brands looking to differentiate themselves from competitors are starting to allow customers to pay with cryptocurrency.
Despite cryptocurrency being in its infancy, more travel firms are considering letting customers pay for services with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. However, while 2021 was a bullish year for cryptocurrency, 2022 was a different story. The failure of the terraUSD stablecoin, widespread liquidity problems across the crypto industry, and the unexpected but devastating collapse of the FTX exchange has damaged confidence in cryptocurrency. After all that has happened, only time will tell if cryptocurrency becomes a mainstream payment method for travel services.