Corporate Traveller, a division of Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the largest travel companies in the world headquartered in Australia, has begun to accept payments using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
The company secured a strategic partnership with BitPay, a blockchain payment processor, to accept bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments for bookings on the platform.
Andy Hegley, UK General Manager at Corporate Traveller said :
We have been leading the way in terms of looking after the specific business travel needs of SME companies for the last 20 years. Our business is built around our customer and will only continue to be successful if we focus on the delivery of a customer service experience that clients will not receive anywhere else. That’s why we continue to evolve and pioneer products and services that are tailored to our clients in order to retain existing customers as well as reach new clients.
The Corporate Traveller executive emphasized that the company identified an increasing demand to pay in bitcoin for travel bookings.
In March, CCN.com reported that the Digitec Galaxus Group, the biggest e-commerce platform in Switzerland, integrated cryptocurrency payments through a payment service provider known as Coinify.
At the time, Oliver Herren, the chief innovation officer at the Digitec Galaxus Group, said that the company is not certain whether cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide an edge over existing technologies and payment services.
Herren noted that it is possible the company had not put in sufficient efforts to better understand the technology and as such, integrated cryptocurrency payments to test the system.
However, Corporate Traveller said in an official announcement that the firm has seen an increase in interest in cryptocurrencies and exponential growth in the blockchain industry, which ultimately led the company to integrate cryptocurrencies.
“We identified an increasing demand from our clients for the option to pay in bitcoin for business travel bookings made by our travel consultants. We chose BitPay to manage our merchant processing because they make it easy and handle the entire process of getting the Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash from the customer and depositing cash into our account,” UK General Manager at Corporate Traveller Andy Hegley said.
Hegley added that Corporate Traveller is the first business travel management company to offer a bitcoin payment option in the UK.
The blockchain industry is growing exponentially and we are excited to be able to offer our clients the ability to pay in bitcoin, whilst having the reassurance of our settlement from BitPay being in pounds sterling. We believe Corporate Traveller is the first business travel management company to offer this payment option to SMEs in the UK,” added Hegley.
Merchant adoption has been a key issue the cryptocurrency sector has struggled to address in the past several years mostly due to the reluctance of legacy payment service providers to share their platforms with cryptocurrency businesses.
In most regions, merchants were pushed to adopt an independent system to integrate cryptocurrencies, which can be inefficient and expensive for small to medium-size businesses.
Consequently, major businesses have been the first to integrate cryptocurrencies and accept crypto assets for payments, with Japan’s Bic Camera being one of the first major retailers to accept cryptocurrencies.
With Starbucks reportedly considering the integration of bitcoin payments by 2020 as a part of its deal with Bakkt, more major merchants and businesses are expected to adopt cryptocurrencies in the foreseeable future.
For small to medium-size businesses, however, it may take a longer time to adopt digital assets.