Utrust, through a new partnership with online flight search platform Alternative Airlines will bring cryptocurrency payments to over 600 airlines as Alternative Airlines’ customers will be able to purchase flights to destinations across the globe using cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), DASH, DigiByte (DGB) and Utrust’s own UTK.
Thanks to Utrust, Alternative Airlines can now settle payments directly to its bank in fiat on the same day they are received, offering protection from potential market volatility. An IATA-accredited agency, Alternative Airlines was featured in the 2019 Sunday Times Fast Track Tech 100, which highlights the top 100 fastest growing technology companies and awarded Best Selling Travel Agent 2017.
Commenting on the partnership, Utrust CEO, Nuno Correia, said:
“For business or leisure, flight travel can be expensive with consumers saving for months to afford a trip. Considered a high ticket item, it is imperative that consumers are protected when booking flights. Utrust is providing Alternative Airlines’ customers with the increased security and convenience of cryptocurrency payments, and reducing processing fees, to bring greater transparency and trust to the world of online payments. ”
Utrust’s partnership with Alternative Airlines means travellers can pay for competitively priced flights across all major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Ryanair, and China Southern Airlines. Specializing in off-the-beaten-track destinations, Alternative Airlines also works with national and regional carriers such as Emetebe Airlines in the Galapagos Isles.
Sam Argyle, Managing Director of Alternative Airlines, said:
“At Alternative Airlines, we are dedicated to providing a seamless transaction process, while empowering our customers to choose how they want to pay. Alternativeairlines.com is a single platform for travellers to easily search and book flights on over 600 airlines. Our customers can currently choose from over 25 payment methods—including all major debit cards and payment plans from all the best-known global providers—as well as over 160 localised currencies. We are incredibly excited, as our partnership with Utrust is the next major step in continuing to tailor the online booking experience to the customer, who will now have the opportunity to pay with cryptocurrency on all of the airlines that we ticket.”
In the high price competitive-low margin Online Travel Agency (OTA) market, low payment service fees are crucial for success and traditional card payment methods incur significant fees and can detract as much as between 3 and 7% in valuable revenue. Typical payment service providers (PSPs) offer a full range of processing currencies but the settlement of multiple currencies can mean a loss in the margin for an OTA as a result of forex costs. While cross border operations warrant the facilitation of alternative payment methods popular in the relevant jurisdiction, this presents challenges in local markets. Utrust is revolutionizing the OTA market by introducing instant cross border transactions, buyer protection, and crypto-to-cash settlements with a 1% transaction fee.