Travel and the Digital Payment Revolution

Travel and the Digital Payment Revolution Published September 2015 Analyst: Norm Rose


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Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin became mainstream in 2010. The underlying cryptocurrency technology platform allows for anonymous payments between any two parties, essentially providing a cash-like alternative for the digital age. Major travel companies such as Expedia began accepting Bitcoin in 2014, but questions remain about this new payment technology: Will cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin replace cash in ten years? Will the underlying block chain technology create a new digital currency for travel products?

Another emerging payment technology from Apple, called Apple Pay, has gained media focus as well. Will Apple dominate mobile payments with Apple Pay? How can travel companies prepare for the emerging digital payment revolution? This article reviews emerging payment technologies and examines their potential impact on the travel industry. 

  • Introduction
  • What Are Emerging Payment Technologies?
  • Cryptocurrencies
    • The Key Components Behind Cryptocurrency
    • The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?) of Bitcoin
  • Cryptocurrencies and the Travel Industry
  • Mobile Point-Of-Sale Technology
    • Mobile Pay – Apple Pay
    • NFC vs. Bluetooth
  • Summary
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