Exploring Tourist Adoption of Mobile Payments

Mobile devices are an important component of today’s travel, with 83$ of travellers using them. Travellers use apps to schedule a taxi to the airport, acquire an electronic boarding ticket, access in-flight entertainment on a mobile device, open their hotel room with a mobile key, browse for things to do and eat, and share their trip experience on social media.

In essence, mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablets enable all of these travel activities, resulting in an on-the-go digital self-extension of individual travellers.

Travellers are increasingly adopting mobile devices to pay for travel-related services when cruising. The convenience of making all the necessary payments from a mobile wallet using verified mobile payments apps is unbeatable, as it allows travellers the kind of freedom they’d look for throughout the holiday.

The swipe-to-book action of mobile payment in making bookings streamlines the payment process, especially because payment technologies handle the technical needs of extracting user data, trip profiles, and billing information. Low processing fees and, more significantly, the ability to stay in touch with travellers throughout their trip help Travel & Tourism service providers, providing them with the chance to enhance client interaction and achieve higher levels of company growth.

The advantages of mobile payments

Because they promote and facilitate mobility, mobile payments are ideally associated with travel and tourism. Mobile devices are the on-the-go digital self-extension of individual passengers, being one of the few items brought with them during their travel.

Making a mobile payment is the final step in the mobile booking process for travellers. However, it is a step towards increasing both traveler satisfaction and revenue development for travel service providers. In fact, if mobile payment is accepted, travellers are more likely to spend more. Companies would be able to implement customised traveller engagement plans using geo-locational targeting approaches if the entire booking journey was linked through mobile transactions.

Furthermore, as consumer data accumulates over time, mobile services can assist service providers and customers create connections by giving personalized offers and rewards, as well as more realistic forecast growth patterns.

Merchants may engage with individual consumers, push promotions and product information, review individual consumers’ consumption experiences, generate follow-up surveys, and monitor company performance using configurable metrics using mobile payment systems.
For example, WeChat Pay allows businesses to create an account in order to communicate with consumers and announce product updates and promotional discounts, among other things. Further, retailers can target certain groups of customers with WeChat Pay’s banner marketing services. Alipay helps retailers to track their sales and to obtain small loans.

Another reason why travel service providers should pay more attention to mobile-pay is that it offers significantly lower fees to businesses. The processing cost charged by mobile service providers is often cheaper than that charged by regular credit card transactions.

Implementation of mobile payments for the future

With the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices, the Travel & Tourism industry feels that contactless payment technologies and growing usage of in-app purchases are the way of the future.

However, mobile-pay services are not without flaws, and voiced concerns about mobile-pay adoption will need to be solved in order for this technology to gain universal acceptability.

Security is the most commonly highlighted concern. Even while new technology has enabled strong authentication techniques such as one-time passwords and biometrics, travel service providers are nonetheless concerned about concerns such as privacy breach and payment fraud.

Given the various parties involved in a normal mobile-pay transaction flow, travel service providers are particularly concerned about how to avoid security concerns and how to quickly and effectively manage any that do arise.

Another source of concern is regulations and policies. Mobile payment is an area where technology growth is far quicker than the creation of legislation and policy. Due to the lack of rules and regulations around mobile pay, the interested parties may encounter difficulties in resolving issues in the event of mishaps or disputes.
Policy changes can have an impact on the mobile-related operating costs of travel service providers from time to time. Furthermore, when it comes to mobile pay, individual traveller expenditure, and taxation, various nations have varied regulatory laws.

All of these might make adopting standardised worldwide mobile payment systems in the Travel & Tourism sector more complicated and challenging, or perhaps impossible.
Consumers and merchants alike suffer from the lack of interoperable mobile-payment options. Consumers must download a new app, learn a new system, and sometimes complete a new set of enrollment processes in order to fully utilize a specific mobilepay service.

International travellers may face difficulties as a result of this. Similarly, too many terminals or QR code alternatives for overseas visitors might result in operational complexity, which would be another reason for retailers to delay adopting mobile-pay.

Last but not least, several Travel & Tourism industry experts voiced worry that there is still a lack of awareness about mobile payment, particularly among independent travel merchants, small eateries, and small businesses. Not all travel service providers are aware of the advantages of mobile payment.

Further education and promotion activities are required in the future to allow widespread acceptance of mobile pay in the global travel and tourism sector.


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