LET­TER FROM AIR CANADA PRES­I­DENT AND CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVE OF­FI­CER, CALIN ROVI­NESCU

New meth­ods of dig­i­tal pay­ment are trans­form­ing al­most ev­ery type of trans­ac­tion – and, at Air Canada, mak­ing global travel even more con­ve­nient.

Air Canada enRoute - - CONTENTS -

THE PHE­NOM­E­NAL RISE OF DIG­I­TAL WAL­LETS AND elec­tronic pay­ment meth­ods is putting a new spin on the old say­ing “have money, will travel.” To keep ahead of these de­vel­op­ments, Air Canada is sig­nif­i­cantly in­vest­ing in tech­nol­ogy to ac­cept al­ter­na­tive forms of pay­ment so that our cus­tomers can keep trav­el­ling con­ve­niently.

Around the world, dig­i­tal pay­ment meth­ods are ri­valling or out­strip­ping con­ven­tional forms of pay­ment, such as credit or debit cards. One re­cent re­port said the Chi­nese mo­bile apps Ali­pay and WeChat Pay are now pro­cess­ing 10 to 11 times more mo­bile pay­ment trans­ac­tions than in the United States as a whole. Many ex­perts pre­dict al­ter­na­tive pay­ment forms will re­shape the way cus­tomers shop on­line, in­clud­ing for travel, the world over.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of this and to be sure we stay ahead of the curve, last fall Air Canada be­gan ac­cept­ing Ali­pay and WeChat Pay in China, along with sev­eral other pop­u­lar global al­ter­na­tive pay­ment sys­tems in such coun­tries as Ger­many, the Nether­lands and Aus­tralia. These proved wildly pop­u­lar – such pay­ments grew some 300 per­cent – mov­ing us to re­cently ex­pand ac­cep­tance of Ali­pay and WeChat Pay to in­clude Hong Kong and North Amer­ica.

These new tech­nolo­gies also ad­vance our global am­bi­tions, since cus­tomers around the world will now be bet­ter able to pur­chase tick­ets us­ing their pre­ferred lo­cal pay­ment method. As well, they serve our goal of in­creased cus­tomer con­ve­nience, with al­ter­na­tive pay­ment meth­ods on any type of de­vice mak­ing the trans­ac­tion process fric­tion­less.

As with all things dig­i­tal, we are only at the dawn of a trans­for­ma­tive era. To cap­ture its ben­e­fits, we are strate­giz­ing and de­vel­op­ing part­ner­ships with cut­ting-edge tech firms, brain­storm­ing new fea­tures and ex­plor­ing how re­lated tech­nolo­gies, no­tably blockchain, can be used to bet­ter en­gage and serve our cus­tomers.

Air Canada has long been a leader in in­no­va­tion, par­tic­u­larly with re­spect to cus­tomer care, some­thing rec­og­nized last month at the Air­line Pas­sen­ger Ex­pe­ri­ence As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual Expo in Bos­ton. Our goal is to con­tinue to in­no­vate to im­prove our ser­vices so cus­tomers can in­ter­act with us as eas­ily as pos­si­ble in the way that suits them – and that is a com­mit­ment you can take to the bank. ♦

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