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Digital Wallet will change Air Travel

Inflight Digital Wallet

How Digital Wallets Are Changing Air Travel

In this blog, we’ll discuss the different ways digital wallets have changed air travel and how it may continue to change in the future. Back then, life was so simple that we didn't think about the new technologies that we are enjoying in the current times. Before digital wallets, we had to use cash and credit cards to pay for things! It was the Stone Age. I don't know about you, but now that I've gotten used to the ease of paying with digital wallets like Venmo and Apple Pay, it's hard to imagine going back. The good news is that many airlines are starting to offer similar services where customers can store details and pay for flights with just a few clicks.

Digital wallets will change the way we pay for travel

Digital wallets will change the way you pay for travel—and there's no better time to start thinking about that than now. In fact, digital wallets are becoming so popular that airlines in the United States and Europe are beginning to accept them as payment methods.

What are digital wallets?

The name may sound confusing, but it’s a simple concept:

Digital Wallets are electronic devices (or apps) that store your credit card information. They allow you to make purchases with just one tap of your phone or computer screen. This new technology is being adopted by airlines around the world. In fact, many airlines have already begun incorporating digital payments as part of their payment options.

Digital wallets allow you to hold all of your credit cards, debit cards, loyalty programs, and more in one place. With a single swipe or tap on your phone or smartwatch, you can quickly pay for purchases with a few taps of your finger.

Digital wallets also make it easier to keep track of all of these things by organizing them into groups for easy access when shopping online or using an ATM.

Digital wallet

Mobile-based airline fare payments

Mobile-based airline fare payments are a growing trend in the travel industry. They allow consumers to make reservations, check-in and board their flights, and even pay for their tickets with their mobile phone or tablet.
How does this differ from traditional airline fare payments?
As you would expect, it’s less expensive for airlines to provide these services through digital channels than through physical ones (think kiosks). But there are also several other benefits that come along with moving to digital:

– Customers can complete transactions faster; there is no need for the time-consuming process of printing out boarding passes at the airport before checking in or waiting in line.
– Airlines have more control over when people arrive at airports—they can adjust flight schedules based on demand if they know customers will be able to use their digital wallets at any time throughout their trip planning process.

Here are some digital wallets that are currently in the market:

American Express' digital wallet for airline miles

American Express is one of the leaders in the digital wallet space for travel. 

In 2016, American Express partnered with Delta, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines to create a digital wallet for airline miles that allows cardholders to earn rewards and redeem their points directly from their mobile devices.

The program has been so successful that Amex has expanded its digital wallet service to include other airlines like JetBlue and Southwest Airlines.

The Alaska Airlines wallet

Alaskan Airlines’ Mileage Plan digital wallet is available on Android and iOS devices. It allows you to book flights, redeem rewards, and more. The app is also integrated with Alaska Airline’s website, making it easy to access your account from any device.

The JetBlue wallet

JetBlue’s wallet is called Fly-Fi, and it’s a mobile wallet that allows you to pay for things like food and drinks on the plane. The company says it wants to make flying more like being at home, so there’s no need to dig out your wallet when you want a snack.

You can set up a Fly-Fi account before you fly, or you can use your existing American Express card. If the latter option sounds familiar, that’s because this feature isn’t new—American Express has been rolling out its own digital payment system since 2017 called Bluebird by American Express. It works similarly to JetBlue’s Fly-Fi in that it offers credit card rewards but with fewer restrictions than other travel credit cards (like Chase Sapphire Reserve).

Skywallet: the promise of a seamless inflight shopping experience

Skywallet is an e-wallet (digital wallet) really promising. It was presented to the RAM team during the RAM Digital Open Innovation Challenge held in Marrakech in June 2022. It was one of the innovative products that won the prize among PXCom. I had the privilege to interview Mohammed Amine Fairouk, senior software engineer of Royal Air Maroc, who worked on this project. According to him, Skywallet will make it easier for passengers to shop on board. It is an application generated by a QR code and must be installed on the passenger’s mobile. You can easily set up your account before you fly by providing your ticket reservation number and full name. 

It offers seamless payment that can be used before, during, and after the flight. It’s like a payment platform connected to the airline’s system. It allows you to book flights, earn rewards through your FFP, redeem points and consume them in the Skywallet.

SkyWallet features

Pre-flight: You can book your ticket via the chosen airline’s mobile application, for example, Royal Air Maroc, or directly on their website. Then at checkout, you can choose Skywallet to pay. You can use it to pay for a seat and even for an upgrade.

In-flight: Make purchases on the airline’s marketplace: food, drinks, etc.

Post-flight: Book a taxi to get to your accommodation.

All of these digital wallets have one thing in common: 

They’re all trying to make traveling as easy as possible for passengers without sacrificing security or convenience in any way!


Some airline providers are already embracing digital wallets by integrating them into their mobile apps. Delta Air Lines already added Apple Pay support at check-in counters—a move which saved passengers time at airport ticket counters by allowing them to check-in with their phones instead of filling out paper forms before getting on the plane (and risk losing those forms). 

Other airlines have not yet begun using these services; however, airport authorities report that most carriers will likely adopt them in these coming years due to their convenience and efficiency benefits for both travelers and companies alike.


To conclude...

Put simply, the digital wallet is a tool that aims to streamline the way you pay for goods and services. And when it comes to travel, there’s no question: the digital wallet will change everything. Airlines are using this technology to make flying easier than ever before.

In-flight mode of payment is a new way to pay for things on flights. In this mode, you can use your phone to pay for things using your credit card or debit card. You’ll be able to buy food, drinks, and other items without having to take out your wallet or open an app. This makes it easier to pay for things while you’re traveling, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your wallet behind at home!

However, to enable digital payments, the airline needs to be able to identify a single entity that will be responsible for all transactions. This entity is called the MoR and it becomes the point of contact between passengers, airlines, and banks. It also has access to all relevant data about passengers and their transactions.


Issues arise when trying to determine who should be responsible for collecting this information from different parties involved in the process of making an in-flight purchase: airlines or banks? 

Should there be different MoRs for each airline? 

Or maybe just one for all airlines? 

These questions need answers in order for digital in-flight concessions to take off!


We’ll discuss the MoR issues on our next month’s article. Stay tuned!


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