Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in developer spaces. Here’s the overview of the Developer Tracker published in March 2017.
Mobile technology has impacted how people travel in just about every way. From real-time airfare comparisons to mobile boarding passes, and cross-border mobile payments to instant language translation, there’s virtually no part of the travel experience that’s been left untouched. As technological advancements continue making travel more convenient for consumers, software developers are looking for new ways to make traveling as convenient, efficient and secure as possible.
March’s Developer Tracker features an interview with Celia Pereiro, the head of payments for travel software solution provider Amadeus. In February 2016, Amadeus launched a B2B wallet that processes digital payments faster between different travel companies, or entities such as an airline and a travel agent or a booking service. The wallet was developed as part of a collaboration between Amadeus, MasterCard, and Ixaris. In addition to the wallet, Amadeus is preparing to debut a new payments service that would make paying for incidental airport services, such as baggage fees and skycap services, easier and more efficient.
The growing acceptance of mobile payments in travel industry has, in a way, steered it away from cash. That’s because mobile wallets support a wide range of digital payment options, letting travelers save much-needed physical currency for when they’re on the ground at their destinations. Pereiro sees the shift toward mobile payments to continue gaining momentum and with that, a continual decline in cash usage. “We are working with airlines on on-board payment systems,” she says. “Mobile payments are a big part of that business model.”
On the other hand, giving consumers too many payment options can cause confusion and friction. As a result, Periero says, the Amadeus team is working to personalize payment apps for individual travelers. This can empower them to quickly find their preferred digital payment option depending on the type of purchase.
Personalization has become increasingly important to Amadeus and other development companies in a wide range of industries, as consumers expect solutions to be catered to their needs and circumstances. “Personalization in payments is becoming a hot topic in travel as more and more people book on mobile devices,” Periero explains. “With that smaller screen-size it is not feasible to offer a long list of possible payment options – people just want to see the best payment option for them for that given payment. And their preferred payment option will change depending on whether they are booking a business trip, [thousands] for their honeymoon or spending $20 on extra baggage at the airport.”
While security is a concern to consumers when making any purchase, they are especially concerned about it when traveling, Periero notes. Due to physical security concerns, customers must disclose sensitive personal information when making airline and other travel reservations. While these measures may help keep bad actors from boarding planes, they can also potentially expose customer data to hackers and other cybercriminals.
Therefore, Periero says, it’s important that Amadeus and other travel solutions keep sensitive customer information safe. “Data security is one of our highest priorities and drives communications management at every level,” she says. “We work with travel companies to help them extract the sensitive credit card data from their systems and convert it into tokens so that they do not need to hold vulnerable data in their systems.”
Data and cybersecurity are also a concern when it comes to a company’s bottom line, Periero notes. By reducing the risk of cyberattacks, companies can inspire consumer confidence. Doing so can be good for customer satisfaction while also helping companies avoid lost revenue due to security breaches, fraud, chargebacks or fines for not complying with security standards. Security concerns will only become more prevalent as consumers increasingly turn to modern electronic payment methods, Periero points out. As consumers travel into a brave new personalized future, the pressure is on software developers to keep pace, offering the personalization and security that modern, digital payments – and their consumers – demand.
- Urban Airship debuts single-tap loyalty rewards
Urban Airship, the mobile engagement provider, recently unveiled a service that allows loyalty cards to be updated through a single tap with Apple Pay. The company describes the solution as the first of its kind for mobile wallets, which replaces the old method of using loyalty and rewards programs on smartphones. Users can now use Urban Airship to pay and earn loyalty and rewards points all via one app. The company will also be supporting other value-added services through Apple Pay.
- Warehouse Mobile Solutions unveils inventory management app
Need to keep track of warehouse inventory? There’s an app for that. Warehouse Mobile Solutions recently released WarehouseOS, a new mobile solution for tracking and monitoring inventory. The app is designed to help make fulfillment and delivery as seamless as possible. It offers a simple interface that allows users to quickly view, track and report inventory data. It also claims to have cut the time required to fulfill orders in half. The app is aimed at helping businesses transition to delivering products directly to consumers via online orders.