Tourism: Travel payments data reveals interesting insights

Tourism: Travel payments data reveals interesting insights

A newly-released piece of research into the payment behaviour of travellers has been released.

The report, from travel technology business Amadeus, said that alternative methods for cross-border payments were popular – especially in Asia, where 58% of those travelling chose payment modes that weren’t cash, such as e-wallets.

A total of 58% of Asian travellers choose to use an e-wallet option or, alternatively, bank transfer. Only 42% opted for cash, which is seen as the traditional method of payment for travellers, or bank card.

In Europe, meanwhile, the so-called alternative methods of e-wallet or bank transfer was the mode of choice for 53% of travellers.

Surprisingly, Africa came in as the third most popular region for non-cash travel spending, with almost half, a total of 49%, of travellers there using electronic methods.

A total of 38% of travellers in the Middle East and North America did so, while the region with the lowest uptake of alternative travel payment formats was Latin America which saw just 19%.

Asia also clinched another top spot in the data. China was named as having the world’s largest volume of business to consumer e-commerce, at $1.03 billion.

E-wallets are now believed to have doubled in popularity compared to bank cards in the country. This is in part due to the popularity and performance of Alipay, a major household name in the country.

In total, Chinese e-wallets are responsible for almost half (or 49%) of China’s digitalised spending on tourism and travel.

The report did, however, highlight some geographical areas in which the e-wallet revolution around online money transfers has not taken off.
In the Philippines, for example, cash was still highly popular, with 47% of consumers said that they would rather make payments with this method of payment.

In Malaysia, bank transfers were named the top form of transfer. 47% of people use this method in the country, making it the highest in the Asia Pacific region.

According to an Amadeus representative, the figures show that the payments landscape is “changing” due to “increasing complexity”.
“This data highlights how quickly the payments landscape is changing and the increasing complexity facing travel merchants”, said Bart Tompkins, Managing Director for Payments at Amadeus.

“It should be noted that despite less travellers paying with cards directly, many e-Wallets do rely on the card networks in the background. So, cards will continue to be essential payments infrastructure for our industry”, he added.

If you would like to learn more about how consumers in various verticals including travel are paying for their goods and services, why not head over to our news pages and learn more?

By Daniel Webber

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