Even without large technology investments, there are still opportunities for airlines to drive profitability and increase revenue to fund future innovations.
Consumers have become used to digital and contactless payments, and they likely expect a similar experience when booking travel. This means having their choice of payment methods and interactions that are smooth and seamless. To keep pace, airlines need to innovate. Even if your budget doesn’t support large-scale technology investments right now, there are opportunities to capture greater revenue—and prime for re-investment in the future.
The proprietary systems and legacy technology that likely underpin your operations might mean your in-house teams are overwhelmed by maintenance just to keep everything up and running. Even if you outsource, keeping multiple integrations updated and compliant can be a challenge in itself. Replacing these systems with managed third-party solutions can free up your team to focus on strategic priorities.
Protecting sensitive payment data and maintaining PCI DSS compliance can be an additional drain on resources if you don't tokenize the data. A tokenization service can help you streamline data protection and your PCI DSS compliance burden—significantly reducing the manual effort you need to make.
Increase authorization rates
Failed transactions and abandoned checkouts are lost revenue opportunities. Given the investment you make in marketing to customers and driving them to book flights, you don't want to lose the sale at the last step. Here’s some ways to help ensure you capture that revenue:
- Payment method choice. Different payment methods are popular in different regions and under different circumstances, so try to offer as many options as you can. Some customers may not be able to pay the full cost of a flight upfront, so alternative payment options like buy now, pay later (BNPL) could help more people complete purchases.
- Industry collaboration. Work with your payment gateway provider to orchestrate payments and route transactions based on rules designed to maximize authorization rates. Where PSD2 SCA applies, make authentication as smooth as possible so that it doesn’t become a barrier to purchase. In addition to using the latest EMV® 3-D Secure (EMV® 3DS), work with your payment partners (gateways and acquirers) to understand how to make best use of SCA exemptions.
- Lifecycle management. Use tokenization to help you recognize returning customers and streamline the payment process for them. Adding a service that automatically updates card-on-file credentials further reduces friction and the risk of checkout abandonment by removing the need for customers to enter new card details.
Make fraud management smarter
An effective fraud management platform can help you increase revenue as well as keep the bad guys out. A data-rich platform that uses advanced machine learning can help you maximize acceptance of good orders and reduce false declines by recognizing genuine customers, even if they've never bought flights from you before. Your fraud management platform provider should have risk analysts who specialize in the airline industry and in global and regional fraud trends who can help you finetune your strategy.
Protect against account takeover
It's likely most of your customers will have accounts with you that contain loyalty points or frequent flyer miles as well as payment and personal data. To help protect these accounts against takeover by fraudsters using stolen credentials—and the misuse of payment details or loyalty point theft—consider a solution that monitors account patterns, user behavior, and device attributes to identify and block account takeover.
By reducing the chances of account-related fraud, you can better protect your customers, your revenue, and your brand—reducing declines, decreasing bad transactions, and enhancing loyalty. An account takeover protection solution also helps guard against the creation of fraudulent accounts for card testing and other types of bad transactions that could hurt your business.
Take your payments strategy to new heights
If you'd like to discuss ways to capture more revenue from your airline operations, we'd love to chat. Ask us for a consultation with one of our airline industry experts.
And watch for the next blog in our series, where we’ll look at ways to enhance the customer experience.