Travel Technology80% of travel businesses plan to match or go beyond 2019 investment in fintech and payment in 2022.

Fintech in travel is on fire

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Improving the traveller experience and increasing revenue through payments are cited as the top reasons driving fintech investment, according to Amadeus.
Improving the traveller experience and increasing revenue through payments are cited as the top reasons driving fintech investment, according to Amadeus. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/marchmeena29

Nine in 10 leaders in the travel industry now view fintech and payments as a high priority, with 80% of companies expecting to match or surpass their 2019 fintech investment levels this year. 

According to Amadeus' Travel Fintech Investment Trends 2022 report, which surveyed over 70 senior leaders from large airlines and travel sellers, a third of firms plan to match 2019 levels while a significant 50% plan to increase investment. 

When questioned more broadly on company-wide investment, 70% of participants plan on investing through 2022 to capture an expected rebound in travel, with only 30% opting for a more conservative strategy.

Improving the traveller experience and increasing revenue through payments are cited as the top reasons driving fintech investment, said Amadeus. 

The report also revealed two sets of fintech investment priorities among respondents. 

More travel companies expect to invest in ‘existing’ capabilities during 2022 with alternative payment methods (61%); strong customer authentication (46%) and fraud (44%) ranked as the three top priorities.

Meanwhile, a second group of ‘emerging’ priorities also scored highly, with payments in NDC (47%); buy now pay later (36%); multi-currency pricing (34%); and chargeback management (31%) completing the top half of the priority list.

Notably, accepting crypto payments was a priority for the fewest number of firms, although 14% do plan to invest in the capability during 2022. 

David Doctor, executive vice president of payments, Amadeus commented: “Fintech stands out as an area of the travel business where you can provide new value-added services that bring revenue, whilst also improving the traveller experience."

That explains the growing fintech focus among travel business, including Amadeus which expects to double the people in its payments team by the end of next year compared to 2021.

Doctor added: “We see our customers rethinking today’s challenges, like how to manage elevated levels of chargebacks. Whilst also looking to the future, travel brands are embracing innovations like buy now pay later and multi-currency pricing to deliver a more flexible and transparent digital experience.”

Chargebacks, the formal process when a cardholder disputes a payment, have risen dramatically during the pandemic as more travellers have become aware of the option. 

According to this study, 70% of travel businesses saw a significant increase in chargebacks with 30% choosing to increase headcount to manage the additional disputes. 

A quarter of firms revealed they have been unable to effectively challenge chargebacks due to the volume increase, raising concerns that the cost of chargeback fraud may have risen since the onset of the pandemic.

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