This year saw a number of major airlines pushing their loyalty programmes toward a blockchain-based service.
Earlier this month, Lufthansa and SAP announced the winners of their Aviation Blockchain Challenge. A start-up company called Sweetbridge was the winner in the ‘Traveller Challenge’ category, with a statement from Lufthansa saying: “The start-up has created a blockchain-based financial marketplace where various financial and treasury transactions can take place – from factoring to short-term financing. With the help of Sweetbridge, companies can operationalise partially tied-up capital and use it elsewhere.”
This year also saw Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer programme, KrisFlyer, launch a blockchain-based digital wallet called KrisPay. The platform allows members to convert their KrisFlyer miles into KrisPay miles instantly, which can then be used for spending at partner merchants across the country.
The Cathay Pacific Group and its rewards programme, Asia Miles, in partnership with Accenture, have also launched a blockchain-based platform and mobile application for a dining promotion in Hong Kong. The use of blockchain technology enabled members to have the miles they had earned credited to their accounts the next day, and provided a single-data source when managing account activity, meaning Asia Miles partners and members had almost immediate management of their rewards.
Find out more about blockchain, how it can influence smart contracting, alternative currencies in the travel industry and the application of blockchain to business travel here