- Speaking to TechCrunch at the Money 20/20 Asia conference last March. AirAsia founder, Mr Tony Fernandes confirmed that the established BIG POINT loyalty programme will be integrated payment using block chain technology called as BigCoin.
- AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme was established in November 2011 and is owned and operated by Think BIG Digital Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of AirAsia Bhd in collaboration with Aimia Inc. As the loyalty programme for AirAsia, AirAsia BIG Loyalty enables its members to enjoy the lowest flight fares across AirAsia’s extensive network. The loyalty programme makes all seats redeemable by utilising AirAsia BIG Points. Other member-exclusive privileges include 24-hour priority booking for all AirAsia sales.
- “We have a product that can be a currency in Big Loyalty, [and] we are building a payment platform so the two can marry quite nicely. We have an ecosystem that enables you to use that currency, there’s no point having a currency that can’t be used,” told Fernandes. Fernandes, who sees cryptocurrencies as a ‘tool to alleviate currency fluctuation risks from overseas revenue’ foresees BigCoin being accepted by third-party businesses beyond its own operations. Following its launch, customers will be able to use BigCoin to pay for in-flight meals, seat upgrades and other services within 3-6 months, he added.
- Peach Aviation had initially announced in May 2017 that customers would be able to use Bitcoin as a payment method by the end of the year. However, in December 2017, the plan was postponed until March 2018.
- Partnering with BIT Japan a crypto exchange firm for new payment system.
- After its initial announcement in May 2017, Bloomberg quoted Shinichi Inoue, CEO of Peach Airlines: “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions … This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups.”
- Singapore is the Fintech Hub especially for Southeast Asia which the Money Authority Singapore (MAS) strictly regulated the market.
Singapore Airlines, has officially launched their own blockchain based loyalty programme last July. Partnering with one of the “Big Four which is KPMG and MICROSOFT which passengers can turn their air miles into unit of payment. From which has also expanded their interests into blockchain technology and announced that they are planning to start a private blockchain. In a project that they call the “world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet”, they have partnered with KPMG and Microsoft. Their plan includes developing an app by the August 2018, which will allow their customers to use a digital wallet from which they will be able to make in-flight purchases and improve their flight experience even more. There will be a miles-based digital wallet connected to the current KrisFlyer loyalty program. It allows users to convert their air miles to KrisPay miles and use them at partner merchants across the island. The airline plans to add more merchants and more functionality to the KrisPay iOS and Android applications “in the coming months.”