Blog /
Travel And FinTech: Momentum Meets Innovation
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.
Travel And FinTech: Momentum Meets Innovation
Written by Oliver Munro
September 29, 2022

          “FinTech has this incredible possibility of improving financial inclusion [and] financial accessibility for huge swathes of consumers.”

               -  Tania Ziegler, Booking.com

There has been very little innovation in tourism since travel became commercial.

For an industry that is, for many, a routine part of our lives, travel has lagged behind. Until now.

Financial technologies are modernizing the way we plan, book, and manage travel in the 21st century. There’s never been a more exciting time for tourism.

Flywallet co-founder and CEO, Thomas Negrit, joined Meaghan Johnson along with fellow guest Tania Ziegler of Booking.com on the Breaking Banks podcast to discuss this new wave of innovation.

In this article, we summarize how FinTech is helping to evolve the tourism industry, and what the future might hold for digital travel.

Listen now: Hear the original Breaking Banks fintech travel podcast on Provoke.fm.

In this blog:

  • Why FinTech and travel are the perfect match
  • How FinTech can be used to help travelers save more for trips
  • The future of travel and FinTech

Keep reading.

FinTech and Travel: A Perfect Pairing

Customer experience is everything in travel.

When you’re dealing with customers and businesses all over the world, you need to look at global solutions.

FinTech is a global solution - that’s why it complements the travel industry so well.

It allows people to focus on what’s really important: The journey.

Thomas and Tania agree: FinTech and travel are a match made in heaven.

By applying FinTech to tourism, we can remove the frictions that exist within the payment process and improve accessibility on every front.

          “FinTech can make the buying or the selling of travel products a lot faster, a lot easier, and more importantly, a lot more secure and trustworthy.”

           -   Tania Ziegler

Now, thanks to FinTech, TravelTech, and InsurTech, travel is finally getting the technological boost it needs to best serve consumers in a digital world.

In the podcast, the team discussed some of the ways in which FinTech is currently being used in tourism.

Here’s what they had to say.

Use case #1: Book Now, Pay Later systems

One of the biggest and perhaps most controversial things FinTech has already brought to travel is the “Buy Now, Pay Later” system.

Thomas, Meaghan, and Tania discussed the positive and negative impacts this feature could have on travelers.

FinTech innovations are often mistakenly thought of as direct competition to already existing ideas. In this case, some are concerned about how Buy Now, Pay Later might affect other credit providers.

Tania explains why this is the wrong angle to take.

           “This is not competition [for credit providers]; it should be thought of as complementary. [Book Now, Pay Later systems] can provide more choice [and] more options for users.”

            -  Tania Ziegler

How we pay for a product or service is a part of the customer experience.

When you expand the choice for an individual, you give them more control over their finances and spending in general.

There is already a range of use cases for Buy Now, Pay Later systems in travel.

However, not everything about this payment method necessarily serves the consumer in a positive way.

The goal of Buy Now, Pay Later is to give people flexibility around payments. We’re innovating the user experience. But at the end of the day, it’s still credit.

Thomas explains why, for many, this system can actually hurt users in the long term.

          “Credit doesn’t actually empower people; it traps them. [A better] approach is save now, pay later.”

                   -  Thomas Negrit

Nobody wants to enjoy a trip and then experience the frustration of paying it off when they get back. One of the founding principles upon which Thomas built Flywallet was to help people travel without going into debt.

So, while he agrees it’s good to offer consumers more ways to pay for travel, paying with credit instead of savings remains the less responsible approach.

          “If you have to go into more debt just to relax from your previous debt… well, it’s a vicious cycle.”

                 -  Thomas Negrit

However, all three agree that when done responsibly, it can be a great thing. 

There is a wide range of possible uses for a credit-based system. Whether it’s positive or negative must therefore be judged on a case-to-case basis.

Use case #2: Web3 in the travel space

Web3 has been instrumental in the furthering of fintech in recent years.

When it comes to travel, the opportunities it presents are very exciting.

Thomas envisioned a way to improve affordability and accessibility in the travel space by diversifying payments - one of the biggest affecting factors when it comes to who is able to book a vacation (and who has, until now, been restricted).

          “That desire to share [travel] with others and make it, more than anything, accessible to everyone has always been my dream. That’s the inspiration that made Flywallet come to be.”

                -  Thomas Negrit

Flywallet is a travel tool currently leveraging Web3 in a way that brings fairness to the financial requirements of travel.

Many experts predict that Web3 is the future of online communications.

By connecting travel with Web3, the industry will stay one step ahead of trends and, hopefully, result in greater equality across the board for travelers and travel companies.

How Fintech Can Help Travelers Save Smarter

Travel is no longer a luxury for the rich.

We’re seeing a new wave of travelers from all corners of life begin to see it as a possibility.

To accommodate this new market, FinTech is helping to make it easier to organize a trip - even if you can’t afford to hire a travel agent or personal assistant to manage the booking process.

          “FinTech has the ability to make the customer experience very unique.”

                 -  Thomas Negrit

Thomas cares deeply about financial responsibility when it comes to travel.

That’s why he’s a firm supporter of using FinTech to help people manage their travel money sensibly.

There are a lot of areas in tourism that are primed to be optimized. Flywallet seeks to tackle the booking experience with a holistic approach.

In other words, Thomas and the rest of the Flywallet team aren’t just focused on the payment process; they want to make it easier for travelers to save for, book, manage, and financially justify flights.

          “Booking a trip is known to be a very stressful experience … Flywallet [focuses] on the saving side to make it a joyful experience.”

                -  Thomas Negrit

Everything comes back to empowering consumers and creating a seamless experience around a trip.

Using fintech to help people save for a trip means that everyone can be a part of the conversation. Nothing happens without taking that first step.

And if you’re not already rich, that first step means saving enough money to make it happen.

The Future of Travel: Predictions

Wrapping up, the team discussed what the future of travel holds.

Loyalty programs are one area where big changes could be on their way.

At present, these programs are about being loyal to a specific brand - something that doesn’t always coincide with an individual’s loyalty to their values.

Thomas believes we could see a more encompassing approach to the loyalty rewards programs.

Rather than being rewarded for repeat purchases from a single airline or hotel chain, travelers will have the flexibility to choose from a variety of options and instead be rewarded for using the platform that lets customers travel the way they would like to travel.

Tania agrees, and also has her own take on how we might see travel in the future.

          "“Where FinTech [is] going is really focussing on that ‘creating solutions’ piece.”

                 -  Tania Ziegler

The payment process still has plenty of room for innovation.

From the authentication stage to managing international payments and security - FinTech will continue to make everything easier, faster, and more integrated.

Or so we dare to hope.

Follow the Breaking Banks podcast: https://provoke.fm/show/breaking-banks/ 

Learn more about Flywallet: https://www.flywallet.io/ 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Tags: travel, hotels, tips
Oliver Munro
Content Creator and Copywriter at Flywallet

Struggling to save enough for a holiday?

Flywallet is an all-in-one budgeting and booking tool built just for travelers. Create custom savings plans, earn sweet rewards, score cheap flights, and more.

More Articles

Ready to fly?

Get on top of your travel budget and find your perfect flight today.

Join Flywallet to start your journey.