“Fly Qatar Airways, Lipa na Mpesa”
Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar, has announced a strategic partnership with Vodacom, one of the world’s leading mobile money service providers, to enable customers to pay for airfare with the Mpesa service. According to the press release, travelers can book flights online or through travel agents using M-PESA as a payments option.
In order to enjoy the new service, travelers will need to choose M-PESA’s “pay bill” option, enter Qatar Airways’ business number 331199 and insert their booking reference number with the amount quoted at the booking time. Once the payment is processed, the customer will receive an SMS confirmation along with the e-ticket via e-mail.
The added payment option aimed to increase flexibility with payments methods. Basel Haydar, A Qatar Airways Manager East Africa, explained, “Our passengers want to be able to book tickets 24/7 and instantly access our latest offers. So this solution is both user-friendly and gives passengers greater flexibility.”
Payment options expansion is a growing trend across industries.Both The Economist and CNN experts have been covering the question of low margins per passenger in the air travel industry, which could contribute to the promotion of more innovative and cheaper payments acceptance and processing solutions. Even though Qatar Airways is one of the market leaders, fast-changing customer preferences have forced the company to keep up to date with innovative solutions and payments options to create a smooth customer experience.