Though there already exist more than a few ways to pay with Bitcoin when travelling, digital currency globetrotters have yet another reason to cheer. Global travel IT provider Ypsilon.net has just integrated Bitcoin payments to its platform servicing tens of thousands industry businesses. Bitpay will accommodate their payment processing needs.
Ypsilon.Net is a global provider of internet travel technology for airlines, travel portals and travel agencies. The company, established in 1994, provides end-to-end IT solutions for the travel industry ranging from fare management, booking engines, low-cost carrier content, hotel and car engines, ticketing robots, tour-operator modules, fraud prevention systems and payment solutions.
The company not only accesses all major GDS but also provides content from over 180 low-cost carriers, charters, hotel, rental car, rail and insurances content, with customers in over 20 countries worldwide and servicing in excess of 90,000 web based agents. 80% of travel sites in Germany use Ypsilon.Net. The first customer to activate bitcoin payments is Nurflug.de, a Germany based booking platform.
One of the reasons why Ypsilon might have decided to take the Bitcoin way could be indirectly disclosed by its CEO, Hans Joachim Klenz, who states on the company's website:
"The travel industry as a whole has been heavily targeted by credit card fraud and it is our responsibility to ensure the highest degree of payment security for the protection of our customers. They are entitled to that and it is extremely important for any IT provider which stores, processes or forwards credit card details to ensure such protection; after all the consequences of card fraud can be extremely costly to all involved."
Indeed, fraud protection is one of the main features of bitcoin when compared to bank card payments, allowing considerably lower fees and costs of transfer. "Because it cuts out the significant cost of chargeback fraud and traditional card processing fees, bitcoin is ideally suited to high-value transactions like plane and hotel bookings. It has no additional PCI compliance cost for merchants that choose to accept it," comments James Walpole, Marketing and communication manager at Bitpay, the company processing bitcoin-to-fiat transactions.
Every experienced bitcoin traveler is very well aware of online booking services like Expedia, accommodation service 9flats (just like AirBnb for bitcoin) or BTCtrip. There are other providers in their respective travel/hospitality sectors. "We were the first online travel agency for bitcoin community since 2013. Nowadays we are working with new investors to build the first "OpenGDS" (like Amadeus, Sabre, TravelPort) in order to connect the unsold seat in airplanes from airline companies and charters airplane company," founder of BTCtrip Martin Fernandez comments for Cointelegraph.com. He emphasizes that they are building their product over bitcoin and blockchain.