Cathay Pacific Launch Blockchain Rewards Program For Frequent Flyers

Crypto just joined the mile high club.

Whether you’re a seasoned business traveller, or a newbie whose money usually flies away to the great rewards program in the sky, Cathay Pacific has a plan to sort you out.

No longer will you spend precious hours the night before a flight retrieving usernames, passwords and answering mundane security questions to which you know the answer but are too embarrassed to say to the phone assistant (I don’t want to tell you the name of my favourite childhood toy!).

Hong Kong’s flagship airline, Cathay Pacific, has joined a growing list of airline operators who are using blockchain technology to make your point collecting experience easier, and more secure.

This is how it will work: Cathay Pacific will issue air miles over a single distributed ledger that will enable customers, the airlines’ partners and the airline to manage member rewards in real-time.

This blockchain rollout will also power a new mobile application, developed by Cathay Pacific’s technology partner Accenture, called ‘Unlock More Miles’.

The benefit: this platform will automate data fulfilment procedures and provide a transparent transaction history between the airline, its partners and its customers—by sharing the data set.

In an announcement, a Cathay Pacific spokesperson highlighted the improvements in efficiency this development would bring, particularly in terms of minimising back-office administration.

“By harnessing blockchain technology, the Cathay Pacific Group and Asia Miles are providing Asia Miles partners a single data source when managing account activity. This allows Asia Miles, partners and members a near real-time ability to manage rewards.”

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Cathay Pacific’s implementation of blockchain technology comes after its main rival—Singapore Airlines—announcing its own blockchain-based loyalty wallet application earlier this year.

As reported by CCN, this wallet-based application was developed in partnership with Microsoft, and, “Proved successful during a proof-of-concept trial wherein members of the airline’s frequent-flyer program spent their air miles at participating retail merchants as a point-of-sale transaction.”

Air Asia have also announced their own loyalty program, which will feature a new cryptocurrency called “Big Coin,” and German airline giant Lufthansa recently partnered with a Swiss Blockchain start-up—’Winding Tree’—incorporating the decentralised Ethereum blockchain technology into the travel industry.

For those wondering if blockchain is just a fad: this could be your answer. Organisations across all sectors are using digital ledgers to enhance business. Although many of the currencies blockchain upholds are volatile, the technology itself is an immensely useful tool that’s here to stay.

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