Etihad Airways has announced a partnership with payments technology startup Modo on "a unique loyalty redemption solution" for the airline industry.
Dallas-based Modo specializes in creating interoperability between payment systems. The company offers a cloud-based utility for quickly connecting existing payment systems without requiring changes to those systems. It facilitates omni-channel digital payments where consumers can use loyalty points to checkout at the point-of-sale, online, and via mobile commerce.
This makes loyalty point redemption more convenient for the airline’s customers and creates new opportunities to simplify and extend its loyalty program redemption to new merchants.
Modo is working with Etihad to transform its Guest Miles into a currency which allows seamless and easy payment for multiple products and services.
Yasser Al Yousuf, Managing Director of Etihad Guest explained what this means in practical terms:
"Etihad currently manages two separate booking streams—one for standard bookings, and a separate one for redemptions, making it even more challenging to ensure consistency of branding and experience.
We will now be able to plug the 'Pay with Miles' widget on the Etihad Website, allowing us to have a single booking experience for Etihad and other airline partners, but we will also be able to work with many other online partners to allow Etihad Guest members to choose to pay using their Etihad Guest Miles at check-out, simply by clicking on this widget."
Brian Billingsley, chief revenue officer of Modo added:
"Since Modo is offering a payments utility, we are uniquely positioned to work with Etihad to enable the redemption of Guest Miles anywhere, while continuing Modo's vision of enabling interoperability through payments and commerce.”
The partnership comes after Modo’s participation in the annual FinTech Innovation Challenge in Abu Dhabi, an initiative launched by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in collaboration with KPMG Lower Gulf Limited (KPMG LG)/KPMG Digital Village.
Startups selected by KPMG Digital Village were tasked with developing a prototype solution that addressed a real business need identified by participating UAE-based businesses.
Umair Hameed, Partner, Financial Services, KPMG LG said:
"Our goal at KPMG Digital Village is to facilitate the partnerships between corporations and startups. Our client, Etihad Airways, was looking to enhance their loyalty program, and we knew of the work Modo had been doing in the United States and Europe surrounding checkout interoperability and redeeming loyalty points at the in-store and online point-of-sale."
Modo and Etihad Airways will showcase the new Guest Miles redemption solution at the FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi on September 17, 2018.
Singapore Airlines recently debuted a new KrisPay mobile payment solution for its loyalty program using blockchain, which allows KrisFlyer members to use their miles to pay for services and merchandise at participating retailers.