Singapore Airlines Starts Blockchain Reward System
Singapore Airlines has formally rolled out its blockchain-based frequent-flyer program which aims to reward all its loyal customers, the world’s first airline reward system driven by the technology.
KrisPay is the group’s miles-based digital wallet allowing members to change their KrisFlyer miles into KrisPay miles for everyday spending at partner merchants in Singapore. Customers can download the mobile application on App Store and Google Play. Then, they will be able to convert these miles and pay with them by scanning the KrisPay QR code at the merchant.
Initially, KrisPay miles will be accepted at 18 stores covering various categories including beauty services, food and beverage, gas stations, and retailers. “More merchants will be progressively added to the platform, and members can expect frequent in-app promotions and more app features to be delivered in the coming months,” the airline said in a statement.
“We are excited to be introducing KrisPay, a novel way for our KrisFlyer members to digitally access their miles at their fingertips, at any time. By creating a miles-based digital wallet which integrates the use of miles into their daily lives, KrisFlyer members have yet another way to use miles instantly on everyday transactions,” Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines’ chief executive officer, said.
Singapore Airlines first unveiled its blockchain initiative in February in a move to bolster spending of its loyalty program miles.
“A new KrisFlyer digital wallet app utilising this innovative technology is expected to be rolled out in about six months. It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants,” the company said at that time.
The project came following a proof-of-concept trial with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft. Singapore Airlines had said it would be partnering with retailers, primarily those within the country.
“Innovation has been a key contributor to the success of Singapore Airlines since Day 1 and we are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme,” Goh earlier said in a statement.
“This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalise’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline,” he added.
The announcement comes after Singapore Airlines was named the World Airline Awards by Skytrax in London, outpacing Qatar Airlines that bagged the best airline in the world award last year.
Previously, Australia’s Brisbane airport has launched its cryptocurrency payments within its shopping areas. The payment system, provided by cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit, enables customers to use virtual currencies to shop and dine at different stores and restaurants within the air terminals.
America’s Surf Air announced its plan to accept digital currencies for ticket payments, while Russia’s S7 is said to be exploring the issuance of flight tickets using the blockchain technology.