UK Business Travellers Can Now Pay Using Cryptocurrency
Corporate Traveller has partnered with BitPay to allow their customers to purchase everything from flight, hotels, and car hire to rail tickets, visas, and immigration passes using Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Corporate Traveller is a subsidiary of Flight Centre which operates worldwide, although Corporate Traveller is a purely UK-based operation with a presence in twenty different locations including Bristol, London, Crawley, and Birmingham.
The move towards cryptocurrency payments comes after “increased demand from our clients”, according to the UK General Manager of Corporate Traveller, Andy Hegley.
One reason why the business travel giant chose to partner with BitPay for merchant processing is that Corporate Traveller and its customers won’t be affected by market price volatility. On the downside, however, is that it will take up to two working days for BitPay to settle its payments into GBP, and it will also charge CT a 1% processing fee on each transaction.
It’s believed that Corporate Traveller will be the first business travel management company to offer UK customers the option to pay via cryptocurrency. This has led some experts to ponder the question of whether the business’ parent company, Flight Centre Travel Group, will follow suit by adopting cryptocurrency payments for the general public within its global retail locations in Australia, the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the United States, Mexico, China, and Singapore.
Several other travel companies around the globe already accept Bitcoin payments, including airBaltic, AirTreks, Expedia, CheapAir, Bitcoin.Travel, Surf Air, and Destinia.
Another breaking story this week is that Visa and the global payments processor, Coinbase, have joined forces to produce the Coinbase Card, which will allow cardholders to “spend cryptocurrency as effortlessly as the money in their bank”.
The Coinbase Card will be issued in the form of a Visa debit card which costs the user a one-off issue fee of £4.95, and it will allow for transactions to be made using Litecoin, Ripple (XRP), Ethereum, and Bitcoin in millions of global locations. Transactions made in cryptocurrency will be converted to fiat so that the seller is paid in their preferred traditional currency.
The card will work in conjunction with an exclusive Coinbase mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, which lets the user choose which cryptocurrency to use, as well as buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and receive transaction summaries and instant receipts so that they can keep track of their spending. However, the card is only available to customers of Coinbase who reside in the UK.
Cardholders will also be able to make ATM withdrawals while online and physical payments can be carried out securely via contactless chip and PIN.
At the same time, an existing crypto-enabled Visa debit card called MCO from Crypto-com is gearing up for expansion and has already had more than one hundred thousand card reservations from interested customers in Europe and the United States.
By Laura Kilby