Singaporean budget carrier Scoot has applied the ultimate salve to the pain of credit card processing fees by scuttling them network-wide for all bookings made through its direct channels.
The airline says the evolution of payment systems over the years, driven by technological improvements “has helped to significantly defray the associated costs required to support and maintain the payment infrastructure.’’
With a network of 67 cities in 17 countries and territories, the Singapore Airlines offshoot now offers a plethora of payment options ranging from mainstream credit cards to Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.
There are also local payments methods such as AXS and PayNow for Singaporean customers, WeChat Pay and Alipay for those in China, Konbini for Japanese passengers and POLi for those in Australia.
The savings are not to be sneezed at. A person booking a return trip on a Perth-Singapore flight using a credit card saves $A20 per person, equivalent to $A10 per flight segment.
Similarly, a Sydney-Athens trip would save one passenger $A40 and a couple $A80.
Scoot began progressively removing payment processing fees in selected markets in march 2018, starting with Europe, and last month began removing them for the local processing systems.
“When Scoot first started, we offered a limited range of payment methods at a higher implementation and maintenance cost,’’ said Scoot chief executive Lee Hik Hsin.
“As we expanded globally and heard our customers’ feedback, we took advantage of advances in payment technology to implement many more payment methods to improve our customers’ experience.
“In order to pass on the savings to our customers as our costs came down, we have since March 2018 progressively removed payment processing fees in selected markets.
“Now, we are ready to do away with it globally. We hope this gives our customers better value and more reasons to escape the ordinary with us.”
Australian passengers get an added bonus with a sale offering 20 destinations for less than $A200 on the airline’s FLY fare, which includes a seat and 10kg of cabin baggage but not checked baggage or food.
The sale is for travel between October 8 and November 30, 2019, and February 20 and March 21, 2020.
In addition to Scoot’s home base of Singapore, destinations include Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Vientiane, Hanoi, Penang, Langkawi, Denpasar and Kuching.
The Maldives is also in the mix but with more restricted travel dates.