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Ethiopian Airlines Offers New Ways to Pay with WeChat and KNET

CellPoint Digital has enabled Ethiopian Airlines to create two new popular forms of payment to serve its fast-growing Chinese and Middle Eastern markets

by Business Traveler

September 15, 2019

Africa’s largest airline company, Ethiopian Airlines, has partnered with CellPoint Digital, a provider of digital commerce and payment solutions for airlines, to offer more popular payment methods to its passengers.

Last year, Ethiopian Airlines adopted CellPoint’s Velocity payment platform to implement a mobile-first payment strategy for a more seamless customer experience in its mobile app. Ethiopian Airlines initially added Alipay and saw promising growth in bookings through its mobile app in some markets. Ethiopian Airlines is now introducing WeChat Pay and KNET to cater to the international travel market.

China is set to displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market by the mid-2020s and is a key growth market for Ethiopian Airlines. Millions of Chinese tourists use Alipay and WeChat Pay to make travel purchases, and together these two alternative forms of payment cover more than 90% of the Chinese market.

Ethiopian Airlines is also looking to expand into the Middle East region, which IATA predicts to grow annually by 4.4%. The region has a growing population of younger, tech-savvy travelers who want to pay quickly and easily using a familiar payment method. To cater to Kuwaiti passengers, Ethiopian Airlines will now accept KNET, a popular local payment option in the region.

“As we expand into new markets, we want to ensure the payment process on our mobile app is as seamless as possible for our passengers,” said Miretab Teklaye, Digital Director of Ethiopian Airlines.

The payment solutions are  managed through CellPoint Digital’s Velocity payment platform – a full merchant-side payment control environment built specifically for the travel industry. Cellpoint is both a fintech and a travel tech company and its Velocity platform enables airlines and travel companies to activate new, alternative forms of payment in weeks instead of months to build a customized payment ecosystem that meets the needs of customers in specific markets.

It offers two omni-channel modular platforms. Velocity is a unique payment control platform that optimizes all digital payment transactions, from cards or alternative forms of payment, and accelerates the deployment of new payment methods. Voyage is a full digital platform that masters the entire customer sales cycle and optimizes end-to-end conversion rates.