Monday, March 20, 2017

AirAsia plans to go fully cashless; stresses on digitisation

“I think cash is old fashioned,” said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, as he introduced plans of making all in-flight purchases on AirAsia flights cashless.

From demonetisation to flights, going cashless seems to be the norm. Notably, airlines in the United States started going cashless for in-flight transactions as early as 2009. Even in India, airlines offer customers the option of paying for purchases using cards.

“I would like all our in-flight sales to be electronic,” Fernandes elaborated. “So you can just use your mobile phone to pay for food, WiFi, etc.”

He said that AirAsia hopes to launch this service by April-May and that this exercise is a part of digitising the airline. “All our cabin crew will have a mobile phone. When you go on to an Air Asia plane, they will know you,” he added, giving examples of the digitising that the carrier aims to embrace.

“Transacting in different currencies on international flights can get cumbersome, making it harder for the customer,” Nikunj Shanti, Chief Data Officer, Group Digital, AirAsia, told BusinessLine. “What we are trying to do is make it faster and easier.”

“This could also give us better information in terms of stock control, etc, so that we are stocking the right goods on the plane,” Shanti said. “Right now, it’s all manual. If we get this information digitally, we can apply learning algorithms and classification algorithms and put better products on the plane.”
19/03/17 Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan/The Hindu Business Line