Security

Here's why Singapore Airlines moved its frequent flyer program to the blockchain

Passengers will be able to earn points through flying then spend them at participating retailers using the KrisFlyer digital app.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Singapore Airlines will offer a blockchain-enabled digital wallet for its loyalty program.
  • Frequent flyers will be able to pull flying points from the wallet to spend at participating retailers.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is launching the first blockchain-enabled digital wallet for an airline loyalty program, the airline announced Monday.

The KrisFlyer digital app will allow frequent flyers to spend their digital miles at participating retailers, according to a press release. The option to quickly spend miles on things other than more flights could potentially save business travelers money and make travel simpler.

While this is the first company to apply blockchain to an airline loyalty program, around 28% of businesses are experimenting with the emerging technology, according to a December report. Blockchain may have a lasting impact in the banking and shipping industries, among others.

SEE: Travel and business expense policy (Tech Pro Research)

SIA expects to launch the wallet within the next six months, according to the release. The airline worked with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft to create the initial proof-of-concept. Retail partners will initially be in the Singapore market, but could expand if successful.

By increasing the amount of partners involved in its loyalty program and the ease of spending miles, SIA could see an increase in customer loyalty in both the program and their airline, our sister site ZDNet reported.

"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," Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said in the release.

Also see

26singapore.jpg
Image: iStockphoto/uskarp

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox