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COVID-19 Impact on Global Online Travel Payment 2021

The COVID 19 pandemic put global travel on top of the list of the most severely affected industries. In 2021, with many countries still maintaining movement restrictions, the industry is only gradually beginning to return to its pre-pandemic levels. With that, all elements of the industry, including payments, had to substantially rely on technology and automated solutions to attract those few travelers who could travel during the health crisis. Moreover, worldwide, more than 80% of tourists claimed that technology would accelerate their confidence in traveling, and two-fifths stated that the availability of contactless payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, would allow them to travel more confidently. Moreover, in 2020, a significant share of consumers preferred to abandon a proposed travel-related purchase if a contactless payment option was not available. Another major trend in digital travel payments is the rise of Buy Now Pay Later solutions. With economic disruptions due to the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, deferred and installment payments play an important role in the customer experience. The study reveals that over 20% of respondents in a 2020 survey said that availability of a BNPL option was an important factor when booking a travel-related service. Furthermore, around one in five travelers in the Asia-Pacific region used a BNPL payment option for trips in 2020, with Chinese travelers standing above the average.


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