For those readers not familiar with BitPay, it’s an Atlanta-based 2011 startup that specializes in facilitating Bitcoin payments and acceptance for both individuals and businesses. Corporate Traveller specializes in the SME space and certain vertical specialties for corporate travel management, and is part of Flight Center Travel Group, a UK-based global travel company. This posting was in AP news and discusses the addition of Bitcoin as a payment method for Corporate Traveller clients.
‘Corporate Traveller, the UK’s leading specialist provider of business travel management services to SME companies, has partnered with BitPay, the largest global blockchain payment provider. The agreement means that Corporate Traveller can accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash payments from its SME customers for business travel bookings.’
So apparently there is an increasing demand for using Bitcoin for travel related expenses, especially among smaller SMEs. Corporate Traveller defines their SME target space as between GBP 50K and 2 Million of annual sales turnover. According to the release, BitPay charges a 1% merchant processing fee per transaction, and settles in local currency within two days. Although the piece indicates that ‘there is no risk to the company’ (meaning Corporate Traveller), we are not 100% sure what that means, since pricing in Bitcoin carries some risk, even if converted to GBP in settled funds. However, we will leave that for a follow on discussion with the company.
“We are excited that Corporate Traveller is committing to offering clients the ability to pay in bitcoin and bitcoin cash,” said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay. “We know blockchain payments provide a strong user case for travel, with customers now able to spend bitcoin on corporate travel bookings. We have seen big growth from airlines and travel agents who are tapping into the massive blockchain market.”
While it is an interesting development, we will see if and how it plays over the longer term with larger organizations.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group