Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have taken one more step into the business world. SME business travellers in the UK have a new means of payment for airfare and accommodation: Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash. This is possible thanks to a recent partnership between Corporate Traveller and BitPay.
Corporate Traveller – the Personal Travel Concierge for Small Businesses in UK
Corporate Traveller is a niche division of the global corporation Flight Centre Travel Group. Its target clients are small and medium sized enterprises with annual travel spending between £50 thousand and £2 million.
Thanks to its parent company, Corporate Traveller can offer its clients special rates for flights, hotel rooms and other business travel services. But the company does not owe its success solely to competitive prices, but also to its hands-on approach. Their services include:
- a dedicated travel consultant,
- taking care of visa and immigration paperwork,
- 24/7 emergency assistance,
- dealing with the logistics of business meetings and events.
What Are The Benefits of Paying with Bitcoin for Business Travel?
The new payment option for SME business travelers came in response to market demand. According to the UK General Manager of Corporate Traveller, Andy Hegley:
We identified an increasing demand from our clients for the option to pay in bitcoin for business travel bookings made by our travel consultants. We chose BitPay to manage our merchant processing because they make it easy and handle the entire process of getting the Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash from the customer and depositing cash into our account.
For clients, paying with cryptocurrency is not only more convenient, but also more affordable. Credit card and bank transfer fees are very high, especially for small businesses. By comparison, BitPay charges only 1% per transaction.
The New Way of Travelling for Business
Speaking of the partnership with Corporate Traveller, the Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay, Sonny Singh, said:
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.
For the travel services provider, working with BitPay means faster settlement of invoices and bills. Corporate Traveller employees can issue the payment document in any form: email invoice or online ecommerce transaction. Once the client receives it, they can pay from any internet connected device (computer, smartphone).
In just two business days, Corporate Travellers receives the payment directly into their bank account, converted from Bitcoin to GBP. Therefore, they are able to perform account settlements for each client with greater clarity and speed.
Is Crypto the Future of Global Payments?
Putting this recent partnership in a larger context, this is yet another sign that cryptocurrency and blockchain offer a reliable alternative to traditional financial services. Both merchants and customers need security and speed in their transactions. And Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, provide them. Meanwhile, wire transfers are still slow and subject to the risk of hacking and fraud.
However, this does not mean that crypto transfers and traditional banking services cannot coexist. It is just fair to offer individuals and companies as many choices as possible for paying and getting paid.
Tamara is a marketing and PR professional, enthusiastic about crypto, blockchain and technology in general. She’s the editor at Bitcoin UK.