Believe it or not, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in the New Year. This was an exciting and successful year for CellPoint Mobile as we continued to build on our mobile solutions to help airlines, ground transportation providers and hospitality brands increase bookings, capture more revenue and keep pace with digital innovation. I’m especially proud of our fourth consecutive Børsen Gazelle Award, which recognizes elite businesses in my native country of Denmark.
Before we move on to 2018 and the growing opportunities in mobile commerce and global travel, I want to share a brief review of 2017.
Among the many airline industry conferences CellPoint Mobile had a presence at this year, we attended Airline Information’s 4th Mega Event Asia-Pacific conference in Singapore. One of the questions we wanted to pose to the conference – and to the wider airline sector – is whether airlines have the strategies and solutions in place to collect more revenues through the mobile channel, at every point in the passenger journey. This is the fundamental opportunity we’ve built our solutions for, be it with mobile booking or mobile payments. We help airlines and other travel providers make travel easier for passengers, by streamlining travel processes that occur on their mobile devices, and by turning every touchpoint into an opportunity for mobile revenue. This is the vision that motivates us to keep moving the airline industry and the travel sector forward.
African Airlines Association (AFRAA)
In November, CellPoint Mobile was honored to be part of the 49th Annual General Assembly for the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in Rwanda. As a proud member of AFRAA, we were delighted to meet with representatives from African airlines and discuss the continent’s growing opportunities for mobile commerce. Here is a link to the speaker presentation we gave at the conference.
Following up on AFRAA, we made an appearance on CNBC Africa to discuss how African airlines can tap into e-commerce for growth (you can watch the interview here). We eagerly look forward to new opportunities to help African airlines build out their mobile capabilities (and revenue) in 2018.
Rail Sector and Ground Transportation
CellPoint Mobile has long been a provider of mobile solutions to the ground transportation industry, especially the rail sector, and 2017 was an opportunity to take a fresh look at where the industry is headed. Rail operators are looking to expand and increase their share of the travel market, but first they need to sell a new generation of travelers on the convenience, comfort and economy of rail. The easier it is for travelers to search, book and pay for their train travel plans, the easier it will be for the rail industry to strengthen itself as an attractive, mainstream travel option.
Similar challenges and opportunities face other ground transportation providers, including buses and ferries. Mobile ticketing and mobile payments are “game changers” for bus and ferry providers because they require no special or time-consuming hardware investments. Mobile devices are ubiquitous today and travelers depend on them for information, directions, schedules, station maps, delay alerts and so much more. In the coming year, CellPoint Mobile will continue to make ground transportation a priority, helping providers implement quick and cost-effective mobile solutions for faster and more efficient service and higher revenues throughout the customer journey.
Hospitality is another industry group on our 2018 priority list that has major opportunity (and an urgent need) for additional mobile capabilities. Just this year, Marriott rolled out mobile check-in across 300 hotels in Asia-Pacific, including Hong Kong. This represents the standard of connected travel that mobile consumers increasingly expect – a seamless, frictionless experience from beginning to end of a journey. Over the last year, we’ve taken the opportunity to broaden our reach to the overall travel and tourism industry, adapting our core booking and payment solutions to the unique needs of the hospitality industry, which encompasses hotels, music venues, sporting arenas, convention centers, resorts, entertainment and more.
Apple Pay in the Nordics and Middle East
Late in 2017, Apple Pay – the most widely used mobile wallet in the world – officially expanded to three Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden), as well as its first country in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates). These launches were significant news for CellPoint Mobile as we are active in both regions, and we are already on board with Apple Pay – making CellPoint Mobile the perfect entry point to Apple pay for travel merchants in each country. Launching Apple Pay was a momentous step for mobile commerce in these regions, and CellPoint Mobile looks forward to working with travel merchants to implement solutions that can support many different alternative payment methods (APMs), including but certainly not limited to Apple Pay.
Happy New Year 2018
In 2017, the travel sector continued its steady advance to becoming a mobile-first industry worldwide. Mobile finally overtook desktop and now accounts for 52% of overall ecommerce. In 2018, digital travel worldwide will increase 10.4% to reach $676B in sales, eventually climbing to $855B by 2021. In the US, mobile already drives 40% of digital travel sales. Mobile commerce is truly transforming how we search, book, pay for and manage travel, and how travel providers drive and maximize revenue. We expect this transformation to speed up in 2018, as more travel providers make hard but necessary decisions to invest in new and better mobile solutions to meet passenger expectations and stay competitive.
On behalf of the entire CellPoint Mobile team, I would like to wish each of our clients, readers and friends a happy, healthy and successful 2018. I look forward to connecting again early in the New Year.