Daily Review: The Aviation Industry Is Getting a FinTech-Powered Upgrade

Efficient identity management is essential for better security while at the same time improving the passenger experience. Biometrics is the technology that can deliver this. Moving to single token identity management where passengers can simply use their biometric, such as their face, at every checkpoint on their journey will speed passengers securely through the airport. – Sean Farrell, Director of Strategy & Innovation, SITA

Over half (63%) of airports and nearly half (43%) of airlines are planning to invest in biometric ID management solutions in the next three years.

Pick #1. Airlines Increasingly Investing in Biometric Technology

According to a report by aviation technology company SITA, three out of five airports and two out of five airlines are investing in innovative biometric technology to improve speed and security as passenger numbers continue to rise at a staggering rate, with the number of annual fliers set to almost double to 7.8 billion by 2036.

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Pick #2. MetLife & WeSure Form Strategic Digital Insurance Partnership

MetLife and WeSure, a digital insurance provider owned by Tencent, announced a strategic partnership to offer insurance solutions to travelers through Tencent’s WeSure online insurance platform.

This alliance marries WeSure’s extensive base of 1 billion monthly active users on Tencent’s mobile social communications platform, WeChat, with MetLife’s global expertise in life and health protection solutions, and enables both parties to collaborate in fields such as big-data analysis, tailor-made & intelligent value-added services to deliver easier-to-use and more transparent end-to-end protection solutions for Chinese travelers.

The partnership’s first solution is an aviation accident insurance product which will be provided on the WeSure platform and focus on an optimized customer experience, protection level, and price. According to the Annual Report of China Domestic Tourism Development 2017, the number of domestic travelers in China reached 4.5 billion in 2016, with a steady YoY growth of 15%. The simple, cost-effective solution is a truly differentiated offering in the travel accident insurance segment.

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Pick #3. Google’s Indian Payments Platform Looks for New Markets

Expansion into new markets very much depends on how conversations progress in the next few months and our ability to really focus resources on it but we’ll certainly be working on it this year, Diana Layfield, Head of Tez & VP of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative, said in an interview to the Financial Times.

We designed it for India first but we were very much thinking about global market growth users. We have learnt a huge amount about user interface design for payments systems.

It would still need to be tweaked [for other markets] but there are some big common threads around simplicity and the design of payment interfaces. – Diana Layfield, Head of Tez & VP of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative

Countries with similar characteristics to India – relatively low credit card penetration and limited access to near-field communications systems – were the most attractive to Tez.

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