Singapore Airlines will institute a blockchain-based digital rewards wallet
KrisFlyer is in the process of signing up retail merchant partners, initially in the Singapore market.
Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme will assist customers to trade their earned rewards for point-of-sale retail transactions through a new digital wallet app, created using blockchain technology.
The digital wallet was the result of successful proof-of-concept exercises carried out in collaboration with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft. The wallet app will add and store redeemable “digital KrisFlyer miles”.
The app is expected to be rolled out in around six months, sometime in mid-2018. KrisFlyer is in the process of signing up retail merchant partners, initially only those located in the Singaporean marketplace.
Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong claims that the digital wallet is a “world-first initiative” for an airline loyalty programme and for security reasons, will be enabled using SIA-owned private blockchain.
“This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalize’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline,” Goh Choon Phong said.
Singapore Airlines isn’t the only carrier to research and consider the application of blockchain technology. Air France KLM engineering and maintenance has been experimenting with the possibilities of blockchain via its MRO Lab, Aviation Today reported in October 2017. Air France KLM business unit director of innovation James Kornberg said his team is pursuing business cases for the use of blockchain to improve maintenance processes.
“The use case has to be realistic,” Kornberg said. “The four features of blockchain are resilience, traceability, integrity and disintermediation are well suited to the aviation supply chain.”
American multinational courier delivery service FedEx has revealed plans to integrate blockchain technology, joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to develop industry standards for transportation companies.
In October last year, tech giant IBM joined forced with blockchain startup Stellar Lumens and payments company KlickEx Group to enable high-speed cross-border payments for banks and other financial institutions.