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According to a McKinsey report,  airline retailing is expected to be worth $40 billion by 2030.

Central to the airline industry’s development is payment innovation and how it can help airlines improve customer experience, grow revenue, decrease costs and grow. 

In this article, we look at five ways in which digital payments can help grow airline businesses, especially in Africa. 

The 5 Ways Digital Payments Can Help Grow the Airline Business

While Africa’s FinTech payment system is undoubtedly large and untapped, digital payments in Africa seem to be taking shape and increasing. Despite the many challenges of Africa’s online payment ecosystems, digital payments have much to offer businesses. Here are five ways digital payments can help grow your airline business:

1. Enhanced Customer Experience

With digital payments, airlines can streamline booking processes to enable customers to complete electronic transactions quickly, reducing lengthy manual procedures. This also gives travelers convenience and flexibility for bookings, payments, purchases and ancillary services.  

Customers can also enjoy the integration of secure and efficient payment options, giving them trust and confidence in dealing with the airline. 

2. Increased Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings 

Airlines can also achieve operational efficiency by implementing electronic bill payment or ticketing methods. Through digital payments, there is a reduction of manual processes related to payment processing, thereby minimizing errors. 

There’s also automation of payment-related tasks, such as payment processes and streamlining accounting, reconciliation, and reporting, which increases operational efficiency. Reducing manual processes and automating payments help airlines reduce costs and optimize operations. 

3. Global Reach and Access to New Market 

Implementing online payment options gives airlines access to a broader customer base: and even new markets in various regions, different age groups, and professions. These people often want convenience in payments and prefer electronic payment models. For example, crypto and Mpesa or mobile money users can pay for their flights from their phones using digital payments.

In addition, digital payments facilitate easy international transactions, allowing airlines to accept and manage transactions across borders using different currencies. This enhances their ability to cater to an international customer base. For example, Cellulant provides businesses across Africa with a single, seamless payment platform, enabling them to process all types of payments – local, international, offline, and online transactions or electronic bill payments

4. Data Analytics and Personalization

Digital payment platforms like Tingg by Cellulant have dashboards that provide airlines with an easy means to view and utilize customer data for insights. Airlines can leverage this data to analyze consumer behavior and preferences to tailor their services accordingly. 

They can then use the data for improved data-driven decisions, such as personalizing travel offers and promotions to enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction. But it’s important to let customers know how their data will be used to avoid data security and privacy concerns, including litigation. 

5. Fraud Prevention and Enhanced Security

Enhanced security and fraud prevention are essential in digital payments. Through digital payments, airlines can take the following measures to improve their businesses: 

  • Implement robust security measures through digital payment’s advanced security protocols such as 2FA, safeguarding sensitive customer information and preventing fraud.
  • Reduce payment-related risks through the security of digital payment methods, ensuring a safe and secure transaction environment.


In summary, embracing digital payments in the airline industry contributes significantly to business growth. It supports enhanced customer experiences, operational efficiency, global market expansion, data-driven personalization, and robust security measures. The ongoing evolution of digital payment trends remains pivotal for airlines to stay competitive and meet the dynamic needs of today’s travelers.

If you’re an airline business facing challenges in growing your business amidst a competitive industry, contact Cellulant and get payment offerings that can enhance your digital payment implementation. 


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