After announcing its intention to use digitize passenger experiences, Singapore Airlines is getting into a new venture using blockchain technology.
Singapore Airlines announced in a media release it will create a new digital wallet app within the next six months for members of the KrisFlyer frequent miles program. The new digital wallet will allow members to use their KrisFlyer miles for point-of-sale transactions at partner retail merchants.
Blockchain functions as an online record-keeping system or digital ledger maintained by a random group of peers rather than any central agency or authority. The Singapore Airlines technology is its own private blockchain involving only merchants and partners, it said in a statement.
"This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to 'digitalise' 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," said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong.
Blockchain is the technology behind popular currencies such as Bitcoin, which recently has gained widespread interest. For airlines and airports, the technology is being explored to improve operations and passenger experiences. Airlines such as Russia's S7, and Japan's Peach Air have started to accept Bitcoin payments for travel bookings. Singapore Airlines is taking it a step further to be the first airline to create its own digital wallet. The new app is expected to be introduced first for the Singapore market.
"It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world's leading digital airline," Phong added.