Mastercard and Boingo Wireless are teaming up to deliver unlimited access to more than one million premium Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world for select HSBC Mastercard cardholders in Argentina, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the U.K.
“We know that consumers really want this – they value experiences over things and travel is huge component of that experience that we want to enrich for them. We see Boingo and the access to unlimited Wi-Fi through hotspots as an essential travel companion for those consumers,” Marti Beller, SVP of loyalty solutions global products and platforms for Mastercard, told PYMNTS prior to the announcement of the new global partnership.
Research shows that travel and being connected while traveling are both increasing priorities to people around the world. Busy, connected travelers value complimentary Wi-Fi both in hotels and while flying, which is why Mastercard is creating benefits and programs geared towards supporting the experiences they desire.
Eligible Mastercard cardholders will have the ability to register their card just once, Beller explained, in order to access available free Wi-Fi at Boingo hotspots automatically without having to login time and time again. The access to Boingo can be registered to up to four devices per eligible cardholder account.
When it comes to affluent cardholders, Mastercard is striving to develop a foundation for digitally rich experiences that bring value to the consumer no matter where they are, and especially at a moment in their lives via travel that will be meaningful to them, Beller noted.
“We are trying to eliminate hurdles and barriers for that affluent cardholder throughout their everyday life and specifically when they are experiencing something as rich as travel,” she added.
According to research from Resonance Consultancy, complimentary Wi-Fi is the top “desirable amenity” for more than half of the wealthiest travelers while on the ground. Once those travelers are flying, 63 percent access entertainment services on their own device, data from SITA’s 11th annual Passenger IT Trends Survey revealed.
It’s expected that this trend will only increase.
Cisco VNI reported that mobile data traffic will grow sevenfold from 2016 to 2021 globally, a compound annual growth rate of 47 percent.
“Looking at the consumer insights around affluent cardholders in general – regardless of travel but especially in travel – it’s about really saving time and money,” Beller said.
Everybody is time-starved, she explained, and for Mastercard it’s not solely about providing discounts, but instead making my money go as far as it can in the smartest way that it can.
“I think that’s what’s so nice about this benefit, it does both of those things so seamlessly for cardholders – it enriches an experience but it also takes away a time and cost burden.”