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Bitcoin Takes Flight With Airline Partnership

Bitcoin has been bitten by the travel bug. Global travel payment network UATP announced a new partnership with Bitcoin payment processor Bitnet on Tuesday (Feb. 10), a venture that will allow the more than 260 airlines associated with UATP to accept the cryptocurrency as payment.

According to the new partners, the airlines will be able to accept Bitcoin via a seamless integration platform in a joint effort to benefit the airlines. "Partnering with UATP was an obvious choice for Bitnet. Our partnership will make it easier for UATP's member airlines to accept payments in Bitcoin via a lightweight integration that avoids impact to downstream systems and leverages existing UATP reporting and refund interfaces," said Bitnet’s Vice President of Solutions Strategy Akif Khan. “Bitnet and UATP share the same mission of lowering transaction costs and fraud risk for their clients."

Ralph Kaiser, UATP president and CEO, said adding Bitcoin to its processing platform was a natural fit as the firm is always seeking out new ways to pay.

According to reports, the Bitnet team emerged from previous positions at Visa and CyberSource, where it had a strong focus on payment and fraud management systems for airlines around the globe. It’s that experience in the airline industry, the company says, that shaped the design of Bitnet and led it to seek out partners like UATP to drive growth and Bitcoin adoption.

Last October, Bitnet announced $14.5 million in its latest round of funding, spearheaded by Japan-based e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten. The company brands itself as offering retailers no cross-border fees and the highest of security protections.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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