Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the expanded collaboration between Germany’s Wirecard and European low-cost airline Wizz Air. In addition, AIB is making Fitbit Pay available to its customers in Ireland, and the UAE’s Beam plans to expand into multiple new markets.
Germany-based Wirecard announced that it is growing its Wizz Air collaboration by providing the low-cost airline with payment processing and acquiring services through Navitaire, the company said in an announcement. According to the company, the carrier is the first low-cost airline to benefit from its services through the Navitaire platform. Wirecard noted that low-cost carriers (LCC) have “been the fastest-growing market in the European aviation segment,” as low-cost flights have risen by 61 percent between 2007 and 2016. Wirecard VP Sales Airlines Eckart Reiche noted in the release, “low-cost carriers have a great growth potential. Therefore, we will keep expanding our position in this segment.”
And in Ireland, AIB said on Thursday (Dec. 6) that Fitbit Pay will be available to customers who have a Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Charge 3 or Fitbit Versa device, according to reports. To use the offering, AIB said customers need to add a credit or debit card in the Fitbit wallet with an iOS or Android mobile app. To make a payment, customers press a button on the device and hold it against a payment terminal. “We are delighted to be launching Fitbit Pay as our latest mobile first innovation and addition to our digital wallet,” AIB Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Fergal Coburn said in the announcement. “This allows customers to decide the way they prefer to make payments.”
In the UAE, mobile payments firm Beam plans to grow into multiple new markets in 2019, CNBC reported. The company plans to grow in Europe in the Middle East by opening in Luxembourg, Portugal and Azerbaijan, among other locations. As it stands, the outlet reported that Beam “already has a foothold in Australia and Sweden.” Beam Co-founder Shezan Amiji told the outlet, “now that we’ve demonstrated and proven value for both the consumer and for the merchant, it’s about taking [it] to the next level and opening up into new markets.” The company said it has gained roughly one million users following its 2012 UAE rollout.