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Swiipr Raises $7.6 Million to Digitize Payouts for Flight Disruptions

Swiipr Raises $7.6 Million to Digitize Payouts for Flight Disruptions

British travel PayTech firm Swiipr raised $7.6 million in new funding.

The company, launched four years ago, lets airlines digitize payouts for flight disruptions, working with 26 airlines in 70 countries, Swiipr said in a Tuesday (May 28) blog post.

More than 500 million passengers around the world are affected by disrupted flights each, costing airlines billions of dollars in payouts, according to the post.

“Paper vouchers, in particular, are time-consuming to process and issue, fraud-prone, notoriously retailer and passenger unfriendly, and environmentally unsustainable,” the post said. “Bank transfers can take months to process, physical cash is insecure and expensive to handle at airports, and loyalty points and future travel vouchers are often unpopular.”

“Swiipr’s integrated digital platform, including virtual and physical pre-paid compensation cards and a mobile app, give airlines the tools they need to solve these pain points for both themselves and passengers, whilst being fully compliant with the latest passenger rights regulations,” the company added in the post.

In addition, Swiipr offers the Swiipr Compensation Card for passengers, which lets airlines distribute money directly to customers at the point of disruption (such as denied boarding or lost luggage), per the post. It also offers the Swiipr Welfare Card, which allows airlines to instantly distribute food and beverage payments when flights are delayed.

The company’s funding comes as airlines are facing new pressure from the U.S. government to make it easier for travelers to get refunds in the cases of flights that are canceled or “significantly changed,” following new Transportation Department rules issued last month.

“Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them — without headaches or haggling,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news release April 24. “Our new rule sets a new standard to require airlines to promptly provide cash refunds to their passengers.”

According to the new rule — which is being challenged in court by several airlines — a significant change to a flight involves departure or arrival times that are more than three hours domestically and six hours internationally, or departures or arrivals from a different airport.