Famous budget airline Air Asia has affirmed its intentions to invade the fin-tech realm with the actualization of digital currency called ‘BigCoin’.
In a account with the Nikkei Asian Review, AirAsia benefactor and CEO Tony Fernandes underlined the airline’s design to venture into new markets besides the introduction of BigCoin, a proprietary cryptographic assets that will see its own Initial coin offering (ICO). It still remains unanswered that AirAsia is building up its own blockchain or plans to utilize a current blockchain platform for BigCoin.
Headquartered in Malaysia, Air Asia is south-east Asia’s biggest budget airlines in terms of passenger activity. The airline will transform its regular customer points into BigCoin, Fernandes stated, before announcing the ticket fare on the airline’s site will be notified in BigCoin along with the fare in fiat currencies from this month onwards.
Fernandes, who considers these digital assets to be a ‘tool to alleviate currency fluctuation risks from overseas revenue’ foresees BigCoin being acknowledged by third-party organizations apart from its own activities. Following its launch, clients will have the options to utilize BigCoin to pay for in-flight meals, seat upgrades and different administrations inside 3-6 months, he added.
AirAsia first reported its Fintech program named ‘The Big’ in mid-2017 with the expectation to give banking and financial services and encourage in-flight buys for more than 60 million annual travellers. A month ago, Fernandes uncovered plans toward an Initial coin offering (ICO) that he expects will check trade and settlement uncertainties.
AirAsia tries the semblance of Singapore Airlines this year in tapping blockchain technology for frequent flyer programs. Singapore’s national airline remarkably reported plans to convey its own private blockchain following an effective proof-of-concept (PoC) with technology partners Microsoft and KPMG earlier in February preceding the launch of what it calls the ‘world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet’. To be accessible to retail customers in by August 2018, the blockchain digital wallet mobile application will empower passengers to spend their air miles as an incentive in point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.