Friday , September 20, 2019

Southwest Airlines Will Add Apple Pay As a Payment Option

Southwest Airlines will join the roster of merchants that accept Apple Pay, according to an announcement Wednesday from CellPoint Digital and UATP.

UATP, the airline-owned payment network, and CellPoint Digital, a travel industry payments specialist, said Dallas-based Southwest will make Apple Pay available across all channels to buy tickets and services. UATP and CellPoint Digital formed a partnership in 2018 to offer UATP’s member airlines payment services.

This is the first airline to come onboard via the UATP and CellPoint Digital partnership, the companies say.

A screenshot of the Southwest iOS app shows the Apple Pay option.

Southwest signed a multiyear agreement. Apple Pay is available in the Southwest iOS app with other channels to follow. Delta Air Lines in 2015 said it was the first U.S.-based airline to accept Apple Pay. 

The fifth anniversary of Apple Pay’s announcement occurs next week. The mobile-payments service is expected to hit 10 billion transactions cumulatively in 2019.

“The launch of Apple Pay enhances our ability to sell flights, as well as ancillary products using one of the most widely used digital wallets in North America,” Christopher Priebe, Southwest director of treasury, payments, and risk, said in a news release. Approximately 80% of Southwest’s passengers book travel on its Web site and on SWAbiz.com, its business-dedicated site. The airline operates more than 4,000 daily flights during peak travel seasons.

UATP and CellPoint Digital said their joint product offers access to more than 350 payment options, including Visa Checkout, WeChat Pay, bank transfers, installment payments, and cash-based methods.

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