A cryptocurrency-friendly travel booking platform has partnered with the online travel agency giant Booking.com. The deal will allow users of the Travala platform to book accommodation listed on Booking.com and pay for it with crypto assets.
Although the announcement is great news for existing and future users of the Travala service, its impact on actual crypto adoption remains to be seen. Since there will be no change to the user experience at Booking.com, the partnership might not even serve as much of an opportunity to promote cryptocurrency usage to the not yet converted.
Will Paying for Booking.com Stays in Cryptocurrency Increase Adoption?
The news of the Travala/Booking.com Strategic Partnership Agreement comes from a post to the former company’s blog. The post reveals that Travala, thanks to the recent inclusion of Booking.com’s extensive accommodation listings, now allows the platform’s users to pay for stays using cryptocurrency at a total of two million destinations.
CEO of Travala, Matt Luczynski, commented on the recent partnership:
“This partnership allows our users to access Booking.com’s accommodation listings, as well as the listings from several other leading travel suppliers, which is… another huge step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption”.
This partnership allows our users to access https://t.co/1e1LSHKc2i’s accommodation listings, as well as the listings from several other leading travel suppliers…..
Read full announcement:https://t.co/n1kAx4n9mT
— Matt Luczynski (@Mattlucz) November 25, 2019
Travala customers can use one of more than 20 different digital assets to pay for stays. However, as with many apparent adoption stories, there is more to it than immediately meets the eye.
Like other high profile examples of supposed cryptocurrency acceptance, Travala seems to be using a payment processing service to make Bitcoin, Litecoin, and payments in other digital currencies. Essentially, Booking.com has only agreed to take payment in fiat currency via one of these payment processors. The company’s overall stance has not changed with regards cryptocurrency payments. NewsBTC was unable to uncover which crypto payment firm Travala works with but the scope of payment options alone suggests that such a service must be part of the system. The company also lists a service fee levied by an unnamed payment processing firm as part of its cryptocurrency payment information pages. Given this use of a payment processor, the deal, for Booking.com, will be less about genuine acceptance of digital currencies and more about selling a few more hotel rooms to those wanting to pay using the cutting-edge payment methods.
Unfortunately, such a partnership only really benefits those already using digital currency. For individuals receiving pay cheques in Bitcoin or another crypto asset, being able to pay for all of Booking.com’s listings in a range of digital currencies is certainly a great advantage.
However, the strategic partnership detailed today doesn’t impact Booking.com’s millions of existing users. It only improves the experience of the much smaller number of presumably already crypto-literate users of Travala. Unlike with other instances of increased crypto acceptance, such as AT&T allowing customers to pay with digital currency via a payment processor, the user experience of an already sizeable customer base will not change. The Travala/Booking.com partnership, therefore, seems unlikely to act even as a means of further familiarising those still sceptical with digital currency acceptance and, eventually, use.
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