Travelers can now add “Southwest Airlines WiFi” to their Venmo payment comments and really mean it. The airline, in partnership with in-flight WiFi provider Anuvu, added the payment option to its on board portal in recent weeks.
Selecting the Venmo option on the payment page will redirect passengers to the app (on a mobile device) or the Venmo website to complete the transaction. After paying the $8 they will have access to wifi for the day, just like with the other payment options.
Adding additional payment options is one way airlines are working to reduce friction blamed for lower take rates on board. Integrating it with an app or account rather than requiring a passenger to take out their credit card to pay should help.
But many web browsers already offer the option to save payment methods. And the portal also offers Apple Pay integrated as well. Either of those would also preclude needing to type in a card number.
More options for travelers is, undoubtedly, better. But will that be what moves the needle in terms of the decision to pay on board? Presumably lower transaction fees than a credit card payment are likely a larger motivation for the carrier to implement the Venmo payments.
Deployment of the new option began on 26 January and is expected to be complete fleet-wide within a few weeks.
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