Realtime credit card processing is now available on the fflya platform, extending the capabilities of the Bluetooth-based inflight connectivity solution. The service was demonstrated on a Wizz Air A321 as part of the ongoing deployment trial with that carrier.
The fflya live Transact program is both PCI compliant and has Two Factor authentication, replacing the outdated method of caching credit cards onboard and downloading after the flight.– Ron Chapman ASIP CEO
To demonstrate the transaction processing capabilities AS-IP integrated the Wizz Air Food and Boutique menu into the fflya messaging app. Passengers with the app were able to place an order and pay directly, receiving a receipt in real time. Previously the crew would process the transaction on board in an offline state, caching the details until the plane landed and could batch upload the details for processing.
With the real time processing airlines dramatically reduce risk of fraudulent transactions on board. The lightweight solution uses a small, window-mount antenna which connects to the Iridium NEXT network. A single Bluetooth 5 access point on board supports all client connections. This architecture reduces airline costs compared to traditional IFC solutions by avoiding larger, heavier, external terminal installations.
The flfya implementation also includes a crew module to receive and process the order. The CrewX app can also perform full point of sale transaction processing, including the same credit card authorizations, over the same lightweight link.
The fflya platform delivers free inflight text messaging to passengers, as well as interactive promotions, especially around tours and activities at the destination. The messaging uses fflya’s bespoke interface, which raises questions around adoption and access to third party applications, especially if multi-factor authentication is enabled.
Under the recently expanded three-year deal with Wizz Air, AS-IP will cover the cost of delivering the solution. The companies agreed to a revenue sharing model that allows AS-IP to recoup its investment based on utilization of the on-board services. The deal calls for AS-IP to “provide its fflya system for 19 of WIZZs United Kingdom based A320 and A321 aircraft under the previously agreed revenue sharing arrangement.”
Taking a cut of the credit card transactions in exchange for processing them in real time is likely a more stable revenue stream for AS-IP than commissions on tours or hotels sold during the flights, albeit at much smaller dollar amounts. The company expects a combination of the two revenue streams to offset the cost of developing and deploying the fflya platform on board.
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