Singapore-based travel consultancy OMT Group of Companies has launched a new travel mobile application that can help “increase the standards of travel wholesalers and safeguard monies and personal data from illicit activities”.
Unlike typical travel apps, OMT's latest initiative, which incorporates blockchain technology, can make monetary transactions more secure, reducing the occurrence of flight SMS scams and phishing activity. In addition, the app can help to reduce consumers’ administrative costs that are linked to intermediary fees and high refund fees on OTA websites.
Already, blockchain is increasingly being used for the secure sharing of medical data, cross-border payments and real-time IoT (Internet of Things) operating systems. Its potential in the Asia Pacific travel sector is especially huge, according to OMT chairman and CEO, James Yeow.
This is especially so with the gradual reopening of some countries’ borders, that will see the use of blockchain eliminating paper documentation, optimising check-in processes and predicting visitor arrivals, he elaborated.
That said, he believes “there needs to be greater transparency and ease of data transfer to boost knowledge and service quality standards particularly across borders and between countries.”
How can the travel trade benefit?
In addition to operationalising travel chains, OMT’s mobile application will also feature a series of affordable itineraries to destinations including Indonesia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
Consumer-based agents and representative partners can also earn direct commissions and rewards through the referral programme from the utilisation and bookings of the products and services within the app.
At the moment, OMT has more than 30 travel trade partners on board and is also approaching close to 500 consumer-based agent and representative partners in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and South Africa.
Yeow, who is confident that blockchain technology will take off in the region, pointed to how "already, IATA is rolling out the IATA Travel Pass, which also rests on the distributed ledger, to help travellers keep their personal data safe and secure in a post-pandemic environment".
He also believes the technology will eventually contribute to an increase in convenience in baggage handling, immigration processing and ultimately, a boom in outbound leisure.