Four key payments changes in the travel industry post-COVID with Mike Parkinson

Before the pandemic, there were a lot of predictions for how account-to-account payments would almost double in the next 3 years. But then, a little thing known as COVID-19 happened, rocking entire industries to the core. Especially the travel industry. Obviously this has meant that some predictions need to be updated, but I want to share with you four key trends that have been accelerated thanks to the pandemic.

Banking infrastructure is growing up

During the pandemic, significant banking infrastructure digitalization and investment has happened. This means faster payments, now linked to apps makes for instant transfers of cash between account to account. This investment, made in the UK, US and the EU has been long overdue and sets us up nicely for improved speeds in the future.

Cash is less king than ever before

Many of us are digital natives, but there’s still a big chunk of the population who aren’t. One 2019 report states that in the US, there was still a whopping 5.4% of consumers that are still unbanked1. The pandemic forced the hand of a lot of people and businesses alike. Cash and cheques no longer became a viable option, as ATMs weren’t being filled up and banks were, for the most part, closed. I expect that we’ll see a big reduction in these numbers going forward, largely being sped up by the events of the last 18 months.

Data Capture helped travel adapt

Another area that is linked to these digitalization trends would be data capture. With this level of automation comes data capture, and that creates opportunities and efficiencies for businesses particularly in the travel space. You can improve client engagement and contextualize sales offers. Automation creates operational efficiencies and this increase allows for a more collaborative industry, for example the management of fraud.

The gig economy is leading the way in payments.

Although relatively new, the gig economy has seen a massive boom in popularity. Partly due to job security being less stable due to the pandemic, but also because people are demanding more flex and freedom in their working lives. There are already an estimated 60 million people working within the gig economy in the US alone, and that is driving a rapid and positive change within the payments industry, as people are demanding their money quicker and more frequently than ever before. Speed and Flexibility, leading the way!


Mike Parkinson
Director Travel

Mike joined Trustly in June 2016 from payment service provider Worldpay, where he was Vice President of the Aviation sector. Parkinson has over a decade of experience in payments, having held various senior positions at Worldpay, including Head of Partnerships and Head of Global Corporate Sales. At Trustly UK, Parkinson heads business development for the Travel and Airlines segment.


1. FDIC, https://www.economicinclusion.gov/surveys/2019household/

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