Virgin turns airline loyalty into contactless credit cards

By on
Virgin turns airline loyalty into contactless credit cards

Expands frequent flyer program in partnership with Visa.

Virgin Australia will integrate its 3.5 million member Velocity frequent flyer program program with a new prepaid, contactless credit card scheme in coming months.

To date, the airline has partnered with the likes of American Express and sister brand Virgin Money to offer frequent flyer points as a reward for credit card spend.

Virgin Money was acquired by the Bank of Queensland last week.

The new, opt-in Global Wallet program will issue Velocity members with new loyalty cards that feature Visa’s smart chip and contactless payWave technology.

Global Wallet users will be able to store money in multiple currencies on their accounts, to be used for purchases and to withdraw cash from compatible ATMs around the world.

Velocity data will continue to be held by Virgin, while transaction data will be held separately by partner Rev Worldwide.

Visa said the Global Wallet partnership was its first such airline partnership.

The airline has spent some $36 million on a major program of work that saw it flick the switch on a new Sabre ticketing and reservation system in January.

Global Wallet was announced this week, echoing the announcement of Qantas Cash by Qantas and MasterCard in February.

At the time, Qantas said it had no plans to move into personal banking and would remain “focused on running an airline and loyalty business”.

A Qantas spokeswoman said the airline held any data collected by its frequent flyer and Qantas Cash programs.

"Data collected is used to ensure the customer experience is enhanced and as relevant as possible for members," she said.

Qantas Cash is expected to reach the market in the second half of 2013. Qantas had 9 million frequent flyer program members as of February.

Got a news tip for our journalists? Share it with us anonymously here.
Copyright © . All rights reserved.

Most Read Articles

Log In

  |  Forgot your password?