- Travel booking company Expedia Group has tapped Block-owned buy now-pay later provider Afterpay to offer the installment payment method to consumers booking flights and hotels, the companies said Monday.
- The tie-up means consumers can book travel arrangements with Seattle-based Expedia in the Afterpay app, allowing them to break up their payments into four interest-free installments over six weeks, according to the news release.
- The partnership with Expedia Group is “a significant step” in offering consumers the ability to break up payments for bigger ticket items such as travel, Alex Fisher, head of revenue in North America for Afterpay and Cash App, said in the release.
After taking off in retail, BNPL has expanded into areas such as travel, events and healthcare. The ability to spread out payments for travel bookings may hold appeal for consumers who are financially stressed by rising inflation and holiday shopping expenses.
Expedia Group is the parent company for online travel agencies Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo, trivago, Orbitz and Travelocity, among other brands.
The BNPL provider discovered earlier this year that consumers planned to increase spending in travel and experiences and sought out a travel provider to partner with, Modern Retail reported.
“This highlights our ongoing growth in developing cutting-edge traveler technologies that provide our partners with new ways to deliver great experiences to their customers which, in turn, drive customer loyalty,” Christian Gerron, senior vice president of media and brand partnerships for Expedia Group, said in the release.
It’s not the first BNPL partnership for Expedia: The travel company linked with Afterpay rival Klarna in 2019, to offer installment payments for Expedia.com and Hotels.com customers, PYMNTS reported. BNPL provider Affirm and travel-focused BNPL company Uplift, which also have ties to Expedia, are among the others offering installment payments in the travel market.
Pent-up demand for travel following the COVID-19 pandemic persists, as yearend holiday travel is also getting underway. Airline and lodging sales on Black Friday are expected to increase by double-digit percentages compared to last year, Mastercard said last week.
Clarification: The story has been updated to add that Affirm and Uplift also have ties to Expedia.