Add Booking Holdings Inc. to the list of e-commerce companies betting that a tighter control over the payments process will create a better experience for consumers—and a new revenue stream.
The online-travel company announced earlier this month that it was launching a financial technology unit that would aim to simplify some of the monetary hurdles of international travel, from booking a room at a hotel where there’s a different local currency to making a purchase commitment for a trip that won’t take place for a few months.
Fintech represents “the last great mountain” for Booking to conquer as it aims to cut the “friction” out of booking overseas trips, said Daniel Marovitz, a senior vice president who will be leading the new group at the company.
Last year, 22% of bookings went through the company’s own payments platform, compared with less than 4% in 2017, and Marovitz expects continued growth going forward.
Booking’s “goal over time is to offer a diverse menu of services in the fintech space,” he told MarketWatch. The company would explicitly charge for some of these services, and suppliers would get flexibility over which “suite” of offerings best meets their needs.
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