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Mileage rewards program gets boost from blockchain solution for frequent flyers

It’s an all-too-often aggravation for participants in airline frequent flyer programs. Travel, accumulate miles, and then wait weeks to see them posted to a loyalty rewards account.

In an effort to enhance the overall experience of its customers, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. has turned to the blockchain to improve real-time mileage crediting and other features as part of an “Unlock More Miles” marketing campaign. And the new initiative is getting results.

“By using blockchain, miles and redemption happen almost in a second,” said Lawrence Fong (pictured, right), general manager of information technology at Cathay Pacific. “For the marketing campaign and its capabilities, we have tripled growth in terms of sales. The number of people and the number of customers engaged in the marketing campaigns have more than doubled.”

Fong spoke with Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the AWS Executive Summit in Las Vegas. He was joined by Peter Yen (pictured, center), managing director, Hong Kong, at Accenture LLP, and Massimo Morin (pictured, left), head of worldwide business development, Travel, at Amazon Web Services Inc., and they discussed the suitability of blockchain technology in the use case and how collaboration between the partners enabled a better solution. (* Disclosure below.)

Transparency for complex transactions

The blockchain solution appealed to Cathay Pacific’s executives because they were looking for a transparent and secure transaction database. “It’s useful when you have complex transactions, multiparty, where you are going to need transparency and data integrity,” Morin explained. “You want to use a trusted system that is transparent and not changeable. That provides a lot of value.”

The blockchain-driven initiative for Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program was the result of a three-way collaboration between AWS, Accenture and the airline. By minimizing back-office administration, Asia Miles members can now have travel rewards credited to their accounts much more swiftly.

“We had the idea, and Lawrence was courageous enough to let us try,” Yen said. “It’s a perfect combination. The client has the knowledge about their business, we understand the technologym and we have enablement partners like Amazon. So we just work together to make it happen.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Executive Summit. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AWS Executive Summit event. Neither Accenture LLP, the event sponsor, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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