FlySafair has collaborated with chat commerce and mobile messaging company Clickatell to launch a new Chat 2 Pay feature. The South African low-fare carrier is the first airline to deploy the scheme, which will allow customers to make faster, more convenient luggage payments to the airline with pay-by-link capabilities through WhatsApp messaging.

Customers can access the service by sending “Hi” to the FlySafair business account number (+27 87 357 0030) and selecting the “My Booking” and “Buy a Bag” options. Following the prompts provided on the secure payment link will enable customers to make a purchase on WhatsApp. The same service can be accessed by scanning a QR code at the check-in counters.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience,” said Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer, FlySafair, “There is no need any more for our customers to go stand in a queue at the airport to pay for luggage.”

The new service will provide a safer, more secure option for passengers wishing to pay baggage allowance. By communicating via message, there will be no requirement to expose any personal information to a call centre agent or by reading the payment card details out over the phone.

According to Clickatell’s latest Chat Commerce Trends report, 89% of consumers would like to use mobile messaging to interact with airlines, while 77% said they are willing to use a mobile payment link with travel brands. Additionally, commerce within mobile messaging currently accounts for 71% of retail traffic and generates 61% of online shopping orders.

Jeppe Dorff, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Clickatell, said the mobile messaging company is “thrilled” to provide the new service for FlySafair: “Almost every adult on the planet has a mobile phone. There is a major opportunity for airlines across the globe to enhance their customers’ travel experience by making it possible to browse, book and pay for, as well as manage their travel bookings on their mobile phones.”

The low-fare carrier’s new messaging capabilities follow its introduction of WhatsApp to the Clickatell Platform last year. The FlySafair WhatsApp channel hosts key information surrounding customer bookings, flight status, general flight information, an option to check-in and receive boarding passes on WhatsApp, chat with a live agent and now the option to make payments for extra products and services.

“Our goal is to offer all the functionality currently available on our website via the WhatsApp channel, making end-to-end booking and reservation management as easy as possible,” added Gordon.