Travel Platforms and Fintech Companies In India See Potential In ‘Travel Now, Pay Later’

Date:

Key Takeaways

  • Travel demand post-pandemic has increased costs, prompting the popularity of ‘travel now, pay later’ schemes in India.
  • Banks and NBFCs offer installment-based travel payment plans based on creditworthiness and income criteria.
  • ZestMoney and Sankash collaborate with travel agencies, enabling EMI-based bookings for customers.

Travel Now, Pay Later: The Rising Trend

Gurugram, India–The easing of travel restrictions since the COVID-19 lockdowns sparked a massive movement of tourism worldwide, increasing the average cost of travel. In the Indian market, the travel version of the ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme has become increasingly popular due to the rising cost.

BNPL’s Impact on Travel Industry Growth

‘Travel now, pay later’ is a service that evolved from the ‘buy now, pay later (BNPL)’ concept. It allows customers to book flights or travel packages through an agency and their financial partner platform while opting to pay for it through low-cost or no-interest monthly installments or EMI.  

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Most Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and banks offer various schemes targeted toward tourists traveling domestically and internationally. Eligibility and the loan size would depend on the customer’s creditworthiness and income. 

‘ZestMoney’ is an organization partnered with popular platforms like MakeMyTrip, Yatra.com, and EaseMyTrip to offer the ‘travel now, pay later’ service. They offer an upper credit limit of Rs. 2 lakh, with no-cost EMI available for three months, after which interest is applicable.

Sankash Pvt. Ltd. is a travel fintech that works with travel agencies to offer flexible schemes to their customers. They have partnered with Thomas Cook India, SOTC, OYO, Yatra.com, TUI India, Veena World, Balmer Lawrie, and thousands of offline agencies. 

Akash Dahiya, the founder of Sankash, said when speaking to The Economic Times that SanKash is currently processing loan applications worth about Rs 15 crore each month, a considerable rise from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore in the pre-Covid era. He also added that the business had registered a strong “30 percent” month-on-month growth.

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“The travel industry is witnessing fast-paced growth as the travel sentiments are very positive, and people are keen to travel to their favorite destination without delay,” said Himank Tripathi, hospitality and technology industry veteran, while speaking to Financial Express.

“This is where BNPL(BuyNowPayLater) has emerged as a new trend showing a growth of more than 25% compared to last year. All the key airlines, OTAs, and banks have come forward with aggressive plans in that direction,” Tripathi added. “Mostly driven by International travel, newlyweds and small families are driving this BNPL phenomenon. Furthermore, this BNPL will continue to grow as the outbound traffic from India will surpass $42 Billion in the next two years.”

What We Think

The travel industry’s resurgence post-pandemic has spurred a rapid rise in ‘travel now, pay later’ services. This innovative approach meets the escalating travel costs and aligns with the positive travel sentiments observed globally.

The increasing adoption of installment-based schemes reflects evolving customer preferences, notably for international travel and among newlyweds or smaller families.

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With outbound traffic projected to grow substantially, the BNPL trend is anticipated to further expand, catering to diverse travel aspirations and financial capacities in India’s evolving travel landscape.

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Aqil K
Aqil K
Aqil writes about travel, tourism, and covers the many aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle.

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