KPMG helps Singapore Airlines launch KrisPay frequent-flyer programme

25 September 2018 4 min. read

Singapore Airlines has launched a new frequent-flyer programme which enables members to monetise their airline miles to buy basically anything they want. The new scheme, named KrisPay, leverages blockchain technology to facilitate a system which converts airline miles into KrisPay tokens that can be spent with 18 participating merchants, including the likes of Browhaus, Esso, M1 or PizzaExpress.

“KrisPay is a novel way for our KrisFlyer members to digitally access their miles at their fingertips, at any time. By creating a miles-based digital wallet which integrates the use of miles into their daily lives, KrisFlyer members have yet another way to use miles instantly on everyday transactions,” explained Goh Choon Phong, the Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines. The digital wallet is according to Phong “the world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet.”

The innovative scheme was developed in collaboration with consulting firm, and technology giant Microsoft. The prior partner helped Singapore Airlines with expertise in solutions architecture, application build and graphic design and cyber security. Consultants from KPMG also supported the airline – which has a fleet of 111 passenger aircraft, the most of which are from Boeing (777-300ER) and Airbus (A350-900) – with digital strategy and road-map development.

“The innovative work with Singapore Airlines reflects the business-value approach that KPMG professionals around the world take in developing blockchain solutions across a broad range of industries,” said Atif Zaim, Global Lead for KPMG Distributed Ledger Services, the firm’s arm which oversees its work in the blockchain, cryptocurrency and data-sharing realm.KPMG helps Singapore Airlines launch KrisPay frequent-flyer programmeMicrosoft’s experts helped Singapore Airlines with building and deploying the blockchain technology in a cloud infrastructure (Microsoft Azure), and are currently responsible for hosting and managed services for customer experience management. “KrisPay showcases how blockchain can create new experiences for customers and partners alike,” remarked Andres Ortola, Enterprise Commercial Director at Microsoft in Singapore.

Using the KrisPay app, available for download in the Apple and Google Play Store, members can spend their converted tokens at 18 merchants spanning different categories of beauty services, food and beverage, and petrol and retail. To boost the attractiveness of the scheme for its participants, Singapore Airlines regularly launches in-app promotions and is busy behind the scenes working on adding more merchants to the platform.

Current merchants which have joined the programme are Browhaus, Qi Mantra, Spa Esprit, Strip, We Need A Hero, Cedele, TWG Tea, Shangri-La Hotel, Gong Cha, Greenwood Fish Market, PizzaExpress, Toss & Turn, Workspace Espresso Bar, Xiao Ban Beancurd, Esso, Challenger, M1 and Lego.

The road ahead

However, analysis by Blue Swan Daily has found that not all stores in the merchants’ network are accepting Singapore Airlines’ digital wallet. For example, KrisPay functionality is currently only available at 11 out of 25 Cedele outlets island-wide, three out of the 11 TWG Tea outlets, 11 out of 14 Gong Cha outlets and 23 out of 62 Esso service stations. A spokesperson of Singapore Airlines has confirmed that the airliner is working on the issue, and that also, merchants “outside Singapore will be progressively added to KrisPay.”

The move comes months after another aviation company, Cathay Pacific, launched a blockchain-powered system that allows its marketers to better streamline its ‘Unlock More Miles’ dining promotion campaign to the some 10 million members of its Air Miles loyalty programme, while providing scheme members with an enhanced in-app customer experience. Earlier this year, Cathay Pacific hired McKinsey & Company, a US strategy consulting firm, to advise on a transformation plan as the company tries to recover from the first back-to-back losses in its history.