Universal Air Travel Plan, Inc. (UATP) has agreed a partnership with Bitnet that would allow more than 260 international airlines to accept bitcoin payments.


UATP, a global payment processor, is owned by 30 airlines and provides merchants all over the world with payment solutions including alternative forms of electronic payments like Cash-Ticket, PayPal, and Ukash. UATP showed interest in bitcoin as early as September 2014, when Ralph Kaiser, the company’s president and CEO, moderated a panel session on emerging payment options in the airline industry at the IATA (International Air Transport Association) World Financial Symposium.

"Partnering with UATP was an obvious choice for Bitnet. Our partnership will make it easier for UATP's member airlines to accept payments in bitcoin via a lightweight integration that avoids impact to downstream systems and leverages existing UATP reporting and refund interfaces," said Akif Khan, Vice President of Solutions Strategy, Bitnet.

"Bitnet and UATP share the same mission of lowering transaction costs and fraud risk for their clients." Bitnet is a San Francisco-based startup that also operates in Europe, founded in January 2014. It offers merchants a solution that enables transactions in their local conventional currencies while accepting digital currencies through the service. The company is targeting large retailers and competes with such established names as BitPay and Coinbase.

UATP has added the bitcoin option to their services in the hope of attracting more airline companies to partner with their company. The integration will enable airline merchants to add a ‘Pay in bitcoin’ button to their websites. This may appeal to air companies because they could then pass on the savings on fees to their clients.
Last week, Adyen, a global payment processor, announced its integration with bitcoin through the BitPay service, enabling its clients – who include Ryanair, AirBnB, and Facebook – to add a bitcoin option to their payments methods.