GuestLogix sees real-time in-flight credit card transactions in 6-12 months

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GuestLogix expects to begin offering real-time credit card transactions via its point-of-sale handheld devices within the next six to 12 months.

Speaking to FlightglobalPro at an Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) technical committee meeting in Los Angeles, GuestLogix director of solutions delivery Narayanan Raman said: "We already have a solution for rail systems today but on rails it is on the ground and we have real-time GSM or a [Wi-Fi] connection where we're able to do this. It has been slow to take off, but in six to 12 months [we expect to see it] on an airline in revenue service."

Airlines all over the world are fitting their aircraft with in-flight connectivity systems. In the United States, for instance, carriers that offer the Gogo air-to-ground solution would be prime targets for offering real-time credit card transactions, according to Raman.

"We are working with companies offering Wi-Fi connectivity on board to come up with a solution to talk to the Wi-Fi server on board for real-time transactions," he revealed.

Airlines collectively encounter a large amount of credit card fraud in flight. Sources tell FlightglobalPro that the amount of fraud is at least $50 million per year, but could far exceed that figure. As airlines seek to sell higher-end items in flight to drive ancillary revenue, the need for real-time credit card transacting grows.