Words by Raphael Babalola, CEO Wanderpay
This time last year I was waiting to hear if Wanderpay would be selected for the Travel Technology Europe Launchpad. I had no idea that not only would Wanderpay be selected but that we would win the coveted Disrupt Award.
Winning the 2017 Disrupt Award was one of the pivotal moments of 2017 that really validated what we were bringing to the market.
Having the ears of experts in the industries of travel, aviation and technology at one time and coming away with the win, gave us the confidence to push on and start taking even bigger steps.
Since winning the award we have grown to a team of six, across sales, marketing and development, we have customers integrating our software, ready to be used by their customers and we've even raised further investment from institutional investors and connected angels.
Wanderpay helps travel brands convert more bookings by letting their customers instantly spread the costs of their package holidays, flights, cruises etc over flexible monthly instalments. We make travel more accessible by removing the barrier of affordability, the company was birthed out of a personal pain point when I was planning a trip to Sydney, Australia in 2016.
When booking a holiday, customers are expected to pay the full booking value upfront, This can be a huge financial burden, especially considering Brits spend an of £1,300 on an annual break.
Ultimately that’s not great for would-be holiday makers or brands, as rafts of people abandon holiday plans before they’ve completed the booking process.
In fact, the travel industry as a whole suffers an 81% cart abandonment rate, costing 1.78 trillion dollars per year, thats 3x the actual converted income.
Wanderpay sits on the flight or holiday bookings page of any big brand travel website. Like Expedia, say.
At the point of payment, you can then apply for real-time loan approval by choosing to ‘spread your payment with Wanderpay’ – a bit like how you might select to ‘pay with Paypal’.
You complete a quick and easy application for a Wanderpay payment plan to spread the cost of your booking, and benefit from being able to pay over up to 12 months, even if that’s after your holiday is over.
A report put out by Worldpay suggests that more than 75% of customers would rather pay for travel by monthly instalments if given the option - this is a huge validation of what Wanderpay is bringing to the market.
We're set to officially launch this year and we're excited to let everybody know about this at TTE 2018. A year ago - it was a very early stage business, arguable even just an idea and a year later it's a business with a committed team, excited customers and a lot of optimism about how we'll help people see the world on their terms.
I would encourage any start-up in a similar position to where we were this time last year to apply for Launchpad and be in with a chance to win the Disrupt Award.
Apply here to be part of Launchpad at Travel Technology Europe 2018. Deadline for entries is 15 January.