Alliance opens card outlets at airports
Alliance Payment Services opened two outlets at both major international airports to provide services for airlines going cashless.
Customers can still use credit cards, but those with only cash are now directed to the Alliance outlet at the airports to buy cards to pay for services. These include customers seeking to purchase tickets or pay for extra baggage.
"We have two outlets issuing this card, one at each airport located in the check-in terminal," stated Royen Chin-Forbes, manager at Alliance, in a Financial Gleaner interview. Alliance Payment is an associated company of Alliance Financial Services Limited
In May, Alliance launched a co-branded Mastercard that allows for cash withdrawals at most ATMs, including those owned by NCB and Scotiabank. But it now has found an additional market within the airports.
The card issued at Sangster International and Norman Manley International, however, can only be used at the airport at this time, said Chin-Forbes.
The charge for the airport card is US$6, which covers the card cost, airport rental charges, MasterCard charges, cash movement and handling, and other overhead charges for providing the service at the airport, Alliance said.
Alliance expects other airlines to follow American Airlines' move to go cashless over the short to medium term.
"The airlines approached us because they want to go cashless, and we tailored a product to meet their goals and customer needs. Other airlines are interested, however, American Airlines expressed their interest first and now we are piloting this card solution with them," said Chin-Forbes.
These outlets provide an "opportunity" for the growth of the Alliance Mastercard, especially to travelling clients many of whom would be non-Jamaican. The card, however, is specific to the airport.
"That's why the partnership with Mastercard is so great, as we will be able to offer the same card benefits to Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans. We can accommodate all transactions Mastercard offers," she said.
The company, in launching its card in May, became the first non-bank to offer a prepaid card.
"Now that airlines all over the world are going cashless for their baggage services and ticketing, Jamaica is expected to follow this global trend. We are happy that Alliance Payment Services can tailor our product to meet this demand from the international airlines."
Alliance Payment Services Limited is a full affiliate of Mastercard International. Alliance Payment is licensed by Bank of Jamaica to provide payment services to merchants, companies and cardholders.