October 5, 2012, 10:25 AM

Travelocity makes payment card entry in app a snap

A consumer snaps a picture of her card and data is input automatically.

Lead Photo

The travel app lets a consumer line up her credit card in her smartphone camera's sites and snap a picture of the card to automatically enter card data.

One of the biggest points of friction in the process of mobile commerce is entering information during checkout. A typical credit card entry requires 16 taps for numbers and two taps for expiration date.

Travelocity is taking the pain out of that pain point in its new app, Hotel Deals by lastminute.com. During checkout, a consumer can enter her credit card information by hand, or, she can touch the Auto-Scan Credit Card With Camera button, line up the face of her card in her smartphone camera sites, and snap a picture. The app, through the Netswipe system from payment and identification technology vendor Jumio, recognizes the numbers and date and automatically enters the information for the consumer.

The payment technology is in line with the goal of the app, which is to book a hotel room for a period of time starting within the next two days at a location geographically very near to the consumer in as short a time as possible. When a consumer opens Hotel Deals by lastminute.com, the app prompts her for a check-in of today, tomorrow or the following day, then uses the smartphone’s GPS technology to pinpoint her location and displays hotel deals in the nearby area. She selects a hotel, is prompted for her name and related information, and then is prompted for her payment card, which she can now snap.

“That reduces a lot of friction,” says Jason Fulmines, director of mobile, Travelocity. “You can go through the entire booking process in just a couple of minutes. With smartphones you should be focused on reducing the number of taps because any time you can reduce taps your conversion should be better because you are able to make it a little easier on folks.”

In addition, Jumio’s technology validates the consumer’s credit card, which serves as a part of Travelocity’s fraud prevention process. Jumio’s system is compliant with PCI data security standards from the PCI Security Standards Council and uses 128-bit encryption in card data transmission.

“Jumio and Travelocity recognize that the mobile consumer requires different, more streamlined experiences and functionality to conduct transactions than simply transferring the same processes from the big screen to the little screen,” says Marc Barach, chief marketing officer at Jumio. “It takes nearly a minute for consumers to successfully enter their credit card data the conventional way and we’re able to reduce that time by a factor of 10 to about five seconds. This acceleration creates a more satisfying user experience.”

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