Budget airline Scoot scraps payment processing fees

Scoot customers in Singapore had to pay $10 per person for each flight they booked when they paid through selected credit cards and PayPal.
Scoot customers in Singapore had to pay $10 per person for each flight they booked when they paid through selected credit cards and PayPal.PHOTO: ST FILE

Travellers flying on budget carrier Scoot no longer need to pay payment processing fees when they book their tickets through the airline website.

Scoot said yesterday that it was scrapping payment processing fees as payment systems have evolved to become cheaper to maintain.

The fees were previously charged to implement and support the payment infrastructure, including its security.

Customers in Singapore had to pay $10 per person for each flight they booked when they paid through selected credit cards and PayPal.

For example, they had to pay a payment processing fee of $20 per passenger when they booked a return flight from Singapore to Narita airport in Japan, which includes a transit in Taiwan.

Scoot's competitor AirAsia said in July that it will be scrapping processing fees for credit cards and online banking systems to make tickets more affordable. The change takes effect next month.

Scoot chief executive Lee Lik Hsin said the company started removing payment processing fees in selected markets, beginning with Europe, in March last year.

Last month, the carrier scrapped payment processing fees of $6 charged to customers who paid through AXS machines here.

Mr Lee said Scoot had offered a limited range of payment methods at a higher implementation and maintenance cost when it began operations, he said.

Technological improvements over time have helped to reduce the costs needed to support and maintain the payment infrastructure, he added.

"Now, we are ready to do away with it globally. We hope this gives our customers better value and more reasons to (travel) with us."

Competitor Jetstar typically charges booking and service fees of $10 a passenger per flight when they choose to pay with credit cards, UnionPay and Alipay, among other methods, according to its website. The fees also depend on the type of flights, the website states.

Scoot is the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines Group, and it started operations in June 2012. It merged with Tigerair Singapore in July 2017.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2019, with the headline 'Budget airline Scoot scraps payment processing fees'. Print Edition | Subscribe