Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has embarked upon new initiatives to facilitate online payments and offer new payment channels to its passengers by integrating local payment gateways and other payment channels like ATM, branch-less banking and mobile wallets.
PIA Now Offers New Payment Channels to its Passengers
According to official documents, in-line with the new business plan, PIA IT has embarked upon following new initiatives to facilitate on-line payments and other improvements in IT infrastructure:-
i. PIA has engaged the Financial Industry including the leading banks and the Telcos to offer new payment channels to its passengers. In this regard a tender is in newspapers to integrate local payment gateways and other payment channels like ATM, branch-less banking and mobile wallets, are also being integrated.
ii. Up gradation of IT infrastructure of PIA, which was built upon 10-15 years earlier and needs a complete overhaul, and in this regard lot of progress have been made. Tendering process for Core Network Upgrade, Disaster Recovery Site, and up-gradation of Internet bandwidth have been completed and the systems will be upgraded by June 2020.
iii. In order to ensure convenience of the passengers, PIA is also working to introduce new Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) by mid2020, which help passengers to track their baggage journey and also help airline to bring efficiency in the baggage management and also to reduce losses due to baggage reclaims. iv. Similarly, for the engineering system, a new Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) system is at the implementation stage and in scheduled to go live by March 2020.
According to the documents PIA has changed its core reservation system (Passenger Reservation System – PRS) from a system that was being used exclusively for last eighteen years. PIA’s new website and mobile Apps (Apple & Android) have been launched to increase its on-line sales.
PIA is very actively promoting and interacting with its customers through on-line social media channels. Additionally, for the first time PIA has entered in contract with all the three major Global Distribution Systems (GDS), which will help PIA to increase its visibility on agent networks and also on the online channels like Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and Meta search engines.
Given the old system’s limitations, extra security measures were implemented to ensure that only those passengers were allowed to board the aero plane who had purchased the tickets using legitimate credit / debit card. As per this policy passengers were required to present payment card at the time of check-in to avoid fraudulent activity. However, with the new systems in place, which is compliant to Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, and also with the help of introduction of new security tolls effective Oct 2019, PIA has revoked the condition of presenting Credit/Debit Cards at the time of check-In. Therefore, now the passengers are not required to present the credit/debit card nor submit any written guarantee letters.
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