Expedia, an agency that aids travel-booking in Bellevue, Washington, announced that customers may now use bitcoins to pay for hotel accommodation.
From today on, customers who prefer to pay in bitcoin will be able to access a new payment option when they’re scanning online. Picking the bitcoin option will load a separate portal from which they’ll authorize payments from their own bitcoin wallet. After a transaction is completed, a user will be redirected back to the main Expedia site for confirmation.
Company officials said the bitcoin payment feature will only be applicable for hotel bookings for now.
The company’s vice president of global product Michael Gulmann said its entry into the world of digital currencies followed surging customer requests for bitcoin features.
“It came down to the right timing — both for Bitcoin as a currency, and for Expedia in our lifecycle,” Gulmann is quoted by the Washington Post as saying in an interview.
The way-simple process will most likely help propel bitcoin deeper into the conventional financial systems, even as the virtual currency boasts substantial popularity among members of the public. The travel company is not the first in the mainstream to show support for bitcoin lately. Last month, Dish Network, a satellite TV giant, announced it was doing the same.
It’s not known the exact number of customers who are likely to embrace the system. Even Expedia hasn’t got it all figured, as yet.
The uncertainty highlights a bigger problem for bitcoin: users are not willing to spend their bitcoins because they hope to make more money when it surges in value.
“Bitcoin is becoming a viable currency. This is no different from going into any market, understanding how we can do business, and offering the forms of payment customers want,” said Gulmann, according to Cnet.
Making purchases in bitcoins usually costs less than using payment card.
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