Uplift, Inc. has announced a partnership with The Mark Travel Corporation and Golden Nugget to make low-cost travel financing available to millions of consumers. Uplift is a platform that seeks to give users looking to travel the option to “buy now, pay later” by providing installment payment options. The Fintech startup and its partners are looking to leverage ths same financial model of monthly payments available in home furnishing and automotive industries to travel. Uplift predicts their interest rates will be the lowest in the travel industry. UpLift co-founders Brian Barth and Stu Kelly were also co-founders of SideStep, a startup that Kayak acquired in 2007 for $200 million (before Priceline purchased Kayak for $1.8 billion in 2013) – so they have some background in this industry. UpLift’s key investors include IDG Ventures, PAR Capital, and Thayer Ventures.
With UpLift’s Pay Monthly [feature], travel companies convert lookers to bookers, explains the company. As a core element of the startup’s UpLift Engine, Uplift believes that travel providers will see a seventy basis point reduction in credit card transaction costs and double-digit increases in revenue.
UpLift CEO and Co-Founder Brian Barth said:
“Our team created one of the most valuable categories in travel, and we know the travel industry like no ordinary fintech company ever could. With Pay Monthly, we’ve reinvented online payments as a marketing tool for major travel brands. Together with our partners, we will expand the entire travel business, making trips possible for millions who otherwise would never have left home.”
The Mark Travel Corporation operates vacation brands, including Southwest Vacations, United Vacations, and Funjet Vacations, and will feature the Pay Monthly option on these company websites. EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at The Mark Travel Corporation Ray Snisky said:
“We are all about enhancing our customer’s vacation experience and are excited for our value proposition for consumers to extend deeper into their payment options. This program gives them the ability to realize the vacation of their dreams, and realize it now. With UpLift’s Pay Monthly, we can bring an even greater level of value, flexibility and service to all of our clients across our portfolio of brands.”
Golden Nugget will also launch the Pay Monthly plan. Senior Vice President of Marketing at Golden Nugget Rikki Tanenbaum commented:
“UpLift understands the marketing challenges specific to travel providers and their payment marketing platform was purpose-built for travel companies like ours. With Pay Monthly, we can use financing to boost conversion, upsell, cross-sell, merchandise and drive incremental business. UpLift has reimagined the role of payments for travel providers, and we’re excited to put this vision to work.”
According to Founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry research firm, Henry Harteveldt:
“The U.S. is ideally suited for travel financing. In a recent study we conducted, 41 percent of U.S. travelers expressed an interest in using installment payments for trips that cost $2,000 or more. We believe that in the next two to five years, installment payments will become a ‘must have’ feature for all consumer-focused travel sellers – suppliers and intermediaries alike.”