Ixigo has launched ‘ixigo Money’ a virtual travel currency for its users, which is both a cashback programme as well as kind of a wallet. Simply put, users earn money (points) for every transaction they do at ixigo, which gets credited to ixigo money account and can be later used for flight tickets via the platform.

How does it work?

Firstly, to earn points and use this feature, users need to sign in or create an ixigo account.  The ixigo money account works more or less like a wallet, for instance, ticket cancellation money can be credited to ixigo Money account and used later during checkout, however, money cannot be added from other sources. The company explains on its website that users can add money to ixigo money account with vouchers only, as “there is no other way to manually add ixigo money to your account, apart from an ixigo money voucher which you can obtain only as a part of a promotional offer or reward”, it writes on its website.

Ixigo Money, where points are collected as money (each point = Re 1) can be used for ixigo transactions (for flight tickets as of now). Also, when an user pays entirely via amount using ixigo money, they will be charged zero convenience fee by the booking provider. If a user does not have enough ixigo money balance to pay for ticket in full, the user can pay partially with ixigo Money and pay the rest with card, wallet, etc.

The company claims ixigo Money to be free of any gimmicky offers and restrictions posed by loyalty programs that other travel apps offer. CEO & Co-Founder, Aloke Bajpai explains in a statement that research reveals that travellers in India are tired of gimmicky travel loyalty programmes, cashback offers, and wallets that come with limitations and restrictions on their earning and usage. Most existing programmes, have minimum booking values to earn anything at all, you get your cashback or earnings many days after your booking and your earned value is most likely to expire within 90 days. Also, you can never use all of your earnings at once, as they only allow usage of a small percentage on every transaction.” He adds that ixigo Money changes this for the users.

The company’s statement says “With no minimum booking amounts to earn ixigo money, no usage limit on ixigo money balance, instant discounts on future bookings, guaranteed 48 hour transfers and a 6 months expiry period” However, the website has a cashback/promotion chart which mentions minimum value.


Competition

The new launch seems to be ixigo’s strategy to boost its user base to survive against players like MakeMyTrip in the country. MakeMyTrip had said that it has more than 7 million monthly active users (MAUs) for its mobile apps and more than 33.5 million cumulative app downloads at the end of December 2016.  While the company currently claims to have served 80 million travellers since its launch in 2007.