Travellers today want more guarantees and flexibility around travel than ever before. But as a property manager, you can’t afford that kind of fluidity without putting your occupancy rates, reservations, and revenue at risk. 

But what if you could offer customers more flexibility while preserving your financial security? 

Rentals United’s new channel partner, Hopper Homes plans to provide  innovative travel fintech add-ons, which will satisfy customers’ desire for protection and flexibility while keeping your conversions intact.

Read on to discover how fintech is changing travel and vacation rentals and how you can take advantage of this innovation. 

Hopper is pioneering the development of travel fintech products. By getting listed on Hopper Homes with Rentals United, you can start attracting new pools of travellers to your vacation rentals. Get listed on Hopper Homes now. 

What is travel fintech?

Financial technology (fintech) is digital technology that provides online financial products and services. Fintech examples include online banking, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments. 

In the travel industry, fintech is improving the entire customer experience across the different phases of the booking process. Travel fintech includes payment facilitation and products and services designed to protect travellers’ financial investments. 

Since the onset of Covid-19, travel disruptions are common, making travellers more protective of their funds than in pre-pandemic times. 

But travel fintech is an effective response to satisfying customers’ desire for greater security around their investments in trips, transport, and accommodation. Not only do travel fintech products address travellers’ fears, but they’re helping the travel industry to recover and thrive. 

While insurance is one of the most well-known types of travel financial services, it’s not the only travel fintech product available. 

Here are some examples of popular travel fintech products gaining customer adoption:

  • Frictionless payments. More companies are investing in alternative payment methods and multi-currency pricing to improve the customer experience, making travel purchases quicker and easier for travellers worldwide.
  • Buy now pay later (BNPL). A service designed to help customers book their travel plans and block a fare with a down payment. Ideal for travellers who don’t have the full amount available yet, want more flexibility, or are just wary of limiting their cash flow during unstable times. 
  • Expanded loyalty programmes. Customers receive miles, points, or rewards for using a provider’s travel services. For example, Hopper customers receive in-app reward currency every time they buy flights or accommodation on Hopper. They can then  redeem this credit on future Hopper flights or hotels. 
  • Price freeze or fare locks. This cost-saving service helps lock in a price so customers can save money, get the best deal, and enjoy increased flexibility. 
  • Flight disruption protection. A protection plan to help reduce the stress and costs of missed, delayed, or cancelled flights. 

How Hopper fintech lowers financial risk for travellers (and boosts conversions) 

Hopper started investing in financial technology before the pandemic, making them a pioneer of travel fintech and more than doubling their revenue since 2020

Hopper’s been collecting real-time data for the last 10 years to create one of the largest flight-price databases in the world and an algorithm that helps customers find the best deals on hotels, car rentals, and airlines. Hopper’s travel fintech makes up 50% of their current revenue while helping to lower the costs of travel and increase trip protection for their customers. This makes Hopper users loyal, returning customers

“Based on estimates, travel fintech could generate an additional $200 billion in customer spend annually.”

Dakota Smith, Chief Strategy Officer at Hopper, Skift Megatrends 2022 

The travel fintech products created by Hopper are revolutionising traditional financial services, like trip insurance. Traditional travel insurance is expensive, slow, and obscure. Claims can take weeks if not months before reaching resolution, which may or may not be in the customer’s favour. 

Instead, Hopper provides faster, cheaper, and more transparent financial protection products. They accept up to 90% of claims automatically and instantly through the app, so customers don’t have to wait for a response or spend time chasing after a customer service rep. 

Today, 60% of Hopper customers purchase at least one fintech product when booking. Hopper users will also pay 10% more on their travel bookings than the average traveller, just to have greater flexibility and financial security.  

Here are Hopper’s current and upcoming travel fintech products:

Price Predictions

Hopper’s price forecasting service helps travellers during the pre-booking stage. 

Customers receive a buy-now or wait suggestion (based on Hopper’s historic data and unique algorithm) to know when the best time to buy is, so they can get the lowest price and best deals. 

Price Freeze

Price Freeze is Hopper’s most popular fintech product. 

This Hopper add-on freezes flight and hotel prices for two to 14 days for a fee. If the price goes down after a customer has frozen a price, they can purchase the lower rate. However, if the price increases, Hopper will cover the costs, up to a pre-determined amount, and will pay the difference directly to the airline or hotel (coming soon for vacation rentals).

Over 20% of Hopper customers use this feature as a BNPL option because the fee acts as a partial payment when booking accommodations and applies to the entire cost once they complete the booking. So customers see it as an investment and don’t have to worry about extra costs. 

Flight Disruption Guarantee

“Hopper offers travel fintech products like trip insurance, but we offer them in a way that is much more convenient for travellers to actually get their money back or change a trip without hassle for free.”

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

Usually, when you miss a flight, your airline will rebook you within their network, limiting your options and potentially lengthening the time of your total trip. But with Hopper’s Flight Disruption Guarantee, you can rebook your flight on any airline instantly, opening up more opportunities and helping you get to where you need to go faster.

Customers can purchase Hopper’s Flight Disruption Guarantee during the booking process to enjoy free rebooking on any airline if their flight is significantly delayed or they miss their connection. 

And if customers can’t find a suitable alternative flight, they can receive a refund of Hopper credit instead. 

Cancel or Change for Any Reason

Hopper offers partially refundable or changeable conditions on non-refundable rates for flights and hotels at an increased price to travellers who want more flexibility. 

Hopper customers prefer using this travel fintech product for hotel bookings. After check-in, if customers want to change their accommodation for whatever reason, they can rebook another hotel within the same star category for free directly from the Hopper App. 

“When customers purchase Cancel For Any Reason insurance with Hopper through the app, and then decide to cancel, they’ll receive up to 80% of their money back in cash or 100%, back as Carrot Cash. And they can do this with just a few taps on the app.”

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

This travel fintech add-on comes at no additional cost to the airlines or properties Hopper works with because the customers pay for it upfront and Hopper pays any fees due to the travel provider.

Carrot Cash

Customers earn Hopper’s reward currency, Carrot Cash, every time they book hotels or flights. Users can see their earnings in-app and apply Carrots as credit to their future bookings. 

Carrot Cash creates more loyal customers who keep coming back to Hopper to save money, get great deals, and have greater cash flow available for their trips.

Hopper Care and Hopper Wallet (Coming soon!)

The fintech team at Hopper is working on two new travel fintech products, Hopper Care and Hopper Wallet. 

Hopper Care will provide medical and injury insurance. However, unlike the slow resolution times of traditional travel insurance, customers will have immediate updates and quick closure because all claims take place in-app. 

Hopper Wallet currently holds Carrot Cash, deals, and one-time discounts as vouchers. Here, customers can see their cash balance, their credit, and deal and discount expirations. 

In the future, travellers can use Hopper Wallet as a full-fledged payment method where they can make deposits or withdrawals, earn interest, pay for trips directly, and continue to receive cashback and rewards.

What type of travellers purchase fintech products?

70% of all Hopper customers purchase at least one fintech add-on when they book flights or hotels via the Hopper App.

The more tech-savvy Generation Z and Millennials make up over 70% of Hopper’s direct client base. Many in this core demographic will travel for the first time and are probably putting money aside for their holidays. So they’re eager to protect their travel investment. 

They also have a greater awareness of the uncertainty of travel due to the pandemic. For example, if they’re travelling with a group of friends, there’s a chance one of them could come down with Covid-19 at the last minute. They don’t want to risk losing money, so they pay an additional $40 per booking for fintech services that ensure greater peace of mind.

Hopper’s demographic is also evolving thanks to key partnerships through Hopper Cloud, the company’s new B2B service that enables travel providers to tap into Hopper’s fintech add-ons and travel content, like flights, rental cars, hotels, and Hopper Homes.

For example, Kayak uses Hopper’s Price Freeze option, and Hopper’s fintech and travel content completely power Capital One Travel, which is available to all Capital One credit card holders – a demographic older than Hopper’s with more money to spend on travel and just as eager for added security.

“The Capital One audience is a more affluent, high-spending audience. The rate at which a Capital One customer purchases travel insurance is even higher than for the Hopper App.”

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

How can property managers benefit from listing on a channel like Hopper? 

Hopper’s fintech solutions aren’t yet available for vacation rentals on Hopper Homes, but they are in the works and coming soon. 

“Hopper’s travel fintech products unlocked growth for Hopper and gave customers a reason to book with us. So we expect something similar will happen within Hopper Homes where this is going to unlock a customer base that trusts that purchasing through Hopper is going to get them something they cannot get anywhere else.”

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

However, you can still benefit from Hopper’s travel fintech by adding Hopper as a channel. Here’s how listing your property on Hopper Homes can work for you:

List your property on Hopper

When you list your property on Hopper Homes, Hopper doesn’t take a booking commission from you. 

Instead, when you connect to Hopper via Rentals United, you’ll agree to set a discount (mark down) on your nightly rate. Then Hopper applies their markup to your discounted rate, which the customer pays and Hopper keeps. 

“With other solutions that offer free cancellations, it’s really the property manager that is taking on that risk. With Hopper, we price that risk in and we underwrite it. And because we have scale and 70 million app downloads and sell $4.5bn of travel every single year, we have the ability to aggregate that risk and spread it out across our customer base, so that the individual property owner doesn’t have to take on that risk themselves.” 

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

Tap into loyal customers

Since Hopper is mobile-only and acquires most of its customers through social channels, over 70% of it customers are Gen Z or Millennials. Once they’ve booked once in the app, they tend to book in perpetuity rather than comparison shop different websites online. 

On average, Hopper customers purchase 1.6 fintech products for every booked trip. Approximately 80% of customers who buy a travel fintech product on Hopper will buy one again in the future

This means when you list your property on Hopper, you can tap into a new pool of young, loyal customers who can book your properties again and again.

Improve your booking conversion rate

Increased flexibility can translate into volatile cancellation rates. 

But because Hopper creates loyal customers by providing greater change opportunities and reducing financial risks for all parties, your conversion rates and revenue on Hopper will be more stable than on other OTAs. 

Increase your reach risk-free 

Adding Hopper Homes to your vacation rental distribution helps expand your properties’ reach without the usual risks that can affect your conversions and revenue because Hopper takes on all the financial risk of their travel fintech products for all their travel partners

When Hopper does launch fintech features for vacation rentals on Hopper Homes, they’ll start by offering a free cancellation rate completely powered and underwritten by Hopper. This will enable you to enjoy the increased conversion that free cancellation rates bring without taking on the risk yourself. 

Receive greater visibility

As Hopper expands its fintech products, partnerships, and travel content, your listing will receive increased visibility in the travel market. 

For example, even though Hopper Cloud is a recent launch, it’s expanding quickly and generating enough revenue to surpass Hopper App’s 2019 earnings. Besides Kayak and Capital One Travel, Hopper Cloud has already formed partnerships with key travel providers like Marriott, MakeMyTrip, Amadeus, and Trip.com, so your listing will have an even broader reach and the potential to attract travellers worldwide.

Expand your customer base

The global reach you get through the Hopper App and the expanding global coverage of Hopper Cloud also helps to diversify your audience.

Most Hopper customers are booking U.S. and Canadian cities like Miami, New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, and San Diego. But Hopper is steadily growing in Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. And Hopper is available to everyone anywhere who can download the app via the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android) and receive SMS messages for verification. 

Currently, customers can purchase flights from over 250 airlines worldwide and choose from over 270,000 hotels in 200+ countries on Hopper.  

Travel fintech should be on your radar because it’s a win-win solution for you and your guests. It’s incentivising customers to travel again with increased flexibility and protection and helping the entire industry bounce back. 

While the travel industry is just beginning to adopt fintech, Hopper already has 2+ years of experience that has enabled it to grow and expand its client base. So when you connect to Hopper Homes via Rentals United, you’ll enjoy greater reach, a broader audience, commission-free bookings, and improved conversions. And Hopper provides you with extra security because they take on the risks directly to keep your Hopper Homes revenue stable.

“We’re just very excited to be able to release products that will help both travellers and property managers. We want to be one of the most property-manager-friendly OTAs. So being able to release a product that helps you get a higher conversion rate and the peace of mind that you’re going to retain that booking and the revenue from that booking is why we’re really excited to partner with Rentals United.”

Susan Ho, Head of Hopper Homes

Get listed on Hopper Homes now with Rentals United

A Rentals United partnership with Hopper Homes also means you’ll have the added value of:

  • Expert service. Rentals United specialises in channel management, making our connections more reliable than generalist companies that offer a hodgepodge of products and less expertise. We’re the preferred software partner of Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, and TripAdvisor.
  • Automated uploads. Add and sync all your properties today effortlessly. All you need is a minimum of 1 property to start your connection to the Hopper Homes channel via Rentals United. 
  • Easy syncing. Enjoy automatic, real-time syncing of all your properties’ content on our Hopper Homes channel. Sync prices, content, photos, availability, and bookings with just a few clicks.
  • Advanced settings. When you connect to Hopper Homes via Rentals United, you can set up 2-way connections and sync your minimum stay restrictions. You can also activate instant bookings, set up multi-units as single listings, add occupancy and length of stay (LOS) pricing, and offer discounts and last-minute deals.
  • Revenue-management insights. Optimise your entire vacation rental distribution strategy with RU Data Studio. You can monitor and analyse key metrics across all your channels, including Hopper Homes, to improve your properties’ performance so you can secure more bookings and boost conversions. 
  • Quick and secure connections. We guarantee strong, updated API connections with all our channels, so you can avoid double bookings, outdated prices and content, and customer complaints.

The Rentals United-Hopper Homes partnership is the perfect opportunity to get on the travel fintech bandwagon that’s providing travellers with a safer way to book their next trip with you. Get started today and list your properties on Hopper Homes with Rentals United.