Expedia (EXPE - Analyst Report) has recently announced that it will allow users to pay for hotel accommodations using bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a digital currency platform with no central regulating authority involved in the transactions. Transactions involving the electronic currency are carried out directly between the involved parties. It is also called crypto currency because it utilizes military-grade cryptography to protect users against fraud.
Bitcoin payments can be conducted through different apps via smartphones or its online versions. This is generally used for transferring funds electronically and does not require a credit card or PIN.
The online travel booking company will work with Coinbase — a third-party bitcoin payment processor — to integrate the payment system for hotel reservations on Expedia.com. The company stated that the new payment option will be offered along with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal at checkout.
The usage of bitcoin could increase the hotel bookings for the company due to its wide acceptance and enormous popularity. Moreover, the integration of the platform will offer increased safety to end users.
Expedia has been trying to strengthen its competitive position in the online booking space by introducing new features and updating products on a continuous basis. The addition of the bitcoin platform will not only boost the whole process of online payment for hotel accommodations but also help the company better compete with the likes of Priceline.com (PCLN - Analyst Report) and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW - Snapshot Report).
Expedia is one of the world's leading travel services companies connecting offline retail travel agents to travelers looking for hotel bookings and places to visit. The company reported decent first-quarter results, with revenues of $1.20 billion increasing 4.2% sequentially and 18.6% year over year. However, the company continues to face challenges from players like Priceline and Orbitz Worldwide, as well as a growing number of other local players making expansion difficult.
Currently, Expedia has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another better-ranked stock that is performing well at the current levels includes Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (VIPS - Snapshot Report) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).