Onboarding the Vacation Rental Industry to Crypto with Smart Wallets

We’re excited to announce the launch of Dtravel Smart Wallets! Gain exposure to crypto payments, boost your conversion rate and begin collecting TRVL rewards for every direct booking.

Onboarding the Vacation Rental Industry to Crypto with Smart Wallets

Introduction: Booking Vacation Rentals with Crypto

Over the past 10 years we’ve seen rapid innovation in digital payments. Technologies involving mobile wallets and payment apps, QR codes, and buy-now-pay-later have fundamentally changed the digital payments landscape. While these innovations have made transacting easier than ever before, the layers upon which the transactions settle has remained unchanged for decades. The mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, however, introduces for the first time, an innovative approach to the transaction settlement base layer.

With a settlement layer based on blockchain technology, transacting in cryptocurrencies offers decentralized, secure, and often faster and cheaper transactions compared to traditional methods. Cryptocurrency payments are making their way into all aspects of our lives. In particular, consumers are turning to cryptocurrency as a preferred payment option when booking travel, or while traveling as a way to transfer funds and avoid foreign exchange fees.

Besides using cryptocurrencies as a payment method for booking travel or spending while abroad, cryptocurrencies offer other benefits to the travel industry.

The first benefit is loyalty. If they exist, travel loyalty programs lock users into a platform. Loyalty points are not usually transferable, only transferable with a steep cost or impossible to understand the transfer value. Additionally, platforms are disincentivized to redeem traveler loyalty points for real value, because it comes at a cost to the platform's margins. Since major online travel agencies are publicly traded, shareholders expect the companies to maximize their profits - meaning it's in the company's interests to not have travelers redeem loyalty points. This is why you may see a lot of sub-par loyalty points offers, or redemption only available for off-peak travel bookings.

Finally, cryptocurrencies introduce a new paradigm to the role users have in growing a platform. Instead of just extracting value from users like traditional web2 platforms, cryptocurrencies empower companies to reward those who contribute to growth.

With frustrations around the misaligned incentives of web2 platforms like Airbnb and the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies coming to a head, travel and more specifically, the vacation rental industry, stands to onboard more users to web3 than any other industry. Up until recently, externally owned accounts (EOAs) like MetaMask, have made interacting with web3 applications a burden for non-crypto native users. This, however, is all about to change and Dtravel’s community-owned travel ecosystem is paving the way for vacation rental operators and property managers across the globe to keep up with trends and not fall behind when it comes to accepting cryptocurrencies.

Dtravel Direct Customers Demand Innovative Wallet Solutions

Right now, there are vacation rental operators across the globe using Dtravel’s blockchain-based infrastructure to power their direct booking business. Many of these operators are already doing so on their own without a Dtravel traveler search experience, such as the one launching soon. Dtravel’s traveler application,  featuring an advanced AI-powered recommendation engine for helping travelers discover vacation rentals that can be booked in peer-to-peer manner anywhere in the world, will help accelerate even more bookings for these businesses.

Dtravel’s strongest and earliest adopters have, for the most part, been crypto-native property managers, which helped lead to the world’s first smart contract powered vacation rental booking. The growth of Dtravel adoption across the globe has resulted in large property management companies also wanting to gain exposure to crypto payments and Dtravel’s direct booking distribution network. This however, has created some interesting opportunitiess for Dtravel Direct, Dtravel’s direct booking infrastructure for vacation rental operators. Property management companies (PMCs) have a fiduciary responsibility to property owners, making EOAs an operational risk. The market is demanding wallets with spending policies, user roles, permissions, allowlists and recovery mechanisms, making it necessary for Dtravel to innovate.

The Evolution of Dtravel’s Payment Smart Contract

Dtravel aims to make direct bookings without intermediaries seamless by enabling crypto payments between travelers and vacation rental operators. At launch, Dtravel’s smart contract booking technology worked by routing payments from the traveler to the vacation rental operator via an escrow smart contract. The smart contract has rules such as payment types, a cancellation window and relies on BNB Chain as the default network for payment settlement.

This initial version of the booking smart contract (v1) supports non-custodial wallet connectivity through MetaMask, an EOA, which for non-crypto native property managers is a barrier to adoption due to the complex user experience of needing to manage seed phrases as well as risk of all funds being accessible if connected and having to worry about getting tokens for gas fees and paying gas fees.

While innovative, the use of EOAs in Dtravel’s initial booking smart contract system posed adoption challenges:

  • Small market of Metamask users and challenging private key management
  • Confusing experience to switch blockchain networks for payment settlement and no ability to add multiple networks for payments
  • Challenging experience to customize payment options and blockchain networks
  • Users are required to buy and hold BNB to pay for BNB Chain network gas fees
  • No simple way for users to buy or sell crypto

In order to drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency payments, Dtravel has upgraded its smart contracts and introduced Smart Wallets by way of wallets-as-a-service for vacation rental operators and property managers.

What are Smart Wallets and How Will They Benefit the Dtravel Ecosystem?

Wallets-as-a-service allow users to seamlessly create non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets called Smart Wallets natively within Dtravel Direct, reducing onboarding friction and abstracting away blockchain complexities for non-crypto native property managers.

Operators new to Dtravel Direct will now be able to create a Smart Wallet for receiving booking payments and earning TRVL rewards as easily as creating an email account. With Smart Wallets, property managers will also be able to set up multiple wallets and accept crypto payments on behalf of clients without mixing funds.

For vacation rental operators and property managers, Smart Wallets provide many benefits including:

  • Easy wallet creation via email or social media login
  • Simplified network switching
  • Increased security by not having to store private keys
  • Easily customize various payment options across numerous blockchain networks
  • A crypto on-ramp via credit card and off-ramp to a bank account

Smart Wallets will accelerate the adoption of crypto payments, enabling an easier way for property managers to interact with crypto and in the future, allow for the off-ramp of crypto earnings into fiat in order to pay property owners and operational overhead.

In addition, Smart Wallets offer significant benefits to the Dtravel ecosystem as a whole. For example, they will enable support for new blockchain networks, not only empowering property managers to deploy listings across the most in demand networks, but enabling Dtravel to capitalize on partnership opportunities and co-marketing initiatives.

How Do I Create a Smart Wallet?

All operators new to Dtravel Direct will have the opportunity to create a Smart Wallet during account onboarding.

For existing Dtravel Direct accounts, operators who have not yet added crypto as a payment option will have the ability to create a Smart Wallet within their Dtravel Direct dashboard.

In the future, we’ll be adding support for operators who have already connected their MetaMask and want to switch to a Dtravel Smart Wallet.

Learn: Create a Smart Wallet

Read: Smart Wallet FAQ


Summary: Mainstream Crypto Payments in Travel

The vacation rental industry is poised to drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency payments. Dtravel's blockchain-based booking platform, Dtravel Direct, has seen rapid growth, with property managers from all over the world using it to create their own booking site and accept payments directly from guests. However, reliance on EOAs like MetaMask have posed adoption challenges for non-crypto native operators. To address this, Dtravel is introducing Smart Wallets to the Dtravel ecosystem. Smart Wallets will allow easy wallet creation and abstract away blockchain complexities. Operators will be able to easily create cryptocurrency wallets to receive payments and rewards, set up multiple wallets, and accept crypto without mixing funds. Finally, Smart Wallets will also enable smooth network switching, increased security, diverse payment options, and fiat on/off ramps.

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