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SMBC Group credit card company enters travel space

SMBC Group’s Sumitomo Mitsui Card (SMCC) has entered the travel space.

SMCC, a massive credit card issuer in Japan, has partnered with Hopper’s B2B division, Hopper Technology Solutions (HTS), to create a travel loyalty portal allowing cardholders and rewards program members to book flights, car rentals and accommodations. The portal will launch next year, Hopper announced Thursday.

“HTS is uniquely positioned to power SMCC’s travel portal and bring industry-leading travel booking options to their tens of millions of cardholders and reward members,” said Dakota Smith, president and co-founder of Hopper. “We are thrilled to be partnering with SMCC on this endeavor and look forward to the portal’s launch.”

HTS works to empower financial institutions to “supercharge” travel benefits for their cardholders and currently makes up around two-thirds of the company’s business on the whole, with access to millions of travelers across the globe.

“At SMCC, we are focused on providing value to our customers in all areas, including areas outside traditional financial offerings,” said Yoshiro Kagata, managing executive officer for SMCC. “Partnering with HTS to power this portal will give our cardholders a new way to book travel in the Japanese market and get the most value out of their loyalty benefits.”

SMCC’s move is only the latest instance of financial institutions making forays into the travel industry with HTC.

In May, Brazil-based Nubank, a digital banking giant, announced it was launching a travel booking platform for its Nubank Ultravioleta customers, a high-income group. Also in May, Korea’s Lotte Card, another credit-card issuer, announced a travel portal for its cardholders. 

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