Singapore Airlines aims to launch a digital wallet for members of its loyalty programme, Krisflyer, using blockchain technology within the next six months.

This is the first time the technology has been used by an airline to create a digital wallet that has been rolled out to customers. The new wallet has been developed in collaboration with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft and will enable Krisflyer members to use digital miles for point-of-sale transactions at select retail partners, initially in Singapore.

“This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalise’ Krisflyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers,” said Goh Choon Phong, the airline’s CEO.

“It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline.”

Blockchain is a technology that uses cryptography to create a type of digital ledger, and was originally developed for the digital currency Bitcoin.

Singapore Airlines’ new digital wallet app will make use of a privately owned blockchain involving just merchants and partners.

Singapore Airlines isn’t the only carrier to explore blockchain technology, however. In November last year, Air New Zealand announced it had begun exploring the use of blockchain in areas such as cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution and loyalty opportunities.

Meanwhile Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation began accepting payments using Bitcoin last May.