How digital payments can support the travel industry

How digital payments can support the travel industry

Author

Faye Duncan

Date

27 Sep 2022

Read time

4 Minutes

Category

Payments

How many people do you know had their holidays cancelled during Covid-19? The travel industry took a huge hit during the pandemic and had to deal with endless cancellations, refunds and travel restrictions, and now has to adapt to the change in consumer behaviour.

We’ve taken a look at what has changed and how the travel industry should respond.

Why the travel industry needs digital payments

There has been a shift in how consumers pay for trips and spend abroad. The travel industry will need to keep up with these changes if it wants to thrive. Here are some of the main trends to be aware of:

Decline in cash

Whether you like it or not, we’re becoming a cashless society, and that includes when we’re abroad. With the innovation of travel cards, digital wallets and other alternative payment methods, travellers don’t take cash like they used to. Instead, they’re opting for the easier, safer and more reliable option of digital payments.

Change in customer behaviour

Consumers expect quick, fast and easy when it comes to shopping, and it’s no different when it comes to paying for holidays. It doesn’t matter if they’re buying sunglasses or the whole holiday package, the checkout experience should be frictionless.

New payment methods

More and more people are turning to digital payments with the increased amount of alternative payment methods available. With the rise in Buy Now Pay Later schemes (BNPL), digital wallets, QR codes and cryptocurrency, they are increasingly becoming the preferred option. Having these new solutions available will make your business more user-friendly and accessible to a wider audience.

Increase in risk

Since the travel industry is such a volatile industry, this carries plenty of risks. Whether it’s down to something huge like a pandemic, or something minor, like staff shortages, both the industry and the consumers need to be protected. Digital payments offer that security if any changes need to be made, giving people the reassurance that they’re safe to make the booking. On top of that, there are more regulations in place to protect the consumer’s privacy and data. Strong Customer Authorisation  (SCA) requirements should be implemented to help prevent fraud.

What sectors are impacted

There’s no escaping the changes within the payment world no matter the sector, but these are the main areas in the travel industry:

Airlines

Air travel doesn’t seem to have completely recovered from the effects of the pandemic yet (it’s hard to ignore the media reporting on the huge airport delays), making it all the more important to have the right payment solution in place to improve the customer experience at checkout.

Accommodation

Staycations have become a big thing. But it’s not just where people are staying that has changed; how they want to pay has changed too. With the hotelier sector being so volatile, payments are often taken closer to the time of the trip, if not during the trip, as well as having a good cancellation policy as close as 24 hours before the check-in date. This flexibility is a key change that digital payments can offer.

Online travel agencies

Most bookings take place online these days, but that also means there’s more competition. Since there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of a travel agent, being the mediator between the customer and the hotel or airline, a good payment solutions provider is needed to ensure a smooth experience.

How to optimise digital payments

There are so many options when it comes to payment solutions, but there are a few winners that will really help you gain success. Here are our top tips to improve your digital payment offering.

Offer alternative payment methods

Whether you’re selling holiday packages, flights or day trips out, consumers want to pay via their preferred payment method, including Apple Pay, PayPal, BNPL, etc. Why? Because it’s quicker, easier and they trust it.

Manage cross-border payments

If you’re in the travel industry, chances are you’ll be dealing with more than your local currency, as well as global payments from international customers. To manage your cross-border payments your business will need to consider local acquirers to minimise the risk of declines and to lower any merchant fees.

Loyalty schemes

How do you get your customers to keep coming back? By rewarding them for their loyalty. There’s so much competition out there, so consumers can easily shop around for the best deal making loyalty very difficult to gain. But if you can create a loyalty program that can not only offer great deals but is also seamlessly linked to payment options so that your customers can easily use their points to pay for their next trip, then they may be more willing to come back. Remember, quick and easy is the key!

Partner with the right payment solution

Having the right technology behind you to offer the best customer experience is vital in such an unpredictable industry. That’s why finding the right payment solutions provider is important for your success. Since travel is considered to be a risky industry, it can be difficult to find a provider, but here at Total Processing, our experts are willing to help. Get in touch today!

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