The travel industry is inherently global. Whether you’re a tour operator, hotel owner, or travel agency, you probably deal with customers from across the country or from different parts of the world. This complicates the process of processing payments.

Cross-border payments in the travel industry are deemed ‘high risk’ by most financial institutions. Instead of putting up with higher rates, a lack of flexibility, and the risks of chargebacks, you can pick a travel company payment processor to reduce your risk and boost your profits.

Here are the ten things you should know before picking your payment processor:

1. Payments are going cashless
​Across the developed world, plastic and digital payments are overtaking cash. Cash is falling out of favor and your customers are more likely to pay by credit cards or online wallets than ever before. Offering convenience to your customers should be your top priority, however, the rise in digital payments has also led to an increase in fraud and chargebacks. The added risk of fraud, loss, and cyberattack is the price you pay to make payments convenient for your clients.

2. Your business may be well-suited for a travel merchant account
Depending on your location and business model, your business may be at higher risk of chargebacks or fraud. In a recent working paper, the Kansas City Federal Reserve pointed out that not only was this issue of chargebacks rampant in the travel industry, it was also a lot more expensive for businesses. The average chargeback for a travel service provider was $18, compared to just $8 for the second riskiest business on the list. A travel merchant account is perfect for a high-risk business in the travel industry.

3. Not all payment processors are equal
Like any other service, picking the right payment processor for your travel company requires due diligence. Payment processors offer different levels of service, technical expertise, and payments infrastructure. Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is to assume these services are standardized and pick the first one you come across. Dig deeper and try to find the right fit for your business.

4. Technical support is crucial
Technical support is like insurance, you don’t realize how important it is until you need it. When you’re trying to train your staff or integrate the payment system, you need a friendly and experienced team of professionals on call. Some payment processors offer 24/7 help desks staffed by experts who can guide you through any query. Pick the provider with the best customer service team.

5. Consider processor fees
A cost-benefit analysis is another crucial part of running a business. There’s no doubt you want to reduce your costs, but you also need the service that provides the best value. Focus on the real cost of not having a good payment gateway. The cheapest payment processor is not always the best. You need to consider your margins, customer preferences, technical details, and quality of service before making your pick.

6. Background checks
Read reviews, forums, and blogs and try to check the company’s background before you sign up for their payment processing infrastructure. A provider with great reviews and an excellent reputation is worth a lot more than a relatively unknown startup.

7. Leverage technology
Payment processors offer value by creating sophisticated developer tools you can use to bolster your services. Some provide APIs that are easily integrated into your website for e-commerce transactions. You can also get access to virtual payment terminals, mobile developer kits, and enterprise-grade encryption.

8. Ensure fraud and chargeback protection
High-risk merchant accounts are specifically designed to protect your business. Look for payment processors who offer two-step verification, encryption, and services that are compliant with industry security standards (such as Level 1 PCI-DSS).

9. Go Global
Travel is a global industry and you need a payment processor who can handle payments from multiple regions and different currencies.

10. Go Mobile
70% of shoppers and customers now use their mobile to buy services or items. Not only are payments going cashless, they’re also increasingly going mobile. To keep up with the market and remain competitive, you need a payment processor that offers you a reliable mobile payment platform.

Do you need a fast and secure payment gateway for your international customers?
Does your travel business need a better way to cut transaction risk and boost profits?
Speak to our expert advisers today.