With the value of online travel bookings estimated to hit $837 billion in 2017, it’s a good time to be an online travel agency (OTA). That does not mean, however, that claiming a stake of this huge market is easy. In fact, the challenges facing an OTA with international ambitions are numerous.
One of the toughest of these challenges is payments. When it comes to settling transactions, OTAs face four pressing issues.
If you run an OTA, your products will typically comprise elements from a large number of suppliers, many of whom will be handling different currencies. When a traveler buys from your site, the cash will need to be separated into various payments, the payments will need to be converted into various currencies and then those amounts will need to be released to suppliers at various stages. Trying to deal with all of this manually is time-consuming, stressful and open to human error.
In a 2013 study by Phocuswright, 37% of online travel companies cited credit card fraud as their single biggest payment issue. When you look at the statistics it’s easy to understand why. While the average brick-and-mortar travel agent contends with a 0.5% rate of fraud, the average online travel supplier deals with a 1.5% rate.
- Consumer protection
New regulations in the travel sector designed to protect consumers often force OTAs to hold a traveler’s payment until the product has been used. Usually, this means keeping funds in escrow from the time the purchase is made until the time the trip is finally taken. Handing this and dealing with the long waiting period further complicates the settlement process.
- Payment methods
Though card might be the preferred choice in the American travel market, elsewhere things are not so simple. Throughout much of Europe, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East there is great diversity in the preferred methods consumers use to pay, from digital wallets to transfers to mobile and more. In order to sell in more than one region, you’ll need the flexibility to handle various payment methods.
A tailor-made OTA solution
If you are an ambitious online travel agent, you’ll need a payment platform that eliminates these barriers. This is where Acapture comes in. Our solution was designed to suit your needs specifically.
As well as offering global card acquiring through our parent company Payvision, we can handle over 60 of the world’s most popular alternative payment methods, leaving you free to extend your business into new regions without stressing about how the local consumer likes to buy. Our feature SlicePay simplifies split settlements, dividing a transaction’s payments between various suppliers and currencies in a quick, painless, automated system.
Meanwhile, over 120 risk checks and plugins ensure every transaction is handled with the highest level of security. If required, we also offer a secure escrow service, ensuring your consumers gets the fullest legal protection and your settlements are released precisely when they need to be, without putting any extra pressure on your finance department.
Online travel payments can be complicated. Acapture makes them easy. Want to know more about how we do it? Then don’t hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com