Posted by admin on Nov 07, 2010


Travel Agency Merchant Accounts

Travel Classified as High Risk Merchants

Travel and hospitality are among the world’s largest industries.  Over 50% of all travel reservations are now made online and that number is increasing daily.  The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), predicts travel revenues will exceed $15 trillion by 2017.

Online travel sites require high risk merchant accounts in order to process payments. Travel merchant accounts can be established for all types online travel sites including the industry, including: transportation, hotel reservations; timeshare, membership clubs; newsletters; travel agencies; tour operators and packages.

One reason online travel sites are classified as high risk merchants are because these sites have a statistically greater incidence of chargebacks and fraudulent transactions.  For many buyers, travel is an emotional purchase which combines the excitement of adventure with the fear of spending a lot of money for unknown outcomes.

Reasons for High Risk Classification

“Friendly fraud” is pervasive in the travel industry.  Savvy consumers know they can initiate chargebacks for a variety of reasons.  Consumers can initiate a chargeback claiming the services were not delivered as advertised, or the transaction was not authorized, or any other number of reasons.

In addition, travel is often booked far in advance.  The longer the time between booking and travel, the more time there is for consumers to change their mind and initiate a chargeback.


Online travel sites can establish payment processing accounts with favorable rates.  For online travel sites seeking high volume merchant accounts, there are many excellent card processing solutions available. 

Many travel merchants add alternative payments such as electronic checks to the check out page. This helps capture more orders from travelers who don't have cards, are maxed out on cards, or who simply prefer to purchase with an echeck.

How is your travel business accepting payments online?