Posted by tina on May 28, 2017


Travel Merchant Accounts For Secure Global Payments

Travel merchants need to accept payments from customers throughout the world. Secure payment processing is vital to the success of your travel business.

Strong Growth for International Travel

The travel industry is booming and it’s getting younger. According to the Boston Consulting Group, millennials (16 to 34 year olds) are close to 23% more likely to travel abroad than those older than them.

This means a wave of young, enthusiastic travelers are shaping an age-old industry. They want to fly to exotic locations, try unique cuisines and pay for it all online. Forward looking travel companies are already looking at ways they can cater to this growing market for young international travelers.

If you offer hospitality, transportation, travel agency or other travel related services, you’re probably looking at innovative marketing, sales and customer services tactics to get the attention of young travelers. What you probably don’t pay attention to is the payment infrastructure in place to accept payments from these potential clients.

It’s easy to assume that the vast, global payment system will take care of all the transactions that come through to you. You might assume that card payments from a British teenager or a refund to an Indian college group are all automatically taken care of by the big banks and government agencies. But it turns out opening your business to foreign transactions exposes your business to a whole set of risks.

What are the Risks for International Payments? 

 A global survey conducted by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group  with the help of 6,000 businesses spread across 20 countries found that the rate of fraud was increasing annually. Small and medium sized businesses who interact with customers from around the world were particularly at risk.

BNP Paribas, a French bank, also states that businesses are more prone to card fraud when they interact with customers from high risk areas. This includes countries with particularly high rates of corruption or prone to political and economic risks.

Risky developing countries are not the only ones that pose a threat in terms of card fraud. In fact, the payment network in the United States is known to be particularly vulnerable and the country accounts for more losses due to card fraud than all other countries combined.  

Then there’s the risk of chargebacks. Chargebacks are when customers initiate a complaint and get their money back through an acquiring bank. The rate of fraud in these cases has been steadily increasing. The Airlines Reporting Corporation has published a guideline for tour operators and travel agents to prevent chargebacks. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has a similar handbook that states the rules and regulations for card transactions.

As an international travel business, you can’t really avoid foreign transactions. Most of your clients or suppliers may be abroad. You may have to handle a basket of different currencies and work with a number of foreign companies. Not only is it difficult to manage the currency volatility and differences in regulations, but it is also incredibly hard to secure international transactions.

Because of the high ticket sales and multiple currencies, traditional banks and payment operators classify a travel business as ‘high risk’. This makes it difficult for a travel company to process payments for clients.

Businesses in the travel and tourism sector are increasingly turning to other, more secure options for payment. For instance, a travel merchant account can help your business safely interact with the global payment network and avoid most of these risks.

How A Travel Merchant Account Helps You

A travel merchant account is specifically designed for businesses that operate in the travel and tourism sector. These accounts follow all the regulations set forth by the international authorities and have special tools to help reduce the risks involved.

Travel merchant accounts are Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which means your payments are secure regardless of their origin. These accounts can also help you boost sales by accepting payments through multiple channels, such as echecks, ACH, and localized payment networks.

Your  high ticket transactions through a travel merchant account can be split between a number of acquiring banks, to help mitigate the risk of fraud. Online tools and automated services offer you a way to manage your customers and significantly reduce the rate of chargebacks at your business.


The global payment system has evolved and a travel merchant account is the best way to keep your business at the forefront of a changing industry.

A travel merchant account is the perfect way to adapt your business and help it survive in this new, interconnected world. All your payments are brought together under one, secure account which lets you focus on building sales and helping customers.

You can apply for a travel merchant account for free and quickly gain access to the global payment network. Most processors prefer high volume merchants that will process a minimum of $100,000 a month.

Merchant accounts are established in the jurisdictions where your customers are located.  This lets you:

  • Save money on processing rates by taking advantage of lower intra-region interchange rates
  • Reduce expesnes you money by elimiating cross-border processing and foreign exhcnage fees
  • Offer payments in local currencies
  • Get more sale by providing popular alternative payment options at checkout

How are you handling your international payments for your travel business?

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