Travel agencies are built on the idea that your customers want to make travel as easy on themselves as possible, so convenience is the key to providing the service they want. There are a lot of ways you do that, from bundling together booking deals that cover your clients from departure to arrival home to keeping in contact and notifying them when you have packages they’ve been looking for. If you build your relationship with regular travelers the right way, you can make yourself a strong client base that supports your day to day operations. You also need to bring in new travelers though, and for new people convenience in getting started is the key. Today, that means being able to take a variety of payment options. It also means being able to take payment without making people pick up a phone, much less making them come in to your office. That’s why your travel merchant account needs to be ready to work with you in all the places your customers pay.
Sometimes, you need to go to your customers to get new business. When that happens, the agent is the one who needs to travel, to attend local community events and trade shows around the region and the country. If you’re looking to work with customers and not just hand out business cards, your payment processor needs to give you the tools to accept cards on the go. Whether that’s a dongle for an existing mobile device or a dedicated system is your choice, but it’s getting to be a more and more important part of doing business in every industry.
Website Payment Processing
Paying a third-party online processor to take care of credit cards for you usually means using their payment platform as a whole, which is convenient for customers who are also on it. That can be a hassle for companies, though, because it means you pay the processing premium from an electronic payment service for every credit card transaction, and those fees can be as much as double the cost of payment processing services. Sometimes, online payment apps even exceed double what a good deal on service can get you during an annual sale. On top of that, having a true payment processor means being able to code your own secure web payment portal instead of relying on the options from a third party, so you can better guarantee the customer’s safety when shopping with you for travel.
Accept All Cards
Not every payment processor can accept all credit cards. Even if you aren’t going to opt for a processor that takes extended payment options like Paypal or tap to pay fast passes, it’s a good idea to take all the major credit cards. If your travel merchant account doesn’t support that, you might miss out on business you need. Remember, travel and dining were the original purposes credit cards were marketed toward, so even cards that might be considered obscure in other markets should be treated as common for travel agencies if they were part of that wave. Diner’s Card, anyone?
If you’re successful, you’re going to wind up working with clients from outside the country as well as those within it. There are a few reasons for this.
- Networking with agencies abroad to coordinate in-country
- Clients abroad wishing to work with local agents who know the country
Any time you’re working with companies or people abroad, you need to be prepared to make payment easy. If you have the ability to operate cross-currency without adding extra steps, that’s a huge benefit. The right merchant account should have no trouble accomplishing this, either. Most credit cards already carry international flexibility, it just takes a payment processing agreement that makes it work for you by putting the money into your account at the right rate and without adding a lot of administrative overhead to your day.
Outclass the Competition
Large-scale travel websites have a lot of deals, but they require the user to do a lot of work. Downplaying that work involves making the payment options and site navigation easy, but a true travel agency can harness those tools and the convenience and service the industry is known for to deliver a truly exceptional experience. Customers come to you so their travel will be seamless, and this is your opportunity to take that to a whole new level. To do that, you need to invest in the payment gateway and merchant account that gives you freedom to create, because out of the box options from web-based providers will always look like what they are. That’s not generally a bad thing, but it limits your options and it costs more, so if you want to have the best cost efficiency without compromising on customer experience, you just need to do a little bit more to make things easy.