How to Choose a Payment Gateway for Travel Agency

After you create a travel website using any of the best WordPress themes for a travel agency, you should have a proper payment gateway integrated into it. With this system, your customers can easily book a service from you and pay for it instantly. 

A payment gateway gives your travel agency the luxury to accept online payments 24/7. So, if you are out chilling on weekends or having a peaceful sleep at night, don’t worry. The system is there up and running to make transactions possible within a flash. 

Now that you know how important it is to have an integrated payment gateway for a travel agency, you may wonder how to choose the one for your needs, right?

Well, there are a few key protocols that you should take care of before choosing a payment gateway for your travel company. These range from system compatibility to setup fees, setup time, and security. 

In this article, we will talk you through the entire process of how to choose a payment gateway for a travel agency. Unlike other sources, you can here explore the importance and few drawbacks of an online payment gateway. 

Since you are here, learn how to integrate a payment gateway on your travel website with this thorough guide: How to Integrate Payment Gateway in Travel Website. 

Why Do You Need a Payment Gateway For Your Travel Agency?

An online payment gateway eases up the process for your clients to complete the transaction without having to worry about anything going wrong. In a way, it makes sure your customers have no issue when it comes to the fund settlement. 

An online payment gateway swiftly approves or declines payments and authorizes fund transfers between your customer and your travel agency. 

The best thing about having different payment gateway options integrated on your travel website is that it presents you with the ability to accept payments 24/7. Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon or late in the night, your customers can easily book a service from you and pay for it instantly. 

Besides that, here are the reasons why you need an online payment gateway:

1. Offers Better Cash Flow

An online payment system offers a better cash flow for your travel business. Thanks to this, your customers can book a service and complete payment processing at the same time. This saves you from the hassle of having to wait for the payment a few days later of the booking date. 

Apart from that, you can offer discounts to your customers using the online payment gateway. It helps with prompt payments and provides a flexible payment schedule for bigger transactions. Moreover, you can set up numerous cancellation policies which should be made clear to the customer at the start.  

2. Quick and Efficient Payments

An online payment gateway gives you the luxury to either approve or deny payments immediately. It boasts quick and efficient service. Besides, you don’t have to worry about your customers delaying the payment for your services as you can set up proper payment policies upfront. 

3. More Secure Way to Conduct Business

Security is what makes the online payment system reliable and popular. An online payment system provides more security and simplifies your business activities as it minimizes the risk of credit card scams or fraud. Similarly, the payment gateways help to protect your customer’s information and data and which gives them the confidence to trust in you as their travel and tour operator. 

Difference Between Hosted Payment Gateways and Non-Hosted Payment Gateways

There are two types of popular payment gateways. Hosted Payment Gateways redirect your customers from your travel website to a securely hosted payment page. Once the payment is completed, your customer is then brought back to your website. In the meantime, the order gets confirmed and the process is completed. 

On the other hand, Non-Hosted Payment Gateways allow your users to enter their details directly on your travel website. Here is the difference between these two payment gateways:

Hosted Payment GatewaysNon-Hosted Payment Gateways
The payment page has a different URL and a different web design template
The layout of the payment page is the same as your website
It is more suitable for small to mid-scale businessesIt is suitable for larger corporate or experienced merchants
It is quick and cost-effectiveIt includes additional costs
The merchant holds no responsibility for sensitive credit card dataThe merchant is responsive for the sensitive credit card data

Important Facts to Consider Before Choosing a Payment Gateway for Travel Agency

It becomes very crucial that your travel business supports online transactions and has a high transaction volume. That’s where having a payment gateway integrated into your travel website is crucial. Before choosing a payment gateway for your travel agency, you need to consider a few crucial criteria. 

Ranging from the cost of the payment service to security and customer experience, here are the few important factors:

1. Check for System Compatibility

It is very important to check for system compatibility before deciding on a payment gateway for your travel industry. Since you run a travel website that includes your travel services and payment options, you need to make sure that your website hosting service is ready to integrate the payment gateway. 

As you can find a wide range of options when it comes to payment gateways, you should filter the ones that are compatible with your system. After that, you can pick the one that does all the good works for you.  

2. Check the System Setup Time

Can you wait for days or even a week to set up a payment gateway? If so, then set up a time is not a big deal for you. However, if you want your payment system ready and set in less time, you need to look for the best option. 

There are some payment services that take up to a few weeks or even months for setting up a merchant account and payment gateway. In case you have to secure your own merchant account, you need to wait a long time for the implementation of a payment gateway on your travel website. 

In order to avoid this situation, you need to look for a payment gateway provider that is ready to sign up without a merchant account. With that, you can get started in a flash. It takes a lot of time to get a merchant account even if you get all the help offered by the payment gateway provider. 

PayPal and Stripe are two those payment gateway providers that let you sign without a need for a merchant account. Thanks to these services, you don’t have to worry about the setup time anymore. 

3. Calculate Your Budget 

budget calculation

You need to make sure that the payment gateway you choose falls under the radar of your company budget. It is always recommended to check the fee structure of the identified payment gateway before deciding to use it for your travel agency. 

Most of the payment gateway providers inquire for a fee per transaction and some may offer a monthly fee or even a fixed number of transactions in a month. If your online payment volume is relatively low, then you should try to avoid monthly fees and a high setup cost. 

Here are some of the extra fees that you may have to deal with while getting a payment gateway service:

  • Address verification fee: You should check to see if the billing address entered matches the billing address on the file with the credit card company. 
  • Cancellation fee: This is the fee that you need to pay if you cancel your account earlier than contracted. 
  • Chargeback fee: You need to pay a chargeback fee if your customer disputes a charge.
  • Monthly minimum fee: You have to pay a monthly fixed fee whether you sell enough services or not. 
  • Statement fee: This is the fee that you need to pay for producing the paper statements for your account. 
  • Transaction fee: This is the most common fee that you have to pay. For a qualified transaction, you need to pay less and for a non-qualified transaction, you need to pay higher fees. 

4. Ensure Security

Benefits of Online Booking System - Information security

It is very important that you ensure the utmost security before finalizing the payment gateway for your travel website. As the cases of data breaches are increasing rapidly these days, your travel website transaction needs to protect from these breaches. To make sure everything is safe and sound, you should look for the best security with your payment gateway. 

Your customers can find it less secured to entering their details online. As a result, when you select a payment gateway for your travel website, you need to analyze how the customer’s data gets stored and kept safe. 

While choosing the payment gateway provider, always select the one that is level 1 compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Similarly, you should insist on built-in security measures like tokenization. Tokenization is the process where all the credit card data is stored as a token and a separate masked number with asterisks that appears like ************1111. 

The asterisks resemble that the full 16 digit credit card number is not stored in a business network. 

5. Check the Customer Experience

Factors Choosing a Payment Gateway -customer support

The payment gateway you choose should fit your customers in every way. You need to make sure of this before integrating it on your travel website. The payment system should support your website and it should offer a user-friendly interface for your customers to ease up their payment and transaction process. 

You have to review the customer support of the system and check how effective they are when it comes to addressing your issues and queries. The only thing is that you should be able to support your customers when they have any difficulties with the payment system or if they are unsure of how to proceed.  

6. Look for Payment Methods and Currency

Payment Methods

There are many travel payment gateways that only accept limited currencies in order to limit their risk. This entirely affects your travel business as you can’t accept everyone who wants to purchase a travel and tour package from you. 

The type of currency that a payment gateway uses to accept payments is an important factor while choosing which travel industry payment gateway is the best for you. For instance, some countries use different types of credit and debit cards. As a result, you should properly check what types of cards are accepted and whether this affects the user experience.

In general, most payment gateways accept VISA, MasterCard and also American Express. If you have transactions from foreign markets, you need to first check if your payment gateway supports local credit card types of those markets. 

7. Make Checkout Easy on All Devices

Make Checkout Easy on All Devices

As most of the website traffic comes from mobile devices these days, it is very important to manage your travel booking website accordingly. You should create a favorable environment for your mobile users to visit your website and make mobile payments for their favorite travel services. 

When you look for a payment gateway, make sure that you offer a better checkout experience that is receptive to all kinds of mobile devices and network types. 

8. Multiple Features

Online payment gateways come with several features depending upon your business needs. If you have to offer your travel services around the world, the payment gateway you choose should provide a global solution. It needs to accept several credit cards, debit cards, and currencies based on different countries. 

Similarly, make sure that your payment gateway supports electronic invoicing, all types of payment, smart chargeback management, and text/email reminders for customers. 

Things to Keep In Mind Before Opting for an Online Payment System

While an online payment system makes your work easier, you need to keep some things in mind. Here are some of the drawbacks of an online payment system:

1. You Have to Be Online All the Time.

You can’t run an online payment system without an internet connection. You have to be online every time to check payments and transactions. As a result, if you run a travel agency in remote areas where there is no reliable internet, the system becomes a burden for you. 

2. Not All Online Payment Systems are Best.

Not every online payment system is created equal. As a result, choosing an online payment system that doesn’t meet your needs can do no good for your business. If you choose a system with poor customer support and only a limited set of features, it can be frustrating. 

You need to do your homework upfront and choose an online payment system that supports you and your business for the long haul. For instance, the online payment system should accept a wide range of payment methods to make it useful for a wide range of users. 

A little bit of research at the start can save you from frustration in the future.  

3. You Should Be Informed About Service Fees

As we have mentioned above, these are some of the service and processing fees that you need to be clear about before choosing a payment gateway:

  • Address verification fee: You should check to see if the billing address entered matches the billing address on the file with the credit card company. 
  • Cancellation fee: This is the fee that you need to pay if you cancel your account earlier than contracted. 
  • Chargeback fee: You need to pay a chargeback fee if your customer disputes a charge.
  • Monthly minimum fee: You have to pay a monthly fixed fee whether you sell enough services or not. 
  • Statement fee: This is the fee that you need to pay for producing the paper statements for your account. 
  • Transaction fee: This is the most common fee that you have to pay. For a qualified transaction, you need to pay less and for a non-qualified transaction, you need to pay higher fees. 

4. You Should Be Ready For an Influx of New Customers.

More and more people want to do online business these days, thanks to the digital revolution. So, a web-based online payment system can be a great way to attract new customers to your business. 

However, if you are managing a small operation with not many staff members around, the unexpected growth of customers can pose a challenge to your operations. 

Our Verdict

The use of proper payment providers on your travel website lets you build your customer’s trust in your business. It eases up the entire payment and transaction process and aids in improving user engagement. 

Since online payment gateways work 24/7, they ensure your travel business is never affected. You don’t have to be physically present to settle the transaction every time as a secure system is there to do all this for you. 

The key thing is that you should make sure that your payment gateway has all the features intact when you hunt for the best payment service providers. 

We hope you find it easy to choose a payment gateway for a travel agency after going through this thorough guide. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Also, besides the payment gateway, there are many essential add-ons that you can use to increase the overall functionality of your travel website. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a service that authorizes the online payment made between customers and travel agencies. These online payment platforms help to instantly approve or decline payments. This system makes it easy for your customers to complete the transaction without having to worry about anything going wrong with their funds.

Is it possible to create my own payment gateway?

Yes, you can create your own payment gateway. However, you need to spend a lot to create your own payment gateway system from scratch. It is safe that you opt for a custom platform that offers you the facilities required without investing much. 

If you invest in a custom platform rather than a newly developed platform, you will be investing in a long-term product that meets your needs. However, in case you build your own payment gateway, you can customize it and add new features as per your preference.

Why do payment gateways charge fees?

Payment gateways change fees as these are used to cover operating expenses, software maintenance, and technology upgrade cost. Besides, some payment gateway providers also offer different risk prevention and management services and you have to pay more to use these features.

Published by Nabin Jaiswal

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