16% of small businesses lose a customer monthly because they don’t accept the preferred payment type that a customer wants to use.
Offering flexible travel payment solutions is easy in today’s digital world. It also makes an enormous difference to your customer experiences and sales possibilities.
So, why are there still travel businesses that have such limited booking and payment systems in place?
If you handle online bookings (which you should be), then offering a variety of payment options will help you appeal to more customers, and will give customers less reason to abandon their carts.
The easier it is to make and complete a tour booking, the more payments you can expect to generate.
This guide explores the importance of flexible travel payment solutions and outlines some of the main reasons why your payment system (or lack thereof) could be chasing away customers.
Understanding Flexible Travel Payment Solutions
Gone are the days of relying on travel agents to secure travel bookings. Instead, any kind of travel business can offer online bookings directly through their website. This is ideal, as it gives travel businesses more power to manage bookings and accept payments directly.
With the ability to offer direct online bookings comes the obligation to offer various travel payment solutions. This includes allowing for various travel payment methods, accepting payment installations, and other payment innovations – like fundraiser-style pages.
Quite simply, the more flexibility your travel business offers with payment solutions, the more potential customers you’ll be able to attract.
Why Flexible Travel Payment Solutions Are So Important
Travelers Make Bookings From All Over the World
As a travel business, you’re likely to accept online bookings from people based all over the world. Different countries and travelers have their preferred payment methods, so being flexible here will help you accommodate a larger group of international travelers.
Travel Can Be A Big Investment
From the customer’s perspective, there’s a lot of decision-making that comes into play when taking the plunge and booking a travel experience – like all the research, setting aside time to go away, and investing a significant amount of money.
By offering various payment options, like being able to pay in installments, travel businesses make it easier for a wider range of customers to make bookings. This is also helpful for impulse bookings.
Competition Is Tough
The travel industry can be highly competitive. If you’re not staying ahead of the competition and industry trends, then you’ll struggle to win over travelers interested in making bookings.
By offering flexibility and innovations in your travel payment solutions, you’re giving travelers more reasons to book with your business. This is all about reducing friction or potential barriers in the booking process, which can help you gain a competitive advantage.
Travelers Are Used To Many Options
In our increasingly digitized world, travelers have come to expect absolute convenience, especially with a choice of different payment options.
If you’re not offering a variety of payment methods, then you could easily lose these customers at a critical stage of their booking journey.
Opportunities For Upsells
Travel businesses should take full advantage of potential upsells and cross-sells – like upgrading travel bookings or adding extra tours or features to their bookings.
By accepting a wider range of flexible payment options, you make it far easier for your customers to add extras to their bookings, or select a more expensive package. This can be a great way to generate extra revenue and maximize the value of each customer.
Refunds Are Easier
When your business uses a flexible payment processing system, you also make it easier to process refunds. By accepting payments in various forms, you can also return payments and refunds in the same manner.
This means you can advertise a flexible refund policy to customers, which is always helpful in securing more bookings for your business. Not only will easy refunds be an attractive offer for potential customers, but it also makes managing your business quite a lot easier.
4 Common Mistakes With Travel Payment Solutions
Let’s explore four common reasons why you could be losing customers due to inadequate travel booking and payment solutions.
1. Not Accepting Credit Cards
Let’s start with the most obvious mistake with travel payment solutions – not accepting credit cards.
It is imperative that you provide an easy solution for processing credit cards. Without this, travelers will quickly turn to other travel companies that offer easier booking solutions.
Accepting credit cards also means you need to accept a range of credit cards. Make sure that you use a travel booking and payment processing solution that accommodates a wide range of credit cards to make it easier for travelers all over the world to complete their bookings.
This is the most common method of payment for making online bookings, so if you’re not flexible and accommodating with credit cards, you’ll certainly miss out on customers.
2. Not Allowing Payment In Installments
Far too few travel businesses accept payments in installments, which is an oversight considering how much extra value it can add to your booking and payment process.
Let’s go back to travel being a high-ticket expense. Many people want to secure travel bookings but don’t have the immediate funds to pay for these bookings outright. Or, people want to grab special deals or limited-time offers but haven’t had the time to save for them.
Whatever the case, offering the option for payments in installments will help you generate more bookings straight away.
Using the right travel booking and payment solution should offer the option for payment installations. Having this available will help you maximize impulse buys while eliminating a common barrier that prevents many people from making travel bookings.
3. Not Taking Deposits
If you’re worried about flexible travel payment solutions affecting your cash flow or operations, then accepting deposits is an easy way to combat this.
Obtaining deposits is another useful way to help you secure bookings from people who are not yet ready to pay in full. The advantage here is that it still sets your business up with some cash, so you don’t have to wait around for the money to become available.
Customers can secure their booking with a deposit, then pay the rest at a later stage. Again, this is ideal for pushing impulse bookings or special offers – like promoting off-season travel packages.
4. Not Taking Bank Transfers
Although card payments are most common for online bookings, there are still plenty of customers that prefer to go the direct bank transfer route. And so, including this option in your travel booking and payment system can help you not alienate those customers, but instead generate more bookings.
Many people feel safer making bank transfers as opposed to entering their credit card information online. Accepting bank transfers is also easy and convenient for travel businesses, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do it.
How To Implement Flexible Travel Payment Solutions
Now that you understand how important it is to offer flexible travel payment solutions, you’ll want to implement this in your business. To achieve this, you need to use the right travel booking and payment solution.
WeTravel is a booking and payment platform designed specifically for the travel industry. Beyond offering a wide range of booking functionality, you can also use WeTravel to accept many different payment types.
This includes accepting international card payments, accepting bank transfers and eChecks, accepting payments in different currencies, and a whole lot more.
With WeTravel, you can offer flexible payment options to your customers – making sure you don’t turn anyone away when they’re ready to book a travel experience.
All you need is the right travel payment gateway, and you can open up doors to a whole new world of payment possibilities. This will enable more customers to easily secure bookings on your site.
If you’re interested in managing payments and bookings in the most efficient way possible, then look towards WeTravel. You can try WeTravel for free to see just how seamless and streamlined the payment and booking platform is and how much it can benefit the way your business performs, and improve your overall revenue stream.