How to Choose the Best Payment solution for Your Travel Agency

Merchants in the travel industry are considered high-risk by payment services providers, which essentially means they represent a higher likelihood of financial loss.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The reason behind this precaution mainly stems from the many chargebacks and cancelled bookings associated with the travel business. Because most agencies finalise transactions days or even weeks before the stipulated time of travel, changes in travel plans and payment disputes often arise.

Therefore, if you run a travel business that’s in need of a payment solution, expect a steep road ahead. Not only are the companies that service travel agencies hard to come by, but you will also need to identify the one that caters to your specific needs.

Nevertheless, the situation isn’t completely hopeless. With some research and patience, you can find reasonable companies that specialise in offering travel merchants the solutions they need to succeed.

High-risk merchant accounts

Like all other high-risk enterprises, travel agencies find it virtually impossible to acquire payment services from banks and other traditional providers. For the best chance at scoring a merchant account, look for a high-risk provider, particularly one that’s known to work with businesses in the travel sector.
A high-risk specialist will offer your travel business the broad range of payment solutions it needs to keep customers satisfied while factoring in your specific preferences and your budget.

Choosing the right provider

Many travel merchants rush into partnerships with the first high-risk payment services provider they find, only to end up in a ditch down the line. To ensure you get into business with the right firm, take some time to answer the following questions:

How is the company’s reputation?

The first step to picking a provider is to conduct due diligence. Ask around and use the internet to identify the companies that known to hold a satisfied base of customers. Client forums can also give you some insight on the firm’s history and policy.
To be safe, start with large, established high-risk providers who have the experience, and will likely offer the best deal.

What about the rates?

Payment processing charges vary depending on the provider. Nevertheless, expect your travel merchant account to cost significantly more than a mainstream account. The charges will go even higher if your agency has an online presence, or if your transactions require keying in the credit card number versus swiping it.
Although you may not have a choice but to accept the terms of your contract, it is wise to analyse the fees carefully to ensure they are reasonable enough.

Can you rely on the support?

A merchant account is an integral aspect of your business. Any technical hitch and your customers won’t be able to make payments. When choosing a provider, therefore, take an extra step to ensure their customer service is top notch. Call or email the support staff to gauge how they relate to their clients and how well they know the travel business. The provider you choose should be available and ready to attend to your needs at all times.


Acquiring the best payment solutions is a tricky affair, but it can be especially challenging for travel agencies. Regardless, the advice above can go a long way into helping you to get the travel merchant account that will be perfect for your business.

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