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Best Merchant Accounts & Payment Gateway For Travel Businesses

Payment gateway and merchant solutions specifically catering for high risk travel businesses.

With the tailspin called Covid-19 finally beginning to wind down, the travel industry is picking itself up and dusting off for a comeback.

Holidaymakers around the world are making a beeline for the choicest holiday destinations, and if the recent spurt in recreational travel is anything to go by, there are sunny days ahead for the industry.

With this resurgence though, comes new challenges that businesses must confront. Payment Processors that had previously been happy to provide merchant accounts for travel companies are no longer willing to take the risk.

Travel is considered a high-risk business and companies have been turning the other way as wary payment processors look to lower their exposure. But a travel company that’s looking to bank on the current boom can’t afford to look elsewhere.

That’s where we step in.

Why Travel is Considered a High Risk Industry

Travel and Tourism have always been looked upon as a high-risk industry. This only got compounded due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are three primary reasons why banks shy away from processing payments for travel companies.

Chargebacks and Fraud – A recent report called ‘Fraud and Chargebacks in Travel‘, released by Chargebacks911, an agency that specializes in countering post-transaction fraud, reveals that Chargebacks and refund requests have reached an alarming high during the pandemic costing Airline companies $1 billion a year. Part of this trend will continue into the near future with scam artists trying to rip merchants off with tricks like ‘Double dipping’. It’s no wonder then that banks are reluctant to get back into the travel industry.

Uncertainty – The pandemic and the travel restrictions it triggered have had a telling impact on the travel industry. It is no longer possible to tell where or when, new restrictions might come in, wreaking havoc with travel plans. Disgruntled customers then demand a refund or file for a chargeback. Processing payments for travel companies under such conditions is risky.

Long Lead Times – Statista says that the average UK holiday is planned anywhere from 4-12 months in advance. A lot of things can change between the booking period and the actual travel date. Why, there can even be plain old buyer’s remorse that can cause cancelations.

High-Value Transactions – The average transaction size is one of the most important yardsticks used by a payment processor to determine the risk associated with the industry. For travel companies, the average transaction size is very high, a fact that adds to the risk.

Applying For A Travel Agency Merchant Account

Regardless of whether you seek an online payment gateway for smooth credit card transactions, a virtual terminal or a Point of sale solution for in-store transactions, we can help you find a payment processor in UK that will offer you PCI DSS compliant payment solutions at low cost and without hidden charges.

Years of experience providing high-risk merchant account solutions for companies in industries such as online casinos, short-term loans, financing and CBD have made us trusted advisors for many business owners who were at wit’s end due to exorbitant fees and high-interest rates charged by banks.

If your merchant account was terminated without warning, speak to us. We can even negotiate on your behalf to lower the rollover deposit or security bond, in case the banks deem it mandatory (depending on your processing history).

Application Checklist

The application process for getting a high-risk merchant account is short and straightforward. Here’s are some of the essential documents that you will require while applying:

  • Copy of shareholders certificate
  • Copy of incorporation certificate
  • Organisational structure chart (If applicable)
  • Valid proof of ID for all directors
  • Processing history of the last 3 to 6 months, including chargeback percentage and transaction volume
  • Screenshot of the homepage of official site
  • An SSL certificate secured business website

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Travel Industry considered high risk?

he Travel Industry is a dynamic one that can at times be very volatile. The average transaction value of a holiday booking is very high and bookings are mostly done months in advance, which leaves a huge window for potential cancelations. Add to that the uncertainty bought about by the pandemic. All this makes for a very high-risk industry.

That’s not all. Payment processing for Travel companies has historically been riddled with high chargeback rates, which have shot up sky high recently.

How can Merchant Advise help me acquire a merchant account?

We have worked extensively with banks and payment processors who function in high-risk industries. We have a full understanding of their policies and application procedure, which not only reduces the TAT, but also helps you get it right in the first attempt.

For instance, we sometimes recommend our clients in the travel industry to work with multiple payment processors and banks to ensure that they have a backup option in place if one of the payment processors decides to terminate the account. This keeps the account online and doesn’t leave you stranded during peak business season.

Be rest assured that we will leverage our connections and our expertise to help you acquire a payment processing solution that meets your unique requirements.

What factors should we consider while reviewing Travel merchant accounts?

Many payment processors use the high-risk industry as a means to charge exorbitant rates and hidden fees. Be sure to consider the following:

  • A reasonable fee structure that’s cost-effective
  • Flexible payment terms and contractual terms
  • Strong support systems for customer safety and chargeback protection
  • Accepts international currencies
  • Flexible Rollover Fund or Low-Security Deposit

What are chargebacks in the travel industry?

Chargebacks usually happen when a customer is unhappy with the services or amenities offered and requests for a refund. However, in the travel industry, chargebacks are more of a repercussion of cancellations or fraud, which can be both avoidable and unavoidable.

A chargeback gives them an option to approach their bank and file a dispute/complaint about the merchant. Banks then go ahead and process the refund request as a chargeback and levy it on the merchant, making it hard for them to conduct business.

How can I increase my chances of getting a travel merchant account approved?

Despite the many industry-specific challenges that you will have to navigate around, there are ways you can increase your chances of getting a travel merchant account approved.

  • Your financial accounts must be in good order
  • Your processing history for the past 6-12 months should reflect a low chargeback percentage
  • Have robust fraud prevention and security system
  • Ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

Even if you do not meet one or more of the guidelines, we still encourage you to apply and let us help you find the right solution.