The travel industry has taken on so many different incarnations since the internet began gaining popularity. People now book their vacations online or over the phone rather than sitting down with a travel agent. With competitive pricing and great deals available for all locations in all seasons, it’s no surprise that the internet has become the main way that Americans research and purchase their airfare, hotel stays, cruises, lodging, and other aspects of their vacations. Even small inns and bed & breakfasts allow customers to book accommodations online, making lodging credit card processing a big business for merchant services. Car rental agencies, airlines, discount airfare web sites, and other travel service providers all depend on the internet and on credit cards. The online leisure and corporate travel industry is a lucrative industry indeed.
Naturally, in order to do business successfully online or offline at a retail location, travel agents must have the ability to process their customers’ credit cards efficiently. The majority of Americans cannot or do not wish to pay for their luxury vacations using cash or check. Being able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex is a convenience for them and a benefit for travel agents as well. Cash cannot be sent through the mail, and checks take a long time to clear, making it nearly impossible for an agent to make arrangements for air travel or hotel stays in a timely manner. Accepting payments by credit card is really the best way for a travel agent, online or off, to be paid quickly and securely.
Unfortunately, because a travel company, hotel, or airline accepts payment on goods and services before they are actually rendered, they are considered high risk by the merchant services industry. This situation is compounded by the fact that travel is not a tangible good, and that in most modern situations, credit cards are being processed online rather than in person. Many of the difficulties associated with being a high risk merchant can be avoided if all transactions are processed through a card swipe machine and signed receipts are kept on file to protect the company and the credit card company in the event of a disputed charge. Disputed charges, or charge-backs, are not uncommon in the travel merchant account industry.
Because accepting credit cards is a necessary part of any small business, the best a service can do is to look for ways to minimize their risk levels. Building up a good credit history, directly processing the credit cards whenever possible, and keeping accurate records of sales can help to prevent and establish a particular travel company as a lower risk & rate. Over time, small businesses can build up positive reputations that will minimize the high risk credit card processing nature of their operations.
Now is a great time to break into the online industry, and Process For Me can help you find the reduced rates for your internet travel provider, car rental service, inn, bed and breakfast, hotel, or other time share-related company.