Travel takes time, travel payments shouldn’t

You obsess over getting the details right for customers to create a brilliant holiday, and we obsess over the details of making it easy to pay so you can spend less time chasing, supporting and reconciling payments - imagine how much happier your customers will be and what you could do with that time back!

In this blog post, we'll delve into practical strategies to improve your payments experience.

Reduce the effort needed to complete a payment

Amazon has this nailed with their one-click purchase that according to Baymard Institute can increase conversions by 45%, as travel is quite a considered process customers tend to persevere rather than abandon altogether but if you can reduce their frustration and time needed to support them it will be a win all round.

Some examples of how you can simplify the process:

  • Put the fields in the same order as they appear on the card
  • Validate that a card number is correct as it is typed with Luhn Validation
  • Make sure your date format matches ISO 7813 “MM / YY” or “MM-YY” — with the first being by far the most common for credit cards
  • Keep fields to a minimum, do you need address details for all payments, only show them when needed and also pre-populate if you have them to allow them to be edited
  • If there is an error make it easy to understand how to rectify it with clear messaging and focusing the user on where they need to make the changes

Use payment Links stop taking phone payments

Much of travel operates differently from e-commerce where you add things to a basket and pay immediately, which is why being dedicated only to travel we design our payments to reflect the nuances of travel. Of all the things we offer payments links I think bring the most bang for your buck:

  • Include a payment link with your proposal so they can easily click and pay without needing to call you, make sure it is at the very least populated with the booking reference and value
  • Shift all MOTO (paying over the phone) to payments links and you will massively reduce your time taking payments and also exposure to fraud as you shift the liability to the customer's bank/card issuer
  • Reduce your PCI compliance burden, if you take a card number over the phone you need to prove it is not stored anywhere which includes yellow sticky notes... while they are on the phone send them a payment link to avoid it altogether, you can see instantly when the payment has been successful.

Make sure it works on mobile

People tend to research holidays on desktops and laptops but 43% of the payments made on our platform are on mobiles. My assumption is that as we offer payment links as standard people open them on their mobile and pay straight away rather than wait until they get home, this means faster payment and less chance you need to chase as they forget!

So make sure your payment pages are optimised for mobile:

  • Must look and function perfectly on all mobile devices
  • Enable Google Pay and Apple Pay

Make sure your customers know it is legit

We are all now super alert to payment scams so you need to make sure your customers trust any payment requests you send them, trust signals can boost conversions by 32%. (Blue Fountain Media)

  • Make sure your logo is on the payments page
  • Make the page specific to the customer with a summary of their booking included, including travel dates, destination and booking reference
  • Make sure the page is secure and the padlock show's in the browser
  • Ask your acquirer to add verified by Visa / Mastercard

Control your payment options

The payments world went mad a few years ago and it was not rare to see half a dozen options of how to pay including multiple buy now pay later options (more on that later) but it does make sense to offer more than just Visa and Mastercard

  • Amex - if you have valuable customers whom you are happy to accept Amex payment add that as a payment option but just for them
  • Corporate cards - the cost to process a corporate card is much higher than a consumer card so apply a surcharge if the consumer uses a corporate card, give them the option to switch back to a consumer card
  • Bank Transfers - they are great as they are relatively inexpensive (not free as most banks charge for a deposit) but they come with increased cost on reconciliation to the booking if they are not referenced clearly, time checking if the funds have arrived and errors on values or account numbers, you can avoid all of this with Open Banking

Take payments in instalments

Typically in travel, we take a deposit, final balance and sometimes instalments and additional ad hoc payments along the way to almost always we are asking the customer for more than one payment. Storing card details comes with a significant PCI compliance burden, and rightly so as we don't want anybody else using your customer's card details, so I would not advise doing this yourself but working with a third party like Felloh that can safely do this.

  • Reduce the effort for your customer by securely storing their card details to process additional payments, with their permission
  • Set up instalments to spread the costs but without the need for 'buy now pay later' solutions

Be acquirer agnostic

If you have spent time optimising your payments process, integrating it into your systems and website you still want to make it easy for you to add in a new acquirer should you need it for resilience or cost optimisation without having to rebuild everything. If you use Felloh you can add multiple acquirers all with one connection, consolidated reporting and reconciliation

Leverage Felloh

We do nothing every day other than think about and deliver better payments experiences, so if you think any of the above will help you improve efficiency and save money

  • Have the benefit of our experience designing travel payments
  • One integration to Felloh and bring any merchant acquirer
  • Standard consolidated reporting across multiple acquirers
  • Reconcile payments and costs back to bookings and bank deposits

Please get in touch to find out more

Written by
Will Bicknell
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