One of the most important factors to starting and running a successful travel business (or any business, really) is the ability to take payments from your customers. If you’re running a store, this could be purely cash payments. However, in the travel industry of 2024, card payments are the key.

Most travel businesses are entirely online at this stage and the ability to take card payments can truly be your make or break. Without it, you could be turning away more business than you’re keeping. Even with customers who are able to pay another way may see card payments as the safest option. And at the end of the day, their needs are the key to your business’ success.

There are a number of routes to getting started with card payments. However, as a travel business, big or small, convincing card services to work with you can feel impossible. As an industry with high financial risk, many services are unwilling to work with travel businesses. If they are, it usually involves a massive expense on your part. This is primarily in an attempt to offset the chargeback risk.

What is Chargeback Risk?

A chargeback should not be confused with a refund, which is simply a provider refunding a transaction. Chargebacks occur when a company has failed to deliver the product or service promised. This is determined by the consumer raising a dispute. In the case of travel, unfortunately, where a travel business could have sold a holiday as they intended, if the consumer feels they were let down on promises of quality, this could lead to a dispute.

The card payments provider is always 100% responsible for all transactions performed in this situation. In most industries, this can leave the provider open to millions of pounds of potential losses in chargebacks.

The providers usually pass this onto the seller but if the seller is fraudulent or simply does not have the funds then the provider must pay all the funds back to the customer.

The risk of a travel business failing before the consumer has received their purchase adds additional chargeback risks to providers.

Obtaining Affordable Card Payments Services

Even though the travel industry is deemed high risk by card payments providers, there are still a number of routes you can take. Applying directly is still a possibility if you can prove some financial security. However, this is most likely going to include extra charges that another business would not have to pay. If you’re a larger business and you want to work with a specific provider, this option could still be very possible for you.

Alternatively, if affordability and a simple service are the main priorities for your business, we have you covered. When you apply for card payments services through an approved trust account, things get a lot easier.

Because of the high-level security that a trust account provides, card payments no longer provide such a hefty risk. This is because none of the funds that the customer pays are released from the account until they have finished their holiday. So, even if the business does go bust, those funds are accessible for refunds or chargebacks. This instantly lowers the risk of a travel business.

Applying Through PTS

Applying through a trust account, such as PTS, means that you can use card payments without having to make big guarantees, and without losing a lot of money to do it. And, when you apply through PTS, you don’t have to worry about being rejected. The services are easy to obtain with minimal stress.

Plus, with the PTS trust account, you can apply directly to our own card payments service provider. This makes the process smoother and quicker, allowing you to start taking payments without delay.

If you’d like to learn more about merchant services with a PTS membership, please get in contact with one of Protected Trust Services’ (PTS) lovely staff members by calling 0207 190 9988. Or, you can visit our member support and travel trust account pages to learn more about how we protect you.

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