We know all too well that as a travel organizer, being able to easily accept and make payments isn’t always as straight forward as you would like it to be. This is especially true when you consider that the nature of travel is often cross-border with bank fees and currency regulations to overcome.
We will take a look at how you can offer online payments for your travel products in this post, and compare some of the usual methods travel companies and organizers use to accept both local and international transactions online.
Options of How To Offer Online Payments
Considering that it is both impossible and limiting to offer cash as a payment solution, especially when it comes to international travel, you need to consider online options for your clients or trip attendees.
Conventional Bank Transfers
For most people, bank transfers through electronic banking are a suitable online payment solution. Your locally based clients can easily transfer or deposit money into your account with minimal charges or effort.
Unfortunately, this is not always an easy option if your clients are international, or if you need to pay suppliers in another country.
As soon as any foreign banking takes place, you can expect to pay intermediary bank charges as well as fees to convert, receive, and send foreign currency to and from your account.
In some countries, it gets even more complicated; travelers are required to physically enter the bank and see a teller to process an international bank transfer.
PayPal is widely known and trusted but can be expensive, especially for international transactions. Sellers pay a flat fee, plus a percentage commission of the total amount received per transaction.
In the US, this ranges from 2.9% up to 4.4%. In LATAM countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, it is much higher. Fees start at 5.4% and can go up to as much as 6% per transaction received.
Furthermore, PayPal is not available or easily accessible in every country. Receiving funds is simple, but a linked bank account, cheque or credit card that can transact internationally is required to make withdrawals or send payments. Therefore, it is not always a solution for people with limited access to international bank cards, as is the case in several LATAM and African countries.
PayPal also requires buyers to set up and verify an account before transacting. For travelers on the road with limited time and access to laptops, this can be inconvenient.
While local online payment merchants offer a convenient online and card payment solution if both your clients and suppliers are based in the same country, not all accommodate international transactions.
This will leave you short of a payment solution if you need to pay international suppliers, or if your client needs to pay in foreign currency with a foreign card. Ultimately, it is bad for your customer’s experience as well as bad for your cash flow.
International Merchants (Square, Adyen, Stripe, etc.)
Of course, you can opt to use one of the bigger online merchants. However, unless you are a fully-fledged business dealing in volumes of transactions, these may be on the expensive side and difficult to sign up with.
Aside from the lengthy and intensive joining process, the application can take some time to be approved. Additionally, some of the larger merchants are restricted from offering transactions for the travel industry – Square being one of these.
WeTravel Payment Platform
We love our payment platform. It is intuitive and provides a great inclusive solution for travel organizers. Some of the benefits of using WeTravel are as follows:
- Accept international and local payments online
- Embed payments onto your website or send clients a separate payment link
- Clients can pay using their card or bank transfer
- Payments in installments
- Send off simple invoices with relevant payment details quickly and easily
- Manage transactions and clients through an innovative management control panel
- Download information into excel
- Automatically send out payment reminders
- Travelers can upload documents
- Lowest fees in the travel industry
You get access to multiple currencies on our platform, and there are two options to facilitate payouts.
Either pay funds into your bank account, in one or several installments. Or transfer directly to your international suppliers for a $15 flat fee per transaction.
Additional Points Your Online Payment System Should Address
Aside from receiving payments, there are a few other functionalities which the WeTravel platform offers.
Whether you are organizing a group trip or a single travel experience, your clients are going to want an invoice to make payment against.
It is not only to their advantage either, as you will benefit from having records which help you stay organized and keep track of the transactions that need to take place.
Having to add in an extra, external piece of software to prepare and send out your invoicing is something which can be avoided with the right payment platform.
On WeTravel, you have access to all of this in one place, so you can easily keep track of the number of clients attending your trip, the money they have paid, and amounts which are still due.
Even if you are simply offering an online payment to a single traveler, a professional-looking invoice which provides them with all the details of their travel purchase, and how to go about settling it, will help reassure them during the booking and payment process.
To simplify life, WeTravel also has a management panel which gives you an overview of your organized trips. Through it, you can automatically send payment reminders to your clients, get access to their details, and see a reconciliation of their payment progress, among other things.
Ultimately, our management tool puts all the traveler and payment information in one place, as well as automates certain processes for you. Instead of having to run a spreadsheet or Google sheet, and manually copy and input information from emails, WhatsApp, or Facebook, everything is automatically collated for you.
When compared to other online payment methods, WeTravel provides a near-instant payment solution that is designed to make organizing and booking travel simple for everyone.
It is not only about our payment platform though. With invoicing functionality, the ability to create a booking page, and access to a management dashboard that provides necessary trip and client information, you are looking at an all in one solution for travel companies and organizers alike.