How to Choose a Payment Gateway in the Travel Industry

January 23, 2018
Sonja Bolger
4 min read

Being able to accept online payments is crucial in the travel industry. You need a way for your customers to pay online for their travel experiences! Are you a group travel company or tour operator seeking an efficient, easy and reliable payment gateway company for your customers? Here’s what you need to know to help you find the right travel industry payment gateway.

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What is a payment gateway?

Many travel and tour companies operate solely in the digital space and therefore need to have a way for their customers to pay for the adventures they have on offer. A payment gateway is a service that authorizes those online payments. It instantly approves or declines payments and authorizes the transfer of the funds from the customer to the company.

Why should you use a payment gateway?

If a customer has to email, call or wait to hear back to book an experience then they may move on to another service that allows them the instant gratification of booking their trip. A payment gateway gives a travel company the ability to accept payments 24/7.

Travel is worldwide and tour company customers may be across multiple time zones. A payment gateway allows the tour company to be open all the time to serve whoever they need to, and the customer can book immediately rather than going away and thinking about it, possibly never to return.

travel industry payment gateway

It provides better cash-flow

A payment system offers better cash flow for your business. The reservation and payment are completed at the same time, rather than taking a booking and having to wait for payment at a later date. You can also offer discounts for prompt payments, or a flexible payment schedule for bigger transactions that still enables you to gather amounts as you need it to manage onward cash flow. You can also set up cancellation policies that are made clear to the customer from the get-go, and enable you to operate this part of your business more efficiently.

Instant payments

Being able to immediately approve or deny a payment is one of the main benefits of using a payment system. You can ensure that any places on tours aren’t taken up by people whose payments may later be denied and better manage cash flow as above.

A more secure way to do business

A payment system is a secure way to do business due to the low risk of credit card scams or fraud. It also acts to protect your customer’s data and gives them the confidence to use you as a tour operator.

travel industry payment gateway

How to choose a payment gateway

Choosing which travel industry payment gateway is best for your travel company can affect all elements of your business, from customer experience through to security and the cost of the service.

Evaluate the customer experience

When choosing a travel industry payment gateway, be sure to check exactly what your customers will see, and how the system will integrate into your website. Review the support available for a customer in the event that they might be having trouble with the payment system, or are unsure of how to proceed.

Payment methods and currency

The type of currency that a payment system will use to accept payments or the conversion fees from different currencies will be a factor in choosing which travel industry payment gateway to use. Some countries use different types of credit or debit cards, so check what types are accepted and whether this will affect the user experience.

travel industry payment gateway


Entering data online is a security concern for most customers, so when you choose a travel industry payment gateway investigate how the customer’s data will be stored and kept safe.

Set up time

Consider how long it will take to set up the system, and when you want payments to start. Does the provider help you to set up a merchant account, or require you to have one yourself? Having to secure your own merchant account can severely delay the implementation of a payment gateway.


When choosing a payment gateway for your travel company you’ll want to consider the pricing. Check the fee structure and set up, transaction and ongoing admin costs. Some travel industry payment gateways have hidden or extra fees to consider and you should look at how much business you do to decide if a per transaction or monthly fee works best for your business.

WeTravel Payment Gateway

There are many things to consider if you are planning to set up your own payment system. Do you want the responsibility of PCI compliance, or have to find a merchant account provider that accepts you, as well as finding a payment provider? At WeTravel, we take care of all of that, and you will be able to collect payments in minutes.

Consider choosing WeTravel as your preferred travel industry payment gateway to save on fees, streamline your administration process and give your users a professional experience. Check out how it works, and our FAQ for trip organizers!

WeTravel Payment Platform