Addressing The High Risk Of Travel Merchant Accounts

Posted on December 31, 2011 @ 8:20 am

Regardless of the sort of industry, consumers appreciate and often demand to make use of payment methods that are convenient and secure. Accordingly, the demands are the same or maybe more on the travel industry, as merchant account services are prevalent in this arena as well. This sort of merchant account is often classified as being risky for a variety of good reasons, but trustworthy merchant account providers may also help travel businesses successfully navigate these often demanding customer service situations.

A Travel Industry Overview

As numerous consumers take advantage of advance bookings, discounted airfare offers, and deals on lodging, the travel industry has only grown more global in scope. Many online sites promise spectacular deals, and a lot of times the discount is in large part a result of securing travel plans far in advance. Accordingly, credit card processing is definitely the overwhelming option for buying package deals along with other enticing offers. As travel plans may be somewhat emotionally charged due to the nature of the getaway, subjective feelings often factor in to whether such trips would eventually be deemed satisfactory or not, and this may result in serious debate between consumer and merchant regarding charges as well as other fees.

What Makes Travel Merchant Accounts Risky

Even with a great discount, many excursions are relatively expensive, especially if they are of a fairly long duration. A discounted cruise, for example, is still likely to require an appreciable degree of financing. In addition, deposits and outright purchases often are necessary well before the specific trip commences. In the form of a brief summary, the risky aspects include:

• Lag time between booking and then the actual trip

• Fluctuating exchange rates

• Potential charge backs

While buyer misgivings may occur with just about any acquisition, there is often a tremendous amount of time from the time travel plans are initiated to the time that the actual vacation gets under way. This allows for a greater chance that the consumer will have a change of heart regarding their impending trip. Depending upon the destination, foreign exchange rates may weigh heavily into the planning, and fluctuations may affect virtually any portion of the travel experience.

Legitimate consumer dissatisfaction may lead to processing costly charge backs, which will likely decrease travel business profit margins. Classifying some charges as being non-refundable may reduce the chance of needing to generate losses on charge backs, but this cost rigidity may possibly repel some prospective customers. The goal here is to create parameters that sufficiently protect your target profit margin without pricing yourself out of what could be a solid customer base.

Ways to Reduce Risk

Recognizing why customers may alter or cancel their travel plans is an important part of keeping merchant account risks to a minimum. Additionally, a proactive business operator will have suitable responses for any customer objections as well. As a service provider, you ought to keep in contact with travel customers.

Sending occasional emails and requesting follow up information will likely be appreciated by your customers. As a matter of course, any misgivings may be considered and may be adequately handled well before they become major issues. Keeping that in mind, your merchant account provider may supply you with useful resources to help keep your customers satisfied and your business as profitable as is possible.

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