A Glimpse Into The Current Travel Payments Space

Jul 22, 2021

In an interview conducted by The PayPers, Zack Powers, the Director of Payments Strategy at FareHarbor, was asked what the current climate of payments within the travel sector looked like in the aftermath of the pandemic.

FareHarbor is a company that was founded in Hawaii back in 2013. It specializes in creating robust solutions that assist tour and activity operators to conduct their businesses with convenience and efficiency. Their clientele exceeds well over 15,000 around the world. One of the largest travel companies, Booking Holdings, acquired FareHarbor in 2018.

The Current State Of Travel Payments  

Given that the European economy thrives on tourism, Powers was asked about when he believed the tourism industry will return to its former glory. Although he was reluctant to speculate, he did share that many around the world will be itching to travel again.  What FareHarbor aims to do is to facilitate travel in a safe manner. 

As the world’s population will be more inclined to make contactless payments, FareHarbor will allow travelers to make their payments ahead of time via their online platform. In keeping with the social distancing measures, the software also has the ability of limiting the number of bookers for each activity. Contact tracing will be facilitated by registering both the name and contact information. Activity providers will also be assisted in setting up both safety and health policies. 

Overall, online booking and advanced payment seem to be the current trend in the travel payment industry. This creates a win-win situation for both customers and activity providers. Customers will enjoy contactless payments with a limited number of fellow travelers, and activity providers will have the assurance of a secure revenue. It is predicted that this new customer behavior will prevail post-pandemic.

It is also anticipated that omnichannel payments, both in-person and online, will be on the rise. The latest omnichannel solutions enable operators to manage payments and bookings efficiently. These solutions also create “stickiness” for software providers and platforms.

Meeting Customer Preferences And Safety

Within the travel industry, customers want the checkout experience to be seamless and with the choice of using their preferred payment method. This preference will be determined by the region or country in which they reside. Language is another critical consideration when it comes to offering local payment methods or (LPMs). 

Another hot topic is the requirements enforced by the EU’s Revised Payment Services Directive or (PSD2). In order to make a digital payment in Europe, further customer verification is required. For example, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a new European regulation that is mandatory to reduce fraud and ensure that both online and offline payments are made more securely.

Therefore, companies must have the tech and product development to adequately meet these requirements. Travel activity operators should not need to worry about having to comply with PSD2 or SCA. Customer security and privacy should be of supreme importance and therefore processes and systems must continuously be innovated in order to ensure this protection. 

Looking Ahead

The travel payments space has certainly needed to adapt to the rapidly changing consumer buying behavior brought on by the pandemic. As more customers move  towards contactless payments, payment companies within the travel sector will need to have products and systems ready to meet these needs. Payments must be processed seamlessly and with the highest measures of security available. 

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