[SPONSORED CONTENT] Payment software company Flywire outlines some key considerations for easing the booking and payment process.
Booking.com’s 2023 travel predictions yield some gems for accommodations providers. Travellers are placing top priority on getting out of their comfort zones in booking their 2023 trips. At the same time, there’s a competing thread in the research that they still want a pretty comfortable travel experience. A majority of those surveyed said they’re seeking laid back luxe experiences, and are willing to blow their budgets in 2023 to get there.
We find this to be an entirely reasonable request. It is one that those in the luxury hospitality industry are uniquely equipped to handle. Because whoever said getting out of one’s comfort zone has to be wildly uncomfortable?
Many accommodation providers are able to bring the two seemingly opposite experiences of challenge and comfort together: a wilderness resort, a luxury sport fishing retreat, or a wellness sanctuary. Many of the most successful accommodations providers help their clients push their limits and leave plenty of room to relax at the same time.
One necessary comfort that is often overlooked in delivering on this promise is making sure travellers have positive experiences booking the trip itself. In that regard, leading accommodation providers know that one major area that provides travellers peace of mind often sets the tone for the whole trip – how comfortable they feel paying for it.
In easing payment experiences, it helps to know what international travellers are looking for. We’ve consistently found in our research that international travellers:
• Prefer to be billed and pay in their own currency for trips
• Factor ease of payment and payment security into their choice of travel provider
• Prefer to pay online, by credit card, but still want several, local payment options
That means for the accommodations providers, not having robust payment infrastructure presents several challenges, including but not limited to:
• Short payments from international clients and/or questions around bills and fees
• Too much time spent tracking down and matching payments to open invoices
• Compliance and security risks introduced by not abiding by country-specific payments laws, regulations and frameworks
With that in mind, accommodations providers which are looking to ensure that the payment experience is worthy of their brand should consider a few things:
1. Provide the highest levels of security for travel payments. With plans to spend on average nearly $5,000 USD per trip, ensuring secure travel payments is crucial. It’s important to offer flexibility in payment, but also prioritise security. Payment providers should have SOC II Type 2 certification, offload the burden on your business for PCI compliance and ensure compliance with the EU-US Privacy Shield framework.
2. Allow travellers to pay in their own currency and offer choice in payment method. Make sure the payment platform will scale to support travellers from anywhere in the world. Depending on your travel demographic, look for providers that can handle complex payments requirements, such as accepting payments from Canada, or using specific payment methods you know are popular with your guests. That includes supporting travellers when they have issues with payments with around-the-clock, multilingual support.
3. Reduce fees for your business and guests, and make sure fees are clear. As we noted above, the majority of travellers want to pay by credit card. International fees when paying by card can add up quickly – and total as much as five per cen. Get to know the terms around international card processing, and make sure your payment provider is transparent not only with the fees your business is charged, but what your customer will be.
Travellers will pay 14 per cent more for a hotel stay if the company provides a great customer experience. Payments are part of that. For more information on how luxury hospitality providers can best prepare their payments processes, read our report on The Future of Luxury Hospitality Payments.