Credit Card Processing for Tour Operators

10 Feb 2014     |    Taz Bareham

Credit card processing in this day and age is essential, since travel is now the most common credit card expense. Here is what you need to do to get your online booking system accepting credit card payments.

Step 1. Decide how you will implement credit card processing

Assess the different options and select which one works best for your tour or activity.

Option 1: Automatic Payment Processing via Merchant Account

In your research you will probably find that you need to open a merchant account to automatically process credit card payments online.

There are several avenues you can take to open a merchant account:

a) Banks

For tour operators, their business bank can be tough to work with. This is because they either reject or charge a higher fee for businesses with high possibility for returns and refunds. If this is a common occurence for your tour or activity, we highly suggest you  scrap the merchant account idea altogether and go with deferred payment processing instead.

b) Credit Card Companies

This is usually the way small businesses go. Credit card companies will set up your merchant account processing for you or ask you to use a third party processor (this is the case for Visa and Mastercard). Some credit card processing companies require you to maintain an account in their bank before you can process cards.

c) Third parties

Another propular option for small businesses is to go through third party providers like PayPal. The process is easier and quicker than it is signing up with a bank or credit card company. It can also work out cheaper if your sales volumes aren’t high. However if you start to grow, it can become very expensive.

We don’t recommend redirecting your customers to PayPal just so they can pay you. It looks unprofessional and puts extra effort onto your customers, taking them away from your site. As an alternative, you could connect your PayPal account with a payment gateway, so that it’s fully automated and easier for your customers.

To see how you can accept PayPal payments in Rezdy, click here.

Option 2: Deferred Payment Processing

Automatic credit card processing works for tour operators with a fixed ability and price. But if yours is likely to incur many cancellations due to weather, you would be better of with a semi-automated deferred payment processing system like Rezdy Vault. It’s not a payment gateway, but it provides credit card authorisation which is secure and can be used with your POS system.

Your customer inputs data which you receive manually, and the data doesn’t pass through a gateway, so you can inspect all orders and connect them. There’s no additional cost because Vault stores the customer data, and then you manually process it. You can avoid the hassle of charge-backs by waiting to charge the card until you’re sure what to charge. If they don’t show up, just apply your cancellation fee.

Step 2. Integrate your payment gateway with Rezdy

First you’ll need to add your Credit Card as a Payment option, then click on ‘Payment options’. Then, select which payment gateway you want to use, and credit cards you want to accept.

payment gateways credit card processing