Leveraging payment as a growth and recovery driver for travel

29th January, 2021 

Airlines can’t afford to slip up when it comes to offering a sublime payment experience and their overall payment strategy in the coming months.

Leveraging best payment-related practices will assist merchants to drive recovery, mentioned Pascal Burg during Ai’s "Redefining travel payments in the post-COVID era".

Top priority, as indicated by a recent report released by Nuvei, should be adoption of an approach that supports digital first and touchless travel to reassure customers. Merchants must implement new payment models to respond to the change in customer demand and limit risk or cash flow issues.


The report, produced in conjunction with Edgar, Dunn & Company and with participation from Visa, highlighted that merchants must initiate a detailed analysis to assess all payment-related aspects including internal payment organization, acceptance policies, operational processes and relationships with payment providers.

Philip Fayer, Nuvei’s chairman and CEO, mentioned that payment technology for travel is a strategic growth and recovery driver, “ensuring more customer journeys on their platforms end in bookings”.

As for the roadmap to support their post-COVID-19 growth, merchants need to put in place an automated process for refunds and chargebacks, gear up for SCA for intra EEA/ UK transactions and also identify the most relevant payment features depending on use cases (e.g. ‘hold my fare’, subscription model, installment payments or escrow account usage). 

In addition to payment acceptance, travel companies must look at other critical aspects such as fraud prevention as well as payment orchestration for a multi-acquirer strategy to spread the risk.  The COVID-19 crisis has also reduced the period between the time of booking and the departure date.

“Unfortunately, it is common practice for fraudsters to book last minute to avoid being caught and these changes in non-fraudulent customer behavior require updates to fraud tools used by travel merchants, such as fraud rules and machine learning. As a consequence, this has led to a complete review of existing fraud rules as well as an increase in manual reviews for some OTAs and airlines,” mentioned the report. Fraudsters are availing extra flexibility offered to passengers to their benefit such as the misuse of vouchers for alternate routings.

During the webinar, Charlotta Frohm referred to the significance of "flexibility" on various counts, whereas Yuval Ziv mentioned that merchants have to dig deep to sustain the best possible conversion rate. Travel merchants are also responding to the demand for new payment methods and swiftly introducing them.

Thierry Stucker underlined progress has been made in several areas, be it for the risk profile of #airlines, activity in certain markets or adjustment of fleet and resources to improve performance on key metrics. He also shared that #contactless travel is a key elem. of IATA Travel Pass, expected to be introduced in the coming months.


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