Travel Merchant Account

Travel Merchant Account

The travel industry can find payment processing to be difficult, requiring businesses to use specialized travel merchant account services. Though most businesses in the travel industry are classified as high risk, the team at Allied Payments can approve most merchants. Working with merchants that are anywhere from startup to establish, needing their first account or facing an account termination; our team has a variety of solutions.

Travel businesses make up a significant part of the global economy. In 2019, travel and tourism grew by nearly 4% to almost $9Trillion USD in revenues. But similar to other industries, chargebacks have created a sigma for the travel industry. This has been one of the main reasons travel businesses continue to have problems applying for merchant services. The demand has been satisfied by payment processors who specialize in travel and hospitality merchant account services. Merchants working with Allied Payments are from many different segments of the travel industry. Some of the most common segments of the travel industry include:

  • Airfare Merchant Account Services
  • Car Rental Merchant Account Services
  • Cruise Merchant Account Services
  • Hotel Merchant Account Services
  • Resort Merchant Account Services
  • Sightseeing Merchant Account Services
  • Timeshare Merchant Account Services
  • Travel Club Merchant Account Services
  • Vacation Club Merchant Account Services

What are Travel Merchant Account Services?

Merchant accounts for travel businesses allow for merchants to accept transactions; whether online, over the phone or in person. Payments methods that can be used include credit cards, debit card, ACH/eCheck or gift cards. Depending on the type of travel business, merchants can use a number of different types of equipment for payment acceptance. Businesses with a storefront can use credit card terminals or POS machines while online businesses can use a payment gateway or virtual terminal. At Allied Payments, we will work to place merchants with the best equipment for their businesses' needs.

Every type of travel-related business, regardless if its a hotel, airline car rental agency, or another travel business will be categorized into a Merchant Category Code. These categories, otherwise known as MCC, allow for the financial networks to organize hospitality and travel businesses for better account management. In the travel industry, the most commonly used MCC codes by merchants include:

    • 4112 - Passenger Railroads
    • 4131 - Bus Lines/Charter/Tour
    • 4411 - Steamship/Cruise Lines
    • 4511 - Airlines, Air Carriers
    • 4582 - Airports/Fields/Terminals
    • 4722 - Travel Agencies
    • 4789 - Transportation Services
    • 5962 - Direct Marketing - Travel Related Arrangements Services
    • 7011 - Hotels/Motels/Resorts*
    • 7012 - Timeshares
    • 7512 - Automobile Rental Agency*

*Most national Rental Car Agencies have a specific MCC in the 3300 or 3400 blocks.
*Most national Hotels and Motels have a specific MCC from the 3500 to 3800 blocks.

Operating a travel business in an MCC other than any of the above should pose a concern to the merchant. Processing transactions using a mismatched MCC code could result in account termination or even being added to the MATCH list. Merchants with concerns about how their business is classified, or want to change their classification can contact Allied Payments. Our team of travel payment processing professionals would be happy to answer any questions.

What are Chargebacks in the Travel Industry

The largest concern of financial institutions, including payment processors and acquiring banks, in the travel industry is the threat of chargebacks.  Most purchases made by customers are over $100 with a large portion of transactions being over $1000.

Transactions are almost always made months in advance; whether it's for a tour, airfare, cruise ship, transportation or other excursions. Operators generally have strict guidelines for any type of cancellation, resulting in high chargeback levels.

Another issue for the travel industry stems from the businesses themselves. Many companies end up folding between taking payment and providing the service.  Their inability to refund these payments leads to customers filing chargebacks.

While this is not the case with most businesses, it has happened enough to create problems for travel operators. Established companies with a clean track record generally will not have problems finding affordable merchant services.  Startup travel businesses will usually need to partner with a high risk provider until they have history.

Start processing Travel payments today!

Even though credit card processing for travel agencies and other businesses in the travel industry is high risk, it's still possible. Merchants will have to demonstrate a reasonable level of risk to establish merchant services. At Allied Payments, we can help businesses operating in a responsible manner without excessive costs or fees.

  • No application fees
  • Competitive Rates and Fees
  • Payment Gateway with easy shopping cart integration
  • Virtual Terminal available

With minimal documents and a simple application, most merchants can be approved in as little as 24 hours. Contact our travel credit card processing professionals for more information or to start the application process.

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