Choosing a Payment Solution to Support Travel Industry Growth

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Many travel companies today employ outdated payment strategies, relying on checks and personal or corporate credit cards to manage the accounts payable process. Not only does this expose them to higher levels of fraud, “breakage” and reconciliation issues, it also limits their ability to work with an increasing number of suppliers that prefer virtual credit card payments as a basis for doing business. 

In fact, roughly 40 percent of hotel bookings today are still settled through direct billing with manual payment, and more than half of all traditional travel agencies and nearly 40 percent of online travel agencies (OTAs) manually track all bookings, invoices and accounts receivable.* These companies report spending more staff resources handling invoice reconciliation and payment than on any other payment-related process. They also report having trouble collecting commissions, and one in five say they have lost commissions on as much as 10 percent of their hotel bookings, which researchers attribute to their use of manual accounting practices.* 

When a travel company employs a manual process to pay vendors, it runs the risk of fraud and unintentional payment errors. Further, when discrepancies do occur, the team may spend hours going back to the vendor after the exchange is completed to dispute the transaction. 

Payment technology solutions are available, however, that allow small- to medium-sized travel companies to automate many tasks, driving down the risk of fraud and errors and providing them with greater control over cash flow management. 

This American Express whitepaper will help travel companies determine whether their current payment system can support their future business goals—and if not, how to choose a solution that will help them make their business more successful.

*Explore American Express Travel Payments Solutions

* Payment Unsettled: Cost, Opportunity and Disruption in Travel’s Complex Payment Landscape. (PhoCusWright, October, 2013).