A merchant account is a specific kind of bank account intended to hold funds taken from credit and debit card sales through online payment interfaces on travel software and POS. When a customer pays for booking travel products using credit or debit card, money from his account is immediately transferred to the travel agent’s merchant account. From there, money will be transferred out to a normal business bank account through a standard protocol.
Taking payment individually from those who book flights, hotel rooms, etc., through your travel agency might be a little difficult because of increased transactions on a day-to-day basis. Often, smaller travel agents don’t get the merchant accounts directly through the banks so easily. But online travel software definitely needs payment gateways to survive. That’s why third party payment gateways like PayPal, 2CO etc are used worldwide.
With the merchant account, you can entertain all the widely recognized cards and never send back a customer telling her credit card is not accepted by you. Since it works in real-time, merchant accounts reduce deposit times for your company and avoid the prospect of inadequate funds landing you and your customer in uneasy situations. Most of the travel portal development companies suggest their clients to use the direct merchant account for the same reason.
Your new customers should be made your regular customers. Merchant account will help you to make them come back to you to buy travel products in future. This can be done by asking your provider to customize a loyalty program for you. They can get some discounts at the places they spend their vacations or when they next book travel products from you.
A valuable gift from merchant account is online payments. With this visitors to your site can click on the pay button in your website after choosing the flights and hotels, and pay by just filling in their payment data on the secure online form. Immediate validation of payments will occur. You’ll get the money within 24 hours. As a business person this is a great boon to you.
Author is a senior business analyst and an expert in travel portal development and marketing strategy implementation.