Case Study – Aito2022-04-28T14:22:08+00:00

The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)

By Trust Payments Feb 18, 2021
The partner: The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)

Time it takes to read: 5 minutes

The partner

AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, is a group of travel companies that pride themselves on offering the finest personal service, expert knowledge, and a holiday experience that is fully financially protected. Every member is financially assessed and bound by AITO’s own code of business practice.

They practice Responsible Travel ensuring travellers understand that they are giving back to local communities. Customers are invited to review their experiences using AITO’s own verified system which ensures the highest standards are maintained and highest scoring members receive annual awards.


“We are a membership organisation,” explained Yvonne Kinder, Events & Partnership Manager at AITO, “and we work hard to anticipate the needs of our members, so they stay with us long-term. An important part of that is choosing relevant, high-quality partners. We have had many payment companies contact us about partnerships, but their approach often does not work for us. They are usually focused on commercial kick-backs and numbers rather than being an active part of our community. Trust Payments came from the relationship angle and offered the expertise and advice that our members need.”

“They treat our members as individuals and have a personal approach that is honest and transparent. They are not treated as tiny fish in a large pond that is the way of some of the largest corporate providers. Services are tailored to each company and our members love that. That’s why Trust Payments is a valued partner of AITO.”

Martyn Sumners,
Executive Director.

Trust Payments has been a partner of AITO for two years to date and the team would regularly attend their meet ups pre-COVID. They initially focused on explaining how key developments and regulatory changes in the payments industry would affect the AITO members and the travel industry such as Strong Customer Authentication, PSD2 and 3-D Secure 2.0.

Other presentations included how members can make their checkout process friendly for international customers and improving the security of their payments processes.

The challenge – COVID-19

The travel sector was among the hardest hit by COVID-19. This gave Trust Payments a chance to demonstrate its expertise in the sector and help when it was most urgently needed.

As soon as COVID took hold, some AITO members received termination of service notices from their payment providers while others had demands for unrealistically high rolling reserves.

“Because Trust Payments understands the current plight of the Travel Industry it has meant that they have been able to work with our members to find a better financial solution to help them through these exceptionally difficult times. Trust Payments’ personable approach to members has enabled them to convert advice in solutions with creative ideas and tools. The reputation of Trust Payments is growing strongly in the travel industry and we remain very happy to recommend them to our members.”

Martyn Sumners,
Executive Director.


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