With over a year of closed borders, tourism is slowly ramping up, with Europe commencing preparations to welcome leisure travellers in time for summer.
The UK’s hospitality sector is also preparing to welcome international tourists, and VisitBritain is forecasting a recovery to £51.4bn in domestic tourism spending in 2021. Now is a good time to think about the best ways to accommodate international payments flawlessly.
Despite what you may have heard, it’s not just a numbers game — the suitable payment methods will make all the difference to your business. If you rely on international bookings or want more global traveller bookings, you need to tap into the traveller’s motivations, behaviours, and preferences.
To help you get started, here are the key areas you should consider when choosing a payment solution for international customers:
Choosing the right payment gateway
A payment gateway is a service that allows you to accept online payments for your products and services. Payment gateways use a variety of methods to process payments, including credit or debit cards, e-wallets, and online payment systems. There are a lot of payment gateways on the market right now, and it can be hard to know which one would suit you best.
When catering to an international client base, it’s essential to consider a gateway that enables dynamic currency conversion (DCC). This feature is an unquestionable comfort boost as it allows your customers to pay in their local currency, both online and in-person.
Improving customer experience in-person
73% of point-of-sale transactions in the European Union are still made in cash, according to the European Central Bank. However, in China, mobile payments are the predominant form of payment. Around the globe, cashless payment alternatives such as WePay, Alipay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay are being adopted with increasing speed. Therefore, your business will need to research which alternative payment methods are preferred by different countries and facilitate those that best suit your clientele.
Your payment gateway’s dynamic currency conversion feature allows the customer to choose the payment type and pay in their local currency with no additional or hidden cost, as the conversion is made in real-time. The customer is presented with the amount in the merchant’s currency and their local currency – they can choose which one they prefer. This offers a quick and frictionless payments experience and overall transparency over the entire transaction.
Enhance your online experience
To create a truly international online shopping experience, you can use a payments gateway API to create a Hosted Payment Page. This can be customised with your branding and allows you to translate it in a choice of languages to make your customers feel right at home when purchasing on your website, all while using the online dynamic currency conversion.
As not everyone pays with a major credit or debit card, you can accept payments by bank transfer, e-wallets like PayPal or AliPay and even connect with shopping cart plugins such as BigCommerce, Magento or Open Cart. A payment gateway like Tru Connect eliminates security or encryption worries as it comes with real-time artificial intelligence-powered fraud checks and 3D Secure encryption. Hospitality is one of the industries that’s highly targeted by fraud, so companies need to clamp down on suspicious attempts before they turn into serious problems.
Meeting the mobile travellers’ expectations
80% of travellers book and pay for services via mobile. Mobile users behave differently, spend less time interacting with content, and expect a smooth and fast payment experience without interruptions.
Bear in mind that your international customers will want to pay on the go without having to queue, so mobile presence should be a critical focus for travel-related companies. Furthermore, today’s travellers are tech-savvy and used to cashless transactions — as such, they’re growing to expect convenient multi-currency payment options. Thankfully, nowadays, it’s much easier to reach more customers thanks to reliable payment gateways tailored to the travel industry.
Your business will need the right payment technology to enable multi-currency payment processing. Investing in a payment gateway with dynamic currency conversion will maximise your earning capabilities by generating new sources of revenue and catering to a more varied clientele. It will also increase the opportunity for new and repeat business in the long term by offering greater customer choice and transparency.
If you would like to discuss with one of our experts how to ensure you have the perfect payments solutions for your international customers, contact us today.