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New payments technology innovations will fuel travel rebound after the industry faced unprecedented numbers of refund requests

We’ve all seen the impact of the pandemic across all the industries we work with, but the hardest hit was the travel sector. However, the beginning of vaccine distribution in the previous few months has been encouraging news to travel operators to prepare for recovery.  

The pandemic proved to be the catalyst to advance innovations in payment technology born of customer demand. The industry faced unprecedented numbers of refund requests and witnessed dramatic changes in customer expectations and behavior, such as shorter booking windows.

The need to adapt quickly is make or break for most travel businesses. Online travel agencies and airlines can and should leverage payments to prepare for the post-COVID-19 rebound in order to protect their revenue and turn payments into a profit center. 

For travel operators, this means that digital and touch less travel payments is the future same as airports since we’re already seeing technology implemented that will remove the need to make physical contact. Touchscreens are being replaced with biometric identification scanners, baggage check-in is going self-service, and boarding passes may soon exist only on your phone screen.

From the perspective of payment technology, we are seeing a big uptick in the use of mobile applications and the below tactics would fuel the innovations and shape the future of the industry  

  • Ensure digital-first and touchless travel to reassure customers
  • Develop new payment features to address evolving customer demands and behaviors while limiting risk
  • Leverage payments data on the transaction level
  • Develop payment retry solutions
  • Leverage Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to protect and increase revenue
  • Invest in your relationship with your payment partners

As mass vaccine rollouts have begun, people will soon be able to satisfy their pent-up desire to finally go on vacation again. We already see encouraging signs that travel is already rebounding.  

The travel sector recognizes that payment is a strategic growth and recovery driver. Implementation of payment-related best practices can positively impact the financial situation of any travel business.

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