Emerging markets transforming the global travel payment landscape

November 14, 2023 |
By - Koert Grasveld
< 1 minute read
< 1 minute read
By - Koert Grasveld

The last three years have revealed the resilience and need for travel companies to evolve from the antiquated processes that have hindered their capabilities to expand. More importantly, it has exposed the need to implement a payment strategy that will leverage revenue diversification.

We have all learned throughout this period that the travel industry has been forced to transform and innovate. Even though the pandemic impacted the industry severely, it also acted as a springboard for ideation with a twist of survival skills. That in turn fueled many sectors of the industry to unfold a trajectory that expanded beyond their current offering and process.

All verticals of travel have been challenged to inherently build a strategy that will support their travel business for the future. Travel post-COVID looks very different today with the heavy increase of international travel and personalized experiences. In addition, there are generational trends that continue to drive the industry to think outside the box at a rapid pace.

This combination can add further complexity to online travel agencies and other verticals of travel if not prepared. Travel companies’ payment strategies need to include a global outlook in order to stay relevant in the expanding trends of the industry.

The continued economic growth in the emerging markets and the past hurdles the markets have presented will prompt the evolution of a global payments strategy, which will act as the guiding path for all markets globally. Developing an enriched payment platform will allow the core of the business to reap the benefits and add a seamless experience for the end traveler.

The fear of going beyond borders is still real, due to the complex banking process, high cost and heightened regulations, which continue to make companies hesitant to power ahead their expansion.

Emerging markets
Today a selected group of payment providers that specialize in the emerging markets, who have worked on developing direct connections with the exotic critical markets, will expedite the expansion time to market. In addition, it will immediately provide a payment solution for customers and vendors while reducing cost, which in turn will generate revenues that will drive growth and foster operational robustness.

The result will be magnified by all ends of the business, which will provide travel companies with a direct understanding of their customers’ needs. A suite of payment products needs to be in place to act as the driving force of the payment ecosystem, coupled with enhanced technology including fraud prevention and chargeback mitigation.

The perception of the money movement will change as a prosperous payment strategy will be embedded as a key part of the business. The movement is already here, which also includes vital partnerships to encourage an expedited inclusive global payment readiness. Transformation is inevitable, the global payment providers are responsible for pushing a fast-track approach that continues to shift the payment expectations to offer a seamless global money movement, all while reducing transaction costs and accelerating real time payments.

Uplifting the thinning profit margins is also an area that travel companies are heavily focused on as the expansion must make monetary sense – that continues to add the high importance of products to generate income from various streams, while optimizing payment strategies. Products such as virtual cards are still the preferred payment solution due to competitive rebate schemes and versatility.

However, the industry is ready to explore all viable payment solutions that will provide not only profitability but also a seamless process. Expanding virtual cards to the rest of the world continues to be at the forefront for most travel providers in conjunction with payment options that will facilitate the process when virtual credit card acceptance is nonexistent. In addition, suppliers are also leveraging B2B payouts to monetize further opportunities. Examples include:

  • Local tourist guides who are providing personal experiences globally who travel companies would like to add to their portfolio of travel offering.
  • The rise of alternative accommodations, or the so-called single property owners.
Koert Grasveld

Koert Grasveld

VP – Payments

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