How Merchant Accounts Can Benefit your Travel Agency Business
When you own a travel agency, you want to spend your time setting up great vacations for your clients. You don’t want to waste time and energy worrying about how those clients are going to pay for your services. You don’t want to fret over the idea that you might not receive their payment authorization until after they’ve taken an impromptu vacation.
A merchant account can take the worry out of the financial side of your business, freeing you to devote yourself to fun tasks such as exploring which tropical islands your clients will go.
Since many people prefer to pay for their vacation services with a credit card, your merchant account will ensure that you’re able to process those payments as easily and efficiently as possible. That means a lot to anyone who doesn’t want to deal with a drawn-out payment process or discover a week after they book their trip that their credit card has been declined. They want to know right now that your business will accept their payment so that they can finalize their vacation plans.
Merchant accounts generally work in real time. That is, payment processing occurs immediately, with quick authorization—you and your customer will know right away that the payment has gone through. And these types of accounts allow your business to accept almost every major brand of credit card.
This further benefits your customers by allowing them to pay through the cards that they have. After all, no one wants to come in to book the vacation of their dreams only to discover that the travel agency doesn’t take their particular credit card.
You can also offer your customers advanced payment processing solutions that include more than simple credit card payments. That’s important in this economic climate, when many people are turning from credit cards to other methods of payment.
Debit cards, checks, pre-paid cards, and electronic transfers are all available through merchant accounts. With regular banking accounts, accepting these types of payments can be complicated—or impossible.
But these methods of payment are important. They allow you to meet the needs of clients who prefer to pay for vacation services without running up a high credit card balance. These payment types also reduce deposit times for your company and eliminate the possibility of insufficient funds spoiling your day—or your customer’s day—weeks later.
Paper checks and debit cards are treated like credit cards when you have a merchant account, ensuring that you’ll receive the promised funds before your client sets foot on their cruise ship or the airplane that will whisk them to an island paradise.
New business should lead to repeat business, and with a loyalty program set up through your merchant account, it will! Your merchant account provider can customize a loyalty program for you. Perhaps the loyalty program will provide your customers with discounts at some of the merchants they’ll encounter during their vacation, or it may offer something as simple as a discount on future services from you.
It will be up to you as to what type of loyalty program you want to create. But whatever you design with your merchant account partner, creating a loyalty program will bring you repeat business, increase the amount of money that customers spend with you, attract new customers to your business and, most importantly, keep them coming back.
Online payments are another benefit you’ll enjoy when you set up a merchant account. With online payments, your customers can click on your website, set up their own vacation itineraries, and pay for their trips simply by entering their payment data into a secure online form. The payments will be validated instantly, so your customers will know that their vacation has been authorized within seconds, and you will have access to those funds by the following day.
Add to these impressive benefits the fact that many merchant accounts offer twenty-four hour a day support for you—the travel agency owner—and you’ll see why one of these accounts can benefit your travel agency business. If anything goes wrong, from software to hardware, you’ll have someone you can contact at any time of the day or night for help.
Finally, one of the best things about a merchant account is that the funds will be available to you the next day. Your customer pays you today and you can access the funds tomorrow. This improves your cash flow and makes it possible for you to take care of your business expenses in a timely manner. And, as you know, paying for things on time usually means those things cost you less money.
You’ll save money and time by setting up a merchant account, and you can do it today. Then you’ll be able to plan a really nice vacation of your own.