Integrated Payments in the Travel Industry

Marca Wosoba, Modulate‘s Europe Managing Director, explains why integrated payments can be a crucial step in personalizing customer journeys in the travel industry.

Personalization has been one of the biggest talking points in the travel industry over the past few years, but beware, your payment infrastructure needs to be set up to handle the added complications it brings.

Personalization is the process by which travel providers can deliver a much more specific, user-defined trip. What this means depends on the provider, but it can range from in-place services during the trip to whole holiday bookings, from door-to-door including hotel, to entertainment and city center trips all the way through. throughout the passenger’s stay.

As Jesus M Faubel from Vueling said when talking about future needs during Modulr Travel Week 2022 webinar series, “We need to improve our user experience when it comes to booking and payment, and we need to integrate different services within the same app or service. We need to make it smooth and seamless – four, five clicks , no more “.

The ambition could be described as airlines becoming their own package travel agents, allowing the passenger to build a bespoke itinerary. It’s akin, in some ways, to the way Disney operates its theme parks, with guests able to book and plan each leg of their trip to accommodate maximum entertainment. While others prefer to go with the flow, they do so knowing that they may not get everything they want.

The benefits of personalization

While our travel consumer research early 2022 suggests that customers have other priorities at the moment (mostly around refunds and transparency), we think personalization is something customers would appreciate. After all, 72% say there’s no excuse for travel brands to have outdated and inefficient checkout processes. So something that takes a cutting-edge approach and is also customer-focused might be just the ticket.

Customization will likely involve additions to what companies already offer. For some companies, like OTAs, there will already be big customization elements in their offering, but there could be opportunities to introduce additional elements like entertainment booking or door-to-door travel. For companies such as airlines, this may mean offering options outside of what they traditionally offer (such as hotel rooms, in cooperation with other partners). For anyone offering personalization, you can expect multiple bookings to happen at different times and with different providers in a way that involves data and funds flowing in more places than before.

But before you can jump into customization and a more complicated payment experience, you need to make sure your payment infrastructure can actually support it. After all, there’s no point in having a brilliantly coded front-end experience if you can’t actually transfer money to your vendors in real time. This means you need an automated, flexible and easily reconcilable payments ecosystem or, in other words, integrated payments.

Why in-app payments are an integral part of personalization experiences

Personalization is a great idea, and the opportunities are plentiful. However, since there are so many moving parts, it risks being let down by outdated checkout processes.

Integrating payments directly into your processes is vital. We are already seeing businesses build the extraordinary with in-app payments using API and webhook notifications – they are a powerful combination when it comes to creating customer options and recommendations based on customer profiles and information. It is a balance of payment information, customer data and real-time information.

At Modulr, we sometimes speak of the “payment butterfly effect”, meaning that deep-behind payment processes are increasingly impacting customer and supplier experience and revenue potential. upstream. With the added complexity of travel due to different geographies and the number of providers involved, this is even more the case. There are so many moving parts that you simply can’t begin to personalize your upstream customer experience without getting a real-time payments flow working between you and your downstream vendors.

By incorporating a combination of Issue of the virtual card, Launch of Open Banking payment, instant webhook notifications, and API-based data feeds, you can streamline all your processes, minimizing the steps customers need to take to take advantage of this personalization. If you try to do this with multiple vendors and disjointed payment processes, it could drive away customers as surely as serious delays.

Simply put, it has never been more important to find the right partner to help you embed payments at the heart of your processes and leverage all the benefits personalization can bring to you and your customers. .

That’s why we focus on in-app payments. We believe that real-time monitoring of your funds flow, instant event notifications, hands-off automation and flexible payment methods are absolutely essential to all aspects of travel payments. Therefore, our API-based solutions cover inbound customer collections, inter-account transfers, and vendor payments, all tied to the account infrastructure.

To find out how your business could use integrated payments and improve payment flows to and from suppliers, contact The Modulr Travel Team.

About Marca Wosoba

As Managing Director, Europe, Marca leads Modulr’s expansion into the European market, including supporting digital travel businesses with integrated payments. His previous experience includes leading new market expansion and reporting to the CEO of WorldFirst, now Ant Financial, one of the UK’s fastest growing fintech companies. Marca previously held progressive executive-level management roles with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

About Modulr

Modulate is the Payments-as-a-Service API platform for digital businesses that need a faster, easier, and more reliable way to transfer money. Businesses can automate payment flows, integrate payments into their platforms, and create entirely new payment products and services themselves. All managed in real time, 24/7 from a single API. Modulr powers the payments plumbing for Revolut, Sage and Hodge Bank.