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Cross-border payments: how merchants can redefine customer experience

With summer upon us, merchants must support customers as they make travel, tourism and hospitality cross-border payments using different currencies from around the globe.

With tourism set to return to pre-pandemic levels in some regions in 2023, consumers are excited to live new experiences and make up for the time lost. The growth of digital accessibility has also driven more customers to make direct booking reservations from all over the world.

This is positive for customers and for the travel economy overall. But travel and hospitality merchants are facing challenges: including meeting increasing customer demand for quick and easy checkout experiences, and selecting the best payment solutions to gain access to more customer markets and expand their geographic reach. So how can they overcome these challenges and seize this opportunity?

Entering new markets: what merchants should know

To enter any new market, merchants must understand the new operating and regulatory environment. Companies often need to set up a local bank account and offer payment options typical to that region, all of which can become obstacles for a business that wants to expand beyond its traditional local market.

Emerging markets bring added challenges to merchants. They must cater to different payment methods, including many customers’ preference for using cash. They also must satisfy demand for real-time bank transfers, and deal with unfamiliar tax systems. These all contribute to a complex problem.

As merchants expand into a new country or region, they also need to be aware of hidden costs associated with global payment transactions, including fraud, risk and compliance. These can be costly, depending on the type of channels set up and what infrastructure needs to be created and managed.

Global payment options for global merchants

To operate globally, merchants need to offer as many payment options as possible. A global payments platform can help them do this, streamlining options in most markets, covering card acquiring locally and internationally, bank transfers, digital wallets, and eCash, all within the largest banking network connection worldwide.

Global payment providers create legal entities in each market, allowing merchants to seamlessly operate and process payments in the countries of their choice without having the same local entity structure.

This convenience also includes the tax, compliance and regulatory framework needed to provide global oversight for each merchant and each market of interest. The infrastructure also includes the networks and connectivity to enable payments globally. This all ensures merchants can access markets that were previously inaccessible.

One API connection: delivering a local experience, globally

With help from the right payments provider, travel and hospitality merchants can simply connect with only one API to accept local payments methods in every country. With this effortless implementation,  international travel, tourism and hospitality merchants can provide customers with the same payment experience as a local website.

With seamless, localized payments taken care of, merchant employees can focus on other areas of the business and gain immediate access to this new audience. This will empower them to provide all clients, or web visitors, with a premium checkout experience.

The payments industry is now an ally to merchants navigating the evolving market landscape, providing new solutions to help them flourish. Payments are an essential part of the infrastructure that supports these businesses to expand and thrive globally.

If you are a travel, tourism or hospitality merchant and would like to learn more about our cross-border payments solution, click here.