October 30, 2017
The eNett team recently exhibited at ITB Asia, the biggest travel trade event on the continent. It’s always been an important market for us, and it continues to be so. Today our customers transact in 29 Asian countries and growing. But it’s also an increasingly attractive market for the wider travel industry.
Asia as a region has seen huge growth in outbound tourism, in keeping with the global trend for greater international travel. The number of outbound trips from Asia grew by 11% in 2016, the highest growth by any region. And of all the Asian countries, China is supporting the growth as it continues to be the biggest source of outbound tourism in the world. But how can travel companies outside China get in on the action?
In an increasingly competitive landscape, offering a range of payment methods is becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions. This stands to reason, the broader the choice you offer consumers, the better the customer experience and the more likely consumers are to convert. Especially when it’s their tried and trusted payment method. For China, there are a number of options including Alipay, UnionPay and WeChat Pay. It’s straight-forward enough for travel companies to add these to their websites, but the real issue is that there are very few travel suppliers outside of China who accept these types of payments.
For me, there’s a simple solution to a complex problem. Instead of looking to travel suppliers to change the way they accept payments, travel companies should change the way they pay travel suppliers. Passing through cards brings very little value to travel companies. So why not have acceptance of payment methods like Alipay and WeChatPay at the front end, then pay suppliers with universally accepted payment methods like Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) in the back-end?
VANs are already the most popular way for large agencies to pay hotels after traditional payment methods according to travel industry research authority Phocuswright. The reason for their popularity is simple. 16-digit Mastercard numbers are generated for each transaction and processed like a normal card payment. As they’re unique and integrate with existing booking and property management systems, they are an easy and safe way to make payments. They also benefit travel suppliers. VANs reduce their risk of fraudulent card transactions. That’s probably why eNett VANs recently won Best Travel Payment Solution Provider at the Travelmole Awards in Asia for the second year in a row.
In an increasingly global environment, travel companies should be making it a priority to expand their payment options in the front-end to drive conversion and enhance customer experience. By having a universally accepted payment method like VANs in the back-end, matching the payment demands of Asia, or for any other region, is easier than ever.
To find out more on how VANs can support your business, click here.