July 11, 2007

Unlock Your Payment Gateway

Payment gateways are the doorway to e-commerce. You must have a payment gateway in order to accept bookings, reservations, and any e-commerce transaction. There have been a number of companies offering their services to facilitate online transactions, here is just a sample from wikipedia:

With the large number of companies offering online payment gateways one would assume that it is easy to acquire an account that accepts all of the credit cards that your customers utilize. Unfortunately even larger companies with an established financial history will often have to use multiple accounts to accept just Visa and Mastercard for both Canada and the US.

Due to the nature of the travel industry; its dependency on environmental conditions, troubles with airlines, travel plans changing, it is no surprise internet processing companies are hesitant to enroll smaller independent tourism companies.

Things are changing for the better. Companies like PPI are granting accounts with no deposit, not extensive systems analysis, only 3 months of financial history and there are no transaction fees. This is paving the way to accommodate the travel industry, and tap into a new market niche.

Another alternative is using PayPal, this will allow a company to accept online payments without having to apply for an account. The draw back to this is that both the customer and the merchant will need to have a PayPal account, this will add another step in the booking process, and potentially could turn some customers off.

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