More than half of travel retailers are conducting 30% or more of transactions outside of traditional reservation systems such as the GDS according to a report.
The Travel Industry Payments Barometer from payments specialist Ixaris claims that demand for bespoke holidays is forcing retailers to manage payments outside of traditional booking systems.
The report adds that more than 25% of retailers are outside these systems half the time.
In terms of revenue, 20% of respondents say more than 50% is via transactions outside of traditional distribution systems while 60% say between 10 and 50% of revenue is via alternative methods such as manually or by using a number of different systems.
Respondents were also asked if the amount of business booked outside the traditional reservation systems is likely to change with more than half expecting to work outside their main system more regularly in the coming months.
Further findings of the report show:
- Only 9.6% consider their payment infrastructure adequate and up to 25% view theirs as highly inadequate.
- 34% say the biggest payment related challenge is the impact of booking fees and credit card surcharges on profit margin.
- 24% say the ability to reconcile supplier payments with customer orders is the biggest challenge.
- 12% highlight card fraud as the biggest challenge.
- 47% say card charges from the low cost airlines have the most profound impact on profit margin.
The report also highlights potential solutions for the future such as virtual card programmes.
Ixaris interviewed 11 industry experts and surveyed more than 50 trade representatives for the purpose of the report.
NB: Image via Shutterstock