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Facing Challenges Head-on in Emerging Markets

Everyone understands the travel industry by now. But maybe the geography is changing. Maybe instead of tourists from ‘established markets’ visiting ‘emerging markets’, it’s beginning to go both ways. Travel operators are increasingly keen on positioning themselves as leaders in markets that were once just ‘destinations’. Getting in on the ground floor in an emerging market can make you dominant in a region for years, but setting up in an emerging market isn’t all that simple; it’s vital that a business has a proper travel payments solution in place before it decides to expand.

But what is a proper travel payments solution? It means a payment system and gateway adequate to the new demands of a new market. In Asia, where cashless transactions are wildly popular, that would mean accepting mobile payments from the likes of Alipay. In Brazil, where 55 million citizens are unbanked, it could mean widening your payments net to include the popular Boleto Bancário system. Every region has a set of payment particularities that have to be dealt with by newcomers to their markets. From the design of the payment portal to the technical specifics of accepting new payment methods and currencies. Those particularities can often lead expanding travel operators astray, and it’s why many choose to enlist expert help when they break into emerging markets.

Naturally, there’s far more than just payment methods to take into account. New markets, new currencies, and new payment methods can mean new security risks. New, unfamiliar markets can mean new and unfamiliar pathways for malicious fraudsters to exploit. Estimates suggest that the travel industry could be losing up to $25 billion a year by 2020, which means it’s vital to treat fraud seriously as you make the push into emerging markets. Preventing data leakage from those new payment methods, and making sure that the customer (and your business) is as secure as possible at every step of the payment journey is more important than ever. Having the tech in place to manage and mitigate the risks posed by online fraudsters is essential as a travel operator sets up somewhere new.

Finally, all the tech in the world won’t help if your new customers can’t understand it. Businesses in emerging markets still have the language barrier to contend with, and translation software is usually not up to dealing with the formatting and jargon of a payment gateway. Making sure your travel business has the aid of linguistic, as well as technical, experts is key to ensuring your payment journey is as painless as possible for new customers. An intelligent approach is an intelligible approach when it comes to emerging markets, so it’s best to spare your customers the task of running to grab a dictionary.

The task of creating a travel payments solution for emerging markets can seem daunting, but pulling it off can set up your business as a household name for years to come. By moving carefully, and enlisting the right kind of help, travel operators can overcome the technical, security, and linguistic hurdles of an emerging market and situate themselves in an enviable position for the foreseeable future.



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