Merchant Account fоr Travel Buѕіnеѕѕ

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Travel is the next important thing in people’s life after the basic necessities. The increasing globalization has made the world accessible for most of us. The travel industry is also growing exponentially along with tourism and timeshare industries. Every segment of the travel industry from timeshare, tours, tourism, hotels, resorts, vacations, holidays, travel ticketing or any other business related to travel, depends on online platforms and electronic payment methods. Because of some rigid and grey features of this industry, travel is considered high risk business and thus, getting a high risk merchant account for travel industry is no less than a herculean task. Quadrapay has been the baton holder to facilitate the merchants from travel industry. If you belong to the travel industry, you can reach out to or contact us on mail [email protected] or contact on 24*7 helpline +1 6318321773

Overview of the Travel Industry

Isn’t it good to plan your travel, book your tickets and stay or the complete vacation sitting just at your home? This all is possible with help of internet and online platforms. All a person has to do is to make online payment using any of the available payment methods. E-commerce has made the world market small and easily available for everyone, whether it be a merchant or a customer.

The dependency on technology has increased much more than the previous era and as a result, every product and service is available online. For a travel merchant, it is very important to have access to online platform because most part of the business comes from online bookings only. To have a functional online business, it is necessary for a merchant to have a merchant account and a payment gateway. Only then a merchant can accept online payment and conduct business online.
All the industries have been classified into three categories because of the various risk factors associated with them. An industry can be a low risk, mid risk or a high risk industry depending upon certain specific characteristics of that business model. In particular, for high risk industries it is quite difficult to get, maintain and run an online merchant account owing to the risk factors associated with that industry.

Why travel industry is a high risk industry?

Classification of a specific industry depends on various kinds of risk factors associated viz. credit risk, transaction risk, liquidity risk, compliance risk, strategic risk or reputation risk. Travel industry in particular, is considered a high risk industry mainly because of high chargeback rates and long contingency sale period. The comprehensive study of quadrapay analysis team has taken the root causes for evaluation and concluded remedial methods.

Risk factors are mainly dependent on plausible financial loss to the acquirer or processor in case of product/service quality failure or company’s business loss. One of the major characteristic of travel industry is long fulfillment time period of the product or services availed by the customer. For example, a customer books flight tickets for November ’18 in March’18 but later cancels it in October ’18, then it comes as a huge loss to the merchant or the processor. If the merchant denies refunding the amount, the loss is incurred by the processor/acquirer. Another dreadful characteristic of this industry is high chargeback rates. If a customer isn’t satisfied with the service or goods received or some other scenario, he may dispute a chargeback against the merchant. As per the industry norms, compliance issues, rules and regulations and governmental guidelines, chargeback is a customer’s right and a company should issue refund in such cases. The chargeback ratio for this industry is quite high as compared to others. Apart from these reasons, the other factors that influence the travel industry are frauds, malign practices, service failure and market instability.

How to get a high risk merchant account for travel industry?

Generally, all the top notch banks, large acquirers, famous credit card processors and domestic service providers refrain from issuing a merchant account to high risk travel business. The underwriting guidelines of most of these organizations are strict for travel industry and getting a merchant account for travel industry from a domestic bank is near impossible. The solution here lies with the offshore account providers. If the merchant is still indecisive, Quadrapay experts can easily sort the things and provide right guidance.

A merchant must apply with all genuine documentation for a high risk merchant account along with a better credit history and strong financial grounds. Once the underwriter goes through the provided documents with an individualistic approach and evaluates the business model, target clientele, estimated overturn and range of products/services provided by the merchant, it may be possible to get a merchant account from a domestic bank or acquirer for this high risk industry. If the application is rejected then instead of applying randomly in haste, a merchant should first look for the offshore merchant account providers and compare them in order to find the most suitable processor for his particular business model and industry type.

There are many merchant account providers based in Europe, Asia and other offshore locations that are willing to take on high risk businesses but they also charge higher as compared to others. From processing fee, setup charges, miscellaneous charges to rolling reserve, a merchant should thoroughly check and negotiate on the charges and fees before finalizing the acquirer. The hold period or arrear for a high risk merchant also varies with different service providers depending upon the type of business.

Guidelines to decide the best high risk merchant account for travel industry

Being a part of the online business world, the successful functioning, growth and profit of a travel merchant providing online services/products depends largely upon the payment processing services, customer relationship and speedy transactions and updates.

While deciding an online merchant account acquirer, payment processor and a payment gateway, a merchant should always consider these factors:

  • Compare the setup fees, transaction fees (TDR and MDR), fixed transaction fees, monthly fees and miscellaneous charges for a travel industry merchant account and negotiate to conclude the most competitive deal.
  • Generally the rolling reserve for high risk travel industry is between 8% and 15%, still a merchant should try to keep it as minimum as possible.
  • If the solutions are for international business, there are provisions of wire fees for international travel business also. A merchant should negotiate to keep it low as well.
  • The chargeback fee/penalty is quite high, especially for high risk merchant accounts. Thus a merchant should negotiate with the service provider to minimize it before setting up the account.
  • Check for the chargeback alert and notification service that provides pat information in near real time to reduce the chargeback instances.
  • At times, other fees may include return fees and other miscellaneous charges as well. Hence, this is advisable to high risk merchants to thoroughly check for any hidden charges if applicable.
  • The arrear or hold period of the transaction amount is usually 1 to 3 weeks for high risk business like travel industry. Still a merchant from travel industry should look for an offshore account provider with minimum arrear period.
  • Before deciding onto a processor, a merchant should ask the company for its service to other merchants from the same industry, and if yes, should try to take feedback from existing clients of the service provider or payment processor.

If you are also a merchant dealing in the travel industry, you can reach out to for the expert advice and complete assistance of quadrapay business experts.

Is it difficult to maintain a high risk merchant account for travel industry?

The honest answer is YES. Jumping the wagon and getting a merchant account even for a high risk business is comparatively easier than maintaining the same for longer time.

The high chargeback ratio is the main hindrance in sustenance of the business account in this industry. As per the Quadrapay reports, typically to maintain a healthy merchant account the chargeback ratio should be kept much lower than 2% of the prescribed global standard. The definition of chargeback ratio is total number of chargebacks in a month divided by total number of transactions in that particular month. To keep this ratio low, it is clearly evident to increase the number of transactions in a month. That means there should be higher number of clients taking services from that particular travel merchant. The key to increase the clientele is by providing the best-in-class services/products with quality assurance and maintaining strong customer relationship with the clients during pre-sale, due course and post-sale period. Quadrapay’s high risk industry experts not just help the merchants in getting a merchant account and payment gateway but also guide them throughout the business cycle to ensure growth, profit and success of their business. A merchant should also avail chargeback alert and notification services in order to remain updated and resolve the issues in time before they become hurdles for his business.

Next important remark by team Quadrapay for high risk travel industry merchant accounts is to keep a close eye on maximum ticket size, maximum monthly transaction limit, average transaction size, customers’ notifications & reviews, lawfully regulated procedures and service quality.


If you are a merchant looking forward to start online business in travel industry, this article by will surely be a true guide. When a merchant has good credit history, better financial strongholds and a well-planned business model, chances are more to get a domestic high risk merchant account but if the applications have been rejected try with offshore service providers. The comprehensive and competitively rooted market analysis of team Quadrapay can surely help you with the most suitable high risk merchant account for travel business along with best advanced services to establish and maintain the same. if you are facing any trouble, you can reach us on [email protected] or call us anytime on +1 6318321773.