What is the biggest trend in digital payments which will affect the travel & hospitality industry in the following years?
The growing spending power of the middle class in APAC has resulted in smartphones and tablets morphing from luxury items into virtual appendages, leading to a growth in m-commerce. The implications of this rapid digitization on consumer behaviour are significant. Increasingly, shoppers want to be able to shop quickly and securely at their convenience, either at home or on the go. With assurances of good deals and security, travellers are more willing than ever to make purchases from travel sites around the world.
The exponential growth of mobile commerce also represents a great opportunity for the hotel industry. Hotels who want to capture a share of the growing e- and m-commerce markets must provide today’s connected digital consumer with an around-the-clock, multi-channel purchasing experience. This underlines the importance of websites or apps being optimized for mobile devices. As PayPal focuses on accelerating innovation, we have developed solutions for consumers specifically tailored for travel businesses that ensure seamless payment experiences, and position them to be leaders in the burgeoning online hospitality industry. Some of these solutions include PayPal Hotel Direct and PayPal Online Travel Agent Payments platform.
What is the most important challenge travel & hospitality professional will face in the digital era?
Technology has contributed significantly to the growth of the travel and tourism industry. The connected traveller today is never far away from a networked device, and there is a growing pool of travellers in Asia who are willing to make spontaneous travel decisions – booking within a week of deciding to travel and traveling within a week of booking their trip.
These travellers demand 24/7 access to travel-related goods and services and the ability to make bookings anytime, anywhere and in any way. As more travellers catch the last minute travel bug, the time between deciding to travel and booking tickets contracts. Travel businesses must find solutions that can capture the golden period to reach potential customers – for both long and short trips. Hotels need to engage with today’s digital traveller by offering mobile-optimized websites or mobile apps optimized for mobile devices, which offer a simple and secure payment option that allows them to make bookings seamlessly while on the move.
This trend also represents a great marketing opportunity as more potential customers show a preference to make impromptu travel-related decisions quickly and on the go.
What solutions are you planning to present to the Digi.travel delegates and what issues these solutions solve?
PayPal.Me for Business: PayPal.Me for Business is a simple, fast, and personal way for freelancers, social sellers, and small businesses to request money from anyone across the globe and get paid with the click of a link. With PayPal.Me for Business, businesses will no longer need to send a manual payment request or bank account number. The merchants can set up their own user profiles associated with a personalized URL to receive international or cross-border commercial payments with their existing PayPal account. The personalized unique transfer link is instant and works on any device, via a text message, email, instant messenger, social media post, blog, or on the web. The link even allows the merchant to add a specific amount to the end of the URL, e.g. https://www.paypal.me/XYZClothing/USD25. It is also a great way for customers to remember the merchant’s brand as the link leads the customers to a customized branded PayPal payments page.
Express checkout: With PayPal Express Checkout, customers do not have to enter their credit card details or billing/ shipping information to buy with PayPal. Instead, they will need to simply login to their PayPal account, and will be able to confirm payment within a few clicks, thus enabling tighter integration with the merchant’s website and the order management process. This solution is also designed to help businesses increase sales and conversions rates via mobile platforms, automatically optimizing their checkout experience for mobile devices.
Invoicing: PayPal makes it easy to send professional, personalized invoices to your customers. Each invoice is enabled with a powerful “Pay Now” button embedded right in it, so that customers can securely pay with just one click. Customers can pay you immediately and securely via credit card, PayPal. Whichever method they choose, you receive your money usually in just minutes. PayPal invoices include your business logo, item details, and options to display discounts, shipping, and taxes. You can also save and reuse your favorite invoices. When you’re paid online via PayPal invoices, you can track and manage your invoices and payments in our invoice management dashboard.
Mobile SDK: PayPal’s mobile SDK makes it easy for businesses to accept PayPal and credit card payments on mobile apps. It eliminates app redirects and provides a one-time sign-in for future payments. With this, travellers can make seamless and secure payments across their favourite apps in just a few taps.
Online Travel Agent (OTA) payments: Payments between OTAs and hotels are often a complicated matter. Both bank transfers and credit card payments can be slow to process, labour intensive, and at times unreliable. Using PayPal to send and receive payments makes the process seamless and can achieve time and cost savings for everyone involved. PayPal’s OTA payment platform processes pre-paid transactions quickly and automatically in 26 different currencies. OTAs using the platform achieve cost savings on their FX management, and hotels that receive funds from OTAs receive their payment confirmation and funds much faster than with a bank transfer.
PayPal Hotel Direct: PayPal Hotel Direct can be integrated directly into a hotel’s website and offers the perfect opportunity for businesses to grow on a global scale while minimizing failed card transactions on cross-border payments. PayPal makes it simple to accept payments in up to 26 different currencies from 203 different countries. PayPal is partnering with an ever-increasing list of the region’s main Booking Engine platforms so new hotel clients can start receiving global payments through PayPal almost instantly.
Meet them at the Digi.travel Expo