Let your customers pay local, while traveling global

3 min. read

Domestic and international travel are reaching pre-2019 levels (and then some). Making the occasion as friction-free and quick as possible is a top priority, ensuring every touchpoint runs smoothly.

Taking the stress out of travel for consumers and businesses alike

While booking a trip is often an exciting purchase — the planning, admin, and price point of travel can make it a stressful occasion. Now imagine organizing a trip and paying, but you have to:

  • Work out the exchange rate between your local currency and the transaction currency (usually dollars)
  • Pay exchange fees
  • Have access to an international credit card, something only 20% of the population in emerging markets have

Making travel more accessible in emerging markets

Local payment options allow your target audience in new (and existing) markets to purchase and engage with your services the way they know and without restrictions. However, comprehending the regulatory complexities of a new country, deciding on the offered payment methods, and integrating each of these methods is a tall order.

The big question – is it easier to only provide international card payments in your company's local currency? While it appears to be a quicker route to market, studies show modernizing payment tech can reduce a company’s operating costs by 20-30%, and, in many cases, halve your go-to-market time.

Journey to new regions with local experts

Don't let the need for immediate confirmation stop your expansion

The travel industry, more than most, needs immediate payment to hold reservations. As this is usually done with a credit card, this can pose a serious operational issue in regions where card penetration is low.

Only 3% of Nigerians have a credit card

Integrating local real-time payment methods can be the answer in regions where this method has a high adoption rate:

  • Receive funds in real-time
  • Eliminate the risk of credit card fraud and chargebacks
  • Improve liquidity management

It's also worth mentioning that India's UPI works with installments, and Brazil's Pix will soon offer installments, too. Payments via monthly installments are essential in emerging markets, especially Latin America, where international travel is often deemed a luxury purchase.

How the travel industry can simplify cross-border payments for emerging market consumers

Many travel bookings involve cross-border payments and the issues, as mentioned earlier, that come with it. Alternative payment methods are changing this and allowing more consumers to participate in the digital economy without adding emerging market tax .

If you plan to offer travel services in Asia, accepting digital wallets for higher conversion rates is essential. Projections show eWallets will grow 311% in the region between 2020 and 2025.

In Latin America, account-to-account (instant payments) are growing in popularity, with the payment value growing 71% in 2022.

Spotlight: cross-border payments in Southeast Asia

Indonesian consumers use an average of three wallets

Southeast Asia (SEA) is a shining example of cross-border payments implementation region-wide. Previously a highly fragmented payments landscape, domestic travel in the region was more complex.

However, a cross-border payment system was officially launched in July 2023, allowing residents from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand (with more countries being added) to make payment in each other's countries using this interoperable system. The implementation was developed in the hopes of this cross-border system facilitating more trade, remittance, and domestic travel within Southeast Asia.

Take flight in new markets with a payments partner

The travel industry has growth potential in emerging markets if we decrease payment friction:

  • Local payment options
  • Installment options
  • Compliance assistance
  • Local or base currency reconciliation
  • Simplifies the process of cross-border payments and currency conversions

Accept alternative payment methods and local currencies, access advanced KYC and AML processes, and expand your operations – with one integration.

Get in touch with our payment experts

We help global companies such as Amazon, Spotify, and Microsoft find new opportunities in high-growth markets. Let's think outside the box for tailor-made payment solutions for your business. Fill out this form, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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