Travel Merchant Accounts

Apply for an online Travel Merchant Account

If you are looking to setup a Travel Merchant Account, Starting Business can assist you with the whole process. Whether you are an online travel business which offers airline services, cruise services, travel accommodation etc., please read on for further details on our online travel merchant accounts.

What is different about Travel Merchant Accounts?

Travel merchant accounts are generally considered higher risk than normal merchant processing accounts. When the travel business does all of its transactions CP or card present, they do not have a problem, as passports need to be checked for correct spelling, and the travel merchants can verify this against the name on the card. Also with card present processing transactions, you have the additional confirmation with signature or PIN number.

However, with travel merchant accounts that are used online, and operate generally on a CNP or card not present basis, the risks are much higher, as there is no way to verify the cardholders identity, and also it is easier for travellers to dispute the charge, as there is no secondary confirmation, and fraud can be used as an excuse for a traveller that will miss their trip.

How does it work for big airlines and travel agencies?

To overcome this obstacle, the card issuing companies issued a specific MCC code for each one of the world’s major airlines and travel agencies. This means the any charges that come through on the MCC code are in accordance to airlines cancellation and refund policies, and therefore unless a case of fraud can be proved (which is very difficult as all major airlines require the card holder to be travelling on the trip booked) the airline is only obligated to meet its refund policies in cases where the customer complies to airline rules.

Is it possible to get an independent travel merchant account?

The simple answer to this is yes. In order to get an online travel merchant account, you will need to have a much stricter due diligence policy than most normal merchants have, as you will need to be able to identify the card holder, and in many cases with independent travel merchant accounts, you will need to obtain a signed authorization form from the client before you can process the transaction. Although these procedures seem quite strict, they also help eliminate the possibility of fraudulent transactions for travel merchants.


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