Posted by NationalACH on Apr 17, 2017
Electronic Checks Valuable for Travel Merchants

International tourist numbers have been increasing for the past six years in a row.  More than 1.5 billion people travelled abroad in 2015 alone. As a result, cross border transactions have been getting easier and more widespread over the years. 

That’s a huge number of people looking to go outside their country and spend on a holiday. Which is why travel agents, transportation companies, hotels, online booking apps, and banks have all made it much easier to spend money abroad.

But the level of security hasn’t kept up with the increasing levels of convenience.

If your business caters to international tourists, you may find that it’s a lot easier to offer tools for foreign transactions than it is to actually secure these transactions. Accepting card payments from customers is quick, but risky.

What are the risks?

Most people understand currency risks that affect an international business. But the bigger risk is the lack of security for online card transactions made across borders.

The problem is different countries have different standards of payment security. Some countries are compelled to implement measures such as bank verifications while other countries take these regulations less seriously.

Different regulations and security standards make it difficult to fully appreciate and mitigate the risks involved in international payments.

America is notoriously behind on credit card security. The US losses more to credit card fraud than the rest of the world combined.

If you operate a business in the travel industry, you most likely face this issue on a daily basis. Fraudsters try to use stolen or fake credit cards. Legitimate customers initiate a chargeback in order to avoid paying in what is known as "friendly fraud".

Your resources are inadequate to fully face this threat and deal with the complex global payment system. You’re often left at the mercy of the client or the acquiring bank when it comes to the safety of your payments and this could have a negative, long term effect on your revenues.

But you’re not helpless. There are ways to protect your business from this rising tide of international payment fraud.

What can you do?

The best way to protect your business and sales is to sign up with a payment processor who can offer a customized travel merchant account.

Accepting echecks gives you a more secure way to process payments. Echecks allow your customers to pay when their card is maxed out or not available. And many Americans simply prefer to pay for travel with a debit from a bank account rather than a card.

Electronic check transactions are considerably more secure than paying by cards or traditional paper checks.

It is much more difficult for cybercriminals and customers committing friendly fraud to perpetrate their dishonest actions with echecks. Accessing bank accounts is harder than obtaining card information.

And chargebacks are more difficult with echecks than with cards.  Echecks generally require the customer to visit their bank, swear out an affidavit, and submit supporting documents.  With card chargebacks, all a buyer has to do is call their issuing bank to initiate a chargeback.  


Over the past decade, the travel industry has transformed. While sales are up, customer spending habits have changed. Millennials are more likely to travel abroad than the generations before them and they prefer spending money online.

Investing in your payment system by opening a travel merchant account is not just about reducing risks, it’s about offering your customers security. Echecks are far more secure than cards when you take payments online or by phone.  

How will accepting echecks help your company?

Contact today.