Insights, Travel

How embedded payments is helping the travel industry to reimagine the customer journey

Modulr By Modulr on 13 January 2022   •   4 mins read

Software is changing the world. Thanks to cloud computing and the emergence of SaaS (Software as a Service), businesses can now be powered by virtual services rather than having to invest in physical hardware. Today, SaaS is a practical option for companies of all sizes who want to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the digitally demanding consumer.

And, just as SaaS is helping to reinvent the way consumers browse, buy and bank, it’s also helping travel businesses to reimagine the customer journey by taking advantage of the latest innovations in payments technology - the ability to embed payments within your stack.

Here, we take a look at how embedded payments is helping the travel industry to deliver the payments experience it needs in this, the Digital Now.

Never underestimate the power of payments

Recent research shows that the payments experience is vital for today’s customers and they’re ready to go to competitors that do it well. Consumers of all ages have high expectations around the speed and delivery of payments. They expect instant payments, instant receipts and super-easy processes. The overwhelming consensus from those surveyed is that the digital world needs great digital experiences, and that particularly extends to a historically digital laggard, payments.

The problem is the payments infrastructure for most businesses just isn’t set up to deliver the types of payment experiences the digitally demanding need.

In an attempt to meet rising expectation, companies often fall into the trap of introducing new technologies, but in a disjointed way. As more technology is added, the stack becomes more complex and, crucially, more disconnected.

And, this disconnect is costing businesses more than they realise. Because, as well as the hard costs, these payment inefficiencies result in hidden costs, as we found in our 2020 research. These hidden costs impact business agility, customer, employee and supplier experience and ultimately the success of the business itself. Using multiple providers costs time, costs cash and, more importantly, costs customers. Because, as the research shows, payment pain points have an emotional impact; with 71% of consumers surveyed saying the experience can ‘make or break’ their future relationship with a brand. 72% say outdated and inefficient payment processes can undermine their experience as a customer and the tolerance threshold is low, with 78% agreeing that there is no excuse for online brands to have outdated, inefficient payment processes.

Technology that really stacks up

Switched on travel businesses like online travel agencies, booking sites and airlines are realising that they’ll miss out on new features if they try to retrofit practices and processes, and that they need to integrate with forward thinking partners in order to unlock these. Embedded payment is making it easier for travel businesses to incorporate payments into their proposition and reimagine their technology stack, without paying to reinvent it.

This can be done by working with a range of technology providers for a best-of-breed approach. Or, they can further reduce complexity by partnering with one - such as Modulr - who can provide a single-point of access, for maximum efficiency gain.

Embedded payments offer a more joined-up approach. By using a single payments provider for multiple aspects of your infrastructure, you’re not dealing with a range of different moving parts if anything goes wrong.

And FinTechs are rooted in digital architecture so they’re keeping up with (and often driving) the changing online ecosystem. Which means you, and your customers, will benefit from the very latest payment innovations like Open Banking’s Payment Initiation or virtual cards for payments, for example.

Embedded payments also centralise and simplify your entire payments stack, allowing more individualisation while also cutting out the need to deal with a variety of processes and partners. Payments can be embedded deep within your system, resulting in easier and faster process. And, let’s face it, when payments need to be made across multiple currencies and countries, that speed and simplicity is hugely important. Also, because you can pick and choose which aspects you want, embedded payments offer a much more tailored approach.

So, if you’re looking to optimise your payments infrastructure and you haven’t yet considered embedded payments, then you really should.

Partnering with a platform provider, like Modulr, allows travel companies to rapidly advance their customer offerings, without needing to develop expensive upgrades from scratch. They can help you integrate innovative and secure payment services into your proposition that will deliver the convenient, easy to use experience of the digitally demanding's dreams.