Most travellers are booking their own flights, accommodation, and travel insurance online as they have easy access to better deals and, hence, more control over their itinerary. This is well and truly the era of ‘Do-It-Yourself’ travel! Your travel insurance business should seize this opportunity and offer easy-to-understand packages that can be purchased in advance, over the internet through online payment systems.
In the not so distant past, secure online payment systems were only available to large companies with sizeable turnover, which could afford to engage the services of an external agency to build a secure gateway for them for accepting online transactions.
Fast forward to today and there is a wide choice of reputable and secure online payment systems that literally ‘plug in and play’ to your website. There’s a plethora of apps and extensions that you can integrate with your website and app to allow customers to pay directly. If you are a small business, you can simply drag and drop the component into your website if you are using Wordpress or Wix.
It is important to ensure that the component you eventually choose offers localisation services, meaning that individuals using a website can see prices in their local currency and, more importantly, in their spoken language.
It is also important to offer various methods of payment, which can include anything from Visa, Mastercard and American Express, to established online wallets like Paypal and emerging ones like We Pay, for example.
In terms of compliance, a major issue to be aware of today is the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect in the European Union in May 2018. This regulation stipulates that a customer’s credit card details cannot be held on to for longer than is required. For a travel insurance company, this means that you will have to wipe your customers’ data as soon as the period to lodge a claim has expired.
Online payments did lead to a jump in fraud, which is why the European Union issued legislation in 2015 to protect businesses and their customers.
When you offer online payment facilities, you must make sure that you are compliant in terms of end-to-end encryption, secure login, data security and, of course, recourse to remedial action in the event of fraud.
Online payment gateways are a great way to grow your business and increase sales, but it is in your interest to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company that can keep your and your customers’ data safe!