Covid19 and payments – work out a seamless refund process

15th July, 2020

The focus on streamlining payment-related aspects has strengthened over the past few months that mean more optionts to pay, efficient processes, lowering costs etc.

“Considering convenience and flexibility-related requirements and expectations of travelers moving forward a seamless refund process is going to be imperative, especially in the short-term as refunds continue,” highlighted Rachel Morowitz, UATP’s VP, Alternative Form of Payment, during Ai’s ATPS Webinar – Payment Strategy Roundtable.  She also referred to continued innovation in areas such as virtual cards and contactless payments, for example at the airport.

Options such as “buy now, pay later”, too, are gaining traction.

The growth in installment payments has accelerated during the pandemic. The likes of airlines, hotels, OTAs etc. are considering this form of payment to be a key tool in their recovery, said Tom Botts, CCO, Uplift.

The option to pay in installments is a way to support and stimulate demand. The role of a partner like Uplift should be seen from a payment marketing specialist perspective and understanding of conversion, optimizing areas like check-out messaging, auto-updates as ancillaries are added etc., said Botts. In addition to the U. S. and Canada, the company is in the process of expanding operations to Latin America, allowing airlines to extend this payment option.

As for why Uplift stands out, Botts said, “Everything we do designed is to drive business results for our travel partners.”  The offering is optimized for travel conversion. As for the processing, he said that at the time of paying for a transaction, if a customer opts for paying via installments, there is a sub-second credit check, and accordingly options are presented. Uplift settles with no changes to the existing flow, and no impact to payment processing or revenue accounting workflows.

During the webinar, it emerged that 82% of the attendees intend to accept more alternative form of payments (AFPs).  

US-based #paymentech specialist and omni-channel acquirer Citcon’s Seth Friedman shared that the company is in the processing of facilitating 20 mobile wallets over the course of next 12 months. He mentioned that mechants, in addition to letting consumers pay via wallets, should also look at the demand stimulation prowess of an ecosystem like WeChat.

As for processing of payments and looking at efficiency while adding AFPs, airlines must evaluate aspects like integration, reconciliation, automation and global coverage.


By Ritesh Gupta

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