Online payments have advanced significantly in recent years, making it easier than ever for consumers to buy online. The travel industry has lagged behind other industries when it comes to making the online payment experience as seamless as possible––but this shortcoming can also be seen as an opportunity for travel companies that are ready to put payments at the heart of their customer strategy.

Worldpay recently examined how travel companies can set themselves apart from the competition using a frictionless payment process in its report, “The Seamless Travel Experience.” Here are some solutions Worldpay offers:

Optimize the online payment journey: Companies often assume that the payment page is the only time when a customer considers how they’ll pay for their trip––but this is far from the truth. It’s vital to reassure customers that their preferred payment will be accepted from the moment they land on a website, in addition to optimizing shopping basket recovery methods if something goes wrong, providing stellar customer service, and ensuring customers that payments are secure. A browser only becomes a customer when they make a payment, which means travel companies need to avoid neglecting this step of the booking process.

Take a mobile-first approach: Many travel companies are behind when it comes to the mobile experience they offer their consumers. With mobile bookings making up an increasing part of overall travel bookings each year worldwide, travel companies can no longer afford to ignore the role mobile plays throughout the travel journey. Payment pages should be designed with mobile user experience in mind, should allow for easy input of personal information, and avoid redirections to third-party providers.

Work with a payment provider that’s specialized in the travel sector: Travel companies face unique challenges when it comes to online payments compared to other industries. By working with a provider that’s well-versed in the travel space, companies will have more control of the payment process and, in-turn, be able to better connect with their customers and increase sales.

Provide more additional services directly, without redirecting to third parties: Offering customers ancillary services throughout their travel journey via a seamless payment process has become a major revenue driver for many travel providers. In 2016, ancillary services contributed more than $50 billion in revenue for the global airline industry, according to a report from L.E.K. Consulting.

At the same time, many providers still fall behind when it comes to making these additional offerings as easy to purchase as possible. Airlines and hotels are especially suited to take advantage of this opportunity––for example, allowing customers to store their payment and personal information for in-flight purchases or offering spa services for purchase while checking into a hotel via smartphone.

To learn more about why a frictionless payment process is so important to the travel journey, download Worldpay’s report, “The Seamless Travel Experience.”

This content was created collaboratively by Worldpay and Skift’s branded content studio SkiftX.

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