With many holiday resorts containing a multitude of independent tour guides all attempting to attract business their way, the need for robust and portable systems to take payments has never been greater. Fortunately many merchant accounts come with a number of features designed to make the process of taking payments securely and quickly as simple as possible.
Secure software solutions are available which are compatible across many merchant accounts. These software packages run on most computers and will enable your tour guide business to take credit card payments with ease. Imagine the possibility of connecting to the internet on the beach via Wi-Fi or 3G using your laptop, and taking payments from your new customers using this software whilst they relax and enjoy their holiday. When coupled with a USB credit card swiper to make it even quicker and easier to take payments, a software package could be worth its weight in gold.
The process that happens during a credit card transaction is intricate and complex but takes mere seconds; the time taken is no longer than if you were paying in person at a checkout. When a buyer presses submit the information regarding the transaction is first sent to the merchant accounts online credit card processor where it is then passed along to the bank or card issuer. At this stage the card issuer must approve or decline the transaction, based on whether sufficient funds are available and whether any fraudulent activity is suspected. Once a transaction is approved the merchant is notified and the proceeds deposited into the merchant account, minus a processing fee. If the transaction is declined the sale is terminated at that point, with a message going back to the buyer. This whole process is undertaken in just a few seconds from the initial keystroke from the online buyer to the return of a message telling them whether their purchase has been accepted or not. The fact that this can take place using a laptop with access to the internet on the beach makes the whole process far more impressive.
Many of the merchant accounts available for businesses associated with the tourist industry will be marked as high risk by the banks. This is due to the amount of refunds requested by customers, the potential for fraud and the high cost of goods and services. Whilst it is true that many small tour guides will not be charging as much as major tour operators for their services – mainly due to the difference in the scale of services offered – the potential for fraud and number of refunds remain concerns. In order to limit the impact of these factors, robust procedures for ensuring your exposure to fraud is limited is vital. Likewise, clear and honest advertising and communication with your customer base will help to limit the number of refunds your company has to deal with.