HomeReviewsBestMerchant Accounts › Travel Credit Card Processors

Travel Merchant Accounts

Our Top Picks for The Best Travel Agency Credit Card Processing

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. eMerchantBroker
  3. Dharma Merchant Services
  4. PaymentCloud
  5. Helcim

1. Easy Pay Direct

Easy Pay Direct specializes in working with high risk businesses. Solutions are designed for high-risk businesses that are easy to apply for and get approved quickly. They make finding a merchant processor for your business easy. It can be hard to find a processor if your business is high risk, EPD believes it shouldn't be difficult. Join the 60,000 merchants already served by EPD and get the services your business needs to process transactions smoothly.

2. eMerchantBroker

EMB specializes in high-risk transactions and provides chargeback resolution and prevention services. They can get you approved in a day for a low or high risk merchant account. They take the time to help your business through the application process so you don't have to spend the time filling out multiple applications which can reflect badly on your business. EMB does everything they can to stay ahead of their competitor's prices so you can get the best prices for your company.

3. Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services offers low rates along with exceptional customer service for your business. There are absolutely no contracts or hidden fees when working with Dharma. They offer 24 hour priority funding along with their 24 hour customer service. You won't have to worry about your questions going unanswered when working with Dharma. They have your back every step of the way while getting set up with a merchant service provider.

4. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud offers customizable services that you can tailor accordingly to suit your business. They don't just help with merchant services, they excel at it. You won't have to worry about any possible fraud or chargebacks because PaymentCloud will offer your business protection against those things. PaymentCloud works with low, medium, and high risk businesses. When you work with PaymentCloud you can be confident that all of your needs will be taken care of.

5. Helcim

Helcim works hard so you can feel good about all of your payments. They offer 100% transparent pricing with no hidden fees. With just one free Helcim account you get unlimited access to all of the tools you need for smooth transaction processing. Helcim world well with small businesses but no business is too big for them to handle. When your business is succeeding, Helcim believes that they are as well.

Individuals in the travel industry do not use credit cards in the same way as the general public. Travel agencies can process large dollar transactions in a variety of ways, including over the phone or online credit card acceptance. When a customer decides not to use the service, the company is obligated to refund a significant amount of money.

All of these factors combine to make travel businesses a high-risk payment processing industry, necessitating additional considerations when opening an account. It's critical to compare payment processors for high-risk businesses to figure out which one is best for your travel agency.

What is Travel Payment Processing?

To stay in business, the majority of travel agents must accept credit cards. This is what the vast majority of people believe. A business or individual must work with a payment processing company to accept these forms of payment. Credit cards from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover are accepted.

  • Digital wallet payments like Google Pay or Apple Pay
  • ACH Payments
  • All Major Credit Cards
  • eChecks

The following is how it works: A payment processor would provide both the hardware and software required to accept these types of payments. They also have a payment gateway that connects to credit card processing networks.

Why is the Travel Industry Considered High Risk?

The travel industry is regarded as a high-risk venture. As previously stated, a variety of factors influence whether a business is high risk or not. Regardless of how unique each company's sales patterns are, travel purchases are always risky due to the nature of travel. Payment processors consider a number of factors when opening new business accounts and establishing rates and terms.

Large Average Ticket Values

When compared to other purchases, the majority of people who use their credit cards to purchase vacation packages or hotel stays pay a premium for them. These large purchases are riskier for a payment processor to handle because a customer may change their mind after making a purchase and request a refund.

If a company does not have enough money to refund a customer, the payment processor must cover the cost. This could obviously result in a significant financial loss, so the processor must proceed with extreme caution. Because travel transactions are typically larger, a chargeback in this industry has a greater impact on a company's bottom line than a chargeback in another industry.

Chargebacks and the Pandemic

The travel industry faced a new challenge during the 2020 pandemic: thousands of customers changed their travel plans, costing the company money. Chargebacks are still an issue, regardless of the state of the economy or the country. 

Card Not Present and Fraud

The vast majority of credit card transactions involving travel are made without the credit card being present. Customers frequently work with travel agencies that are not in their immediate vicinity and pay over the phone or online. Many people believe that fraud is bad because it can happen to them.

On the rise: Cybercrime is becoming more popular, and card-not-present fraud is far more common than physical card theft. If a cardholder is a victim of fraud and files a chargeback, the credit card company will almost certainly assist the consumer. The loan will then be repaid by the company.

As a result, additional security layers should be put in place, and travel companies should take extra precautions to ensure that they are.

What Can I Expect when Opening a Travel Credit Card Processing Account?

Credit card processors, in general, prefer to see more transactions from travel-related businesses because they are more likely to receive chargebacks, become victims of fraud, and earn a higher commission per transaction.

Application Process

Each payment processor has its own application process, but you can expect a thorough review of your company's finances before being approved for a payment processing account. During the interview, you may be asked to show some of your company's bank records. These records can provide information about your company's financial health and recent sales history.

As previously stated, a payment processor may want to confirm that you have enough funds to cover chargebacks.

Rates and Fees

The processing fee will be increased each time you make a payment. As a result, the payment processor charges a higher fee per transaction. Because there are numerous methods for processing your money, it is critical to compare prices. The card networks set certain rates that cannot be changed. The exchange rate is one of them.

Furthermore, high-risk businesses will face higher costs for other services. All of this, as well as chargeback fees, is included. When you pay for something, your company will be charged a flat fee. This fee can range from $20 to $100. Chargebacks may be subject to a higher fee if they exceed a certain percentage of sales or a certain dollar amount.

Before opening a payment processing account with a company, conduct extensive research. Even minor differences in percentages and fees can add up over time, so do your research first.

Requirements of the Accounts

Another feature that can differ significantly between processors is their operating speed. Consult your account contract and speak with your payment processor to determine what steps you need to take to ensure that you are in compliance with the terms of your agreement. Certain business types may necessitate a different type of capital reserve:

  • Upfront reserve: In the event that there are insufficient funds, the payment processor retains a small amount of money up front.
  • Rolling reserve: Payment processors keep a percentage of each transaction for a set period of time. If the funds are not used by the company, they are refunded at a later date.
  • Capped reserve: In this case, the proceeds of each transaction are held in a "capped reserve" until a predetermined threshold is reached. At that point, no more funds are collected, and the reserve balance is kept for future use.

A storage limit is another thing to keep an eye out for. A monthly spending limit is set in this case. This allows the processor to keep a close eye on how much risk they must take at any given time.

Contract Lengths

Many card processors may wish to retain your business for an extended period of time due to the nature of the business. Take the time to understand your responsibilities as well as any cancellation fees. This is unusual in the travel payment processing industry. Month-to-month contracts or no-contract accounts are available from credit card processors, but they are uncommon.

Things to Consider When Opening a Travel Payment Processing Account

Volume Discounts

Certain payment processors may provide a discount to businesses that reach a certain amount of money in a set period of time, such as $10,000. This would be especially useful for travel companies, which deal with a large number of large transactions. Even minor fee reductions can add up to significant savings over time.


Because of the high risk of fraud in the travel industry, it is critical to choose a payment processor that adheres to industry best practices and recommended security standards when processing payments. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council issues new rules that payment card processors must follow on a regular basis.

Your payment processor should be able to tell you whether they are PCI-compliant and how they protect your customers' information. There are numerous options available, but some of them are as follows:

  • Using antivirus software
  • Point to point encryption
  • Maintaining secure networks

Experience in the Industry

If you work in a high-risk industry, you should work with a payment processor who has worked with travel companies and other high-risk industries. These payment processors will handle any problems that arise so that you do not have to.

Load Balancing

This is a one-of-a-kind approach to dealing with high-risk accounts because it allows a company to open a large number of merchant accounts. This simplifies and mitigates the processor's task of dealing with the "risk." When you use load balancing, you will have multiple accounts, each with their own set of fees. It is critical to ascertain whether this is a viable option for your company.

Additional Tips

You have a number of payment processor options as a business owner. While most travel business owners consider the points listed above when choosing a processing company, certain features may be overlooked. 

Virtual Terminals and Customer Portals

If you run a travel company, a virtual terminal may be preferable to a physical one. A virtual terminal may be the best option for your business because you will not be swiping credit cards frequently. One method is to connect a "virtual terminal" to the Internet using a computer, laptop, or other devices.

Some processors may have software that allows your customers to complete or modify purchases on their own through a customer portal. Individuals would be required to do less work and make fewer phone calls as a result of this. It would also allow people to buy items at any time of day or night, rather than just during normal business hours.

Furthermore, using this type of software can help you keep track of your customer data. By creating customer accounts on the Internet, you can quickly obtain information about customers and their purchases. This information can be used to generate marketing concepts in the future.

Customer Service

Travel companies require a payment processor who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may encounter customer disputes and need to speak with your processor about them. When necessary, payment processors should provide live customer service, and you should look for one that does.

Some people may offer assistance during normal business hours, but this is not always the case. How do I get in touch with customer service? It's usually preferable to have multiple ways to contact a company, such as email, phone, or chat.


They may appear to be a good fit if your company requires a payment processor. You may later discover, however, that they have a flaw that you were unaware of. Consider reading the company's reviews to find out what others think of them. It's even better if it's from your field.

Requesting recommendations from professional contacts may also provide insight into real-world user experiences. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to look for information about a company's history. The BBB has listings that show how long a company has been in operation and whether or not it has received any complaints.


In this article, we discussed how your payment processor should be able to document many of the points we discussed. This is a good idea because if there is a disagreement, there will be a document to refer to. Because there are so many variables to consider when comparing payment processors, it is critical to select one that is transparent and provides all of the information required to make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

It's a good idea to do a lot of research before deciding on a payment processor because you might want to work with them for a long time. Because travel businesses face unique challenges that other businesses do not, it is critical to work with a processor that operates in a safe, transparent manner and understands how to process payments for travel businesses.

As a high-risk business, it is critical to read all account requirements and become acquainted with the rates and fees, but keep in mind that they may change as sales volumes fluctuate. The length of your contract should be specified so that you know what you're getting into if you decide to switch payment processors in the future.

Finally, finding a payment processor with appealing features and rates is critical. Check to see if the processor is well-established and has a good reputation.

These are the best payment processors for tourists:

  1. Easy Pay Direct
  2. eMerchantBroker
  3. Dharma Merchant Services
  4. PaymentCloud
  5. Helcim

Merchant Accounts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram