World Tourism Day 27th September: Rethinking Tourism – comments from Nium on need to embrace fintech revolution

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022 0


Ahead of World Tourism Day on 27thSeptember – whose theme this year is ‘Rethinking Tourism’ – Spencer Hanlon, Head of Travel at B2B payments specialist Nium comments on how embracing the fintech revolution could benefit the tourism industry: 


“When ‘rethinking’ any topic your mind naturally drifts to the future. You might ask ‘What’s coming down the line that can help us?’. No doubt for many aspects of the tourism industry this is the case, but when it comes to financial payments the reality is that the answers can be found in the present day (or even the recent past in some cases).


“What do I mean by that? The fintech revolution is transforming every area of our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined even only a decade ago. But when it comes to fintech too often the travel sector is lagging behind sadly and needs to rethink its approach. 


“Already we have available new tools and services that not only breathe new life into processes we are familiar with, saving us precious time and often even more precious money, but also provide us with new opportunities we might not have considered before.


“For example the wider spread use of charge back protection could give greater peace of mind to both merchants and consumers, whilst helping to fight fraud. This would have the added benefit of bringing down costs for services too. 


“Meanwhile a more widespread use and acceptance of credit and debit cards, along with other new digital payment methods, would mean travellers no longer need to take bundles of cash on holiday with them – making themselves targets for criminals (or just anxious they might lose it). In too many popular holiday destinations around the world, outside of Western Europe and North America, cash is still the accepted payment method for small sums of money (and even big sums sometimes!). Merchants would benefit too, cash is more costly (and risky!) than digital payments in the longer term and reduces the potential for staff stealing. 


“Or just look at foreign exchange transactions. By allowing travellers to no longer be at the peril of expensive exchange rate booths at the airport terminal, we need to see more services that allow them to handle such transactions digitally and shop around for the best prices. Such services exist, some great ones event, but are not mainstream enough or appealing to older travellers. 


“Behind the scenes in travel too B2B payments could also equally benefit from some ‘rethinking’ too. Technology exists that allows travel intermediaries and travel suppliers to make and receive payments much more quickly than ever before, for much less cost per transaction. Such tech also gives them greater ability for reconciliations and all their back office needs. Unfortunately a great majority, even in developed markets, still haven’t embraced such technology.”

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