Payfort, the leading online payment service provider in the Arab world, announced the reaffirmation of its strategy towards helping the travel and hospitality industry in the MENA region to further expand their business through reaching out to online market segments with internet payment facilities.
Participating in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), to be held 5th May until 8th May 2014 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Payfort will introduce its full suite of innovative payment solutions designed to enable the travel and hospitality businesses to harness the benefits of online payment.
According to market research, 71% of airlines say ticket sales on mobile phone platforms will revolutionize how people pay for travel. Payfort is perfectly-situated to help the travel sector take advantage of this trend as it grows.
“Payfort provides a variety of payment options to help travel and hospitality businesses in all categories including airlines, travel agencies, ticketing, restaurants and leisure facilities increase sales by offering more ways for customers to pay,” said Omar Soudodi, Managing Director of Payfort. “Today, Payfort supports credit/debit card payments, through globally recognised payment leaders including; American Express, cashU, Mastercard, and Visa,” he added.
With GCC airlines representing 11% of the global airlines market, and with over 7% of their bookings placed online, now is the time for regional airlines to invest in their online payment channels. The potential for growth stems from the fact that passenger booking behavior is shifting toward the online variety and that such bookings make up only 5% of the total bookings for many regional airlines. Payfort works with airlines and other companies from the travel and tourism sector to minimize the friction of online purchases, from offering airlines alternative payment methods in key markets to increasing booking conversions while simultaneously minimizing risk.
The numbers prove that online payment methods are here to stay. Statistics show that 47% of Middle Eastern residents own smartphones, with almost three quarters using their mobile phones to make purchases online. Already, airlines are taking heed. Some 67% of carriers have mobile check-in services, while almost half have apps that let customers reserve and pay for flights on their phones. Meanwhile, 28% of firms allow passengers to customize their flights by choosing seats and other perks.
The number of services airlines plan to launch on mobile platforms is expected to grow significantly. Just under 20% of carriers say they hope to offer e-wallet payment for in-flight products and other extras by 2016. But that’s not all. Analysts predict that the number of airlines offering in-flight mobile payments will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years alone. Airlines are also moving away from investing in kiosks, which offer few competitive advantages, especially in terms of cost, compared to mobile apps and online reservation services. Travel companies are mulling sales via social media websites as well, with 30% readying potential launches on mobile platforms.
Payfort is the payment platform for the leading travel and hospitality businesses in the Arab world. They rely on Payfort to manage their payment processes easily and securely so they can focus on improving customer experience. Payfort customers’ list of key industry players include Air Arabia, Flynas, Radisson Sas hotels, GoEjaza.com, Gazef.com, Yas Island, Air Cairo and Tecom to name a few in the local and regional markets.
“The current online purchasing trends in the region suggest huge business opportunities for the travel and hospitality companies and we in Payfort are keen to help the industry capitalize on these opportunities to better serve their customers and increase its contribution to the local national economies in the region,” added Soudodi.
These opportunities are reflected in the online booking percentages of various sectors in the industry in this region. For airlines, these are 46% for UAE, 34% for Kuwait, 23% for KSA, 18% for Lebanon and 12% for Egypt. As to hotels, the online booking percentages are 12% for KSA, 9% for UAE, 9% for Egypt, 6% for Lebanon and 5% for Kuwait.
At the ATM, the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals from across the globe, Payfort payment specialists will also introduce Payfort’s 4-Step process designed to help travel businesses create their own payment strategy. Most businesses neglect and undervalue one of the most important aspects of their online business: their payment strategy. Payfort’s 4-Step process help businesses evaluate their payment options and adapt them to meet customer needs in order to enable them to grow.
Globally, travel agencies’ online sales were estimated at $2.3bn in 2012 (13% of sales) and are expected to reach 17% of total sales. 34% of online travel agency sales come from hotels according to a recent study by WorldPay. In that study 68 global airlines were surveyed; 34% from Europe, 22% from Asia, 21% from North America, 13% from MENA and 10% from Latin America. 71% of these airlines say the future of payments will be by mobile devices, 50% see mobile device payments as a way to keep up with competitors and 45% see them as a way to increase revenue.
“Payfort understands the challenges involved in setting up online payment facilities so we’ve simplified the process of creating merchant accounts to allow e-commerce sites to quickly begin accepting payments online, regardless of their size or the nature of their business,” said Omar Soudodi, Managing Director of Payfort.
Payfort is fully PCI-DSS compliant and uses 3D Secure, FDM & FDMA and 3rd Party administration to provide the most comprehensive data security standards to protect all information processed on the Payfort network. In addition to providing unrivaled security, Payfort removes much of the hassle of e-payment implementation as all transactional communications are carried out by Payfort. Additionally, clients maintain full control on the back end and are able to issue refunds without having to communicate with Payfort.
For more info contact:
Fourth Dimension Public Relations
Fourth Dimension Public Relations