How payment orchestration platforms boost airline.com conversion through seamless, customer-centric, and scalable online shopping experiences
Digital payments are a critical component of the online booking experience. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and expect travel to pick up again, airlines need much more than innovative payment instruments to enhance that experience. The key to improving check-out conversion is the seamless transition from global to local payment methods, and vice versa, depending on consumer preferences. An airline's geographically diverse customer base requires integrating a range of international payment options, including digital wallets, loyalty points redemption, and regional payment instruments.
Integration with payment gateways
Until recently, online businesses used to offer only limited payment options like credit card and PayPal. Customers had settle with limited options while businesses rarely ventured out into online payments involving cross-border transactions. As merchants did not have many options to bring the payment experience to their systems, they invested in establishing integration with payment gateways. At times, this also affected the stability of their systems.
Integration with payment service providers
After initial hesitation, merchants started to consider payment as part of their infrastructure development. With their expansion across countries, online businesses adopted e-commerce channels, which increased the complexity in enabling efficient payment systems. Establishing additional integrations with payment gateways became troublesome and posed many challenges.
This is when payment service providers (PSP) came into the picture. They enabled business owners to accept a wide range of online payment methods like local and international bank payments, credit cards, and debit cards. PSPs work with payment processors to manage the entire transaction from start to end. Customers expect a frictionless payment experience every time they interact with a booking channel. To make this happen, the merchants operating across different markets and regions would require support from PSPs.
Technological and operational challenges
Managing multiple payment service providers added more overheads to the merchants. Implementing new payment options became a bottleneck to expanding the business or retaining customers while existing service providers would not always support new payment options. This led to many challenges, including: negotiation power, integrations and replacement, provider outages, cross-border payments capability, compliance with security and regulations, fraud attacks and chargebacks, soaring operational costs, and speed to market.
Scaling up to the next level is a major challenge, especially while striking a balance between customer experience and operational efficiency. Merchants often choose a multi-vendor strategy as an option to overcome these challenges. In traditional payment systems, a large portion of the profits gets diverted to tackle operational overheads.
Minimizing lost sales with a payment orchestration platform
A payment system should have the following capabilities while extending boundaries:
- Unified customer experience across all channels
- Separate security and compliance from the business system to keep better adherence with local regulations, and standards like PCI DSS
- Ability to manage multiple PSPs and payment gateways
- Intelligent routing among payment methods based on business needs
- Real-time dashboard to simplify operations and reconciliations efforts
Payment orchestration platforms help quickly scale up the payment infrastructure, on-demand, while safeguarding the customer experience. The platform delivers comprehensive payment capabilities across all retail channels by unifying and processing multiple payment landscape components like PSPs, fraud management solutions, digital wallets, popular cards, and loyalty reward currencies. Users can add new payment options and customize them to accelerate time to market. They can also route payment instruments efficiently based on business needs and manage the business rules to configure which instruments are available per market, per currency, along with other criteria.
By managing the interoperability between different systems, payment orchestration platforms facilitate integration with multiple payment partners and systems. As a technology layer in between merchants and their payment channels, orchestration platforms remove the complexity of adding existing and future payment connections.
Flexible payment options that drive conversion
Customers always look for flexible and convenient payment options. Research shows that 17% of UK-based consumers stress the availability of multiple finance options as the most important factor for online purchases, while 36% say they would shop again at a retailer offering them. At the same time, retailers see benefits such as increased customer loyalty and repeat purchases, increased cart conversions, and sales uplifts of up to 30% by implementing customer finance.
eWallet ecosystems are continuously expanding across the globe. Online merchants should consider investing in enhancing their customers´ payment experience, as 89% customers stop doing business with a brand after a bad experience. Successful customer acquisition and retention depend on factors such as having the right payment methods for each region/country, enabling cross-border payments, and ensuring compliance. Payment orchestration platforms are instrumental to boosting conversion by enabling seamless, customer-centric, and scalable online shopping experiences.
Jiffin Joy Akkarappatty is a Senior Project Manager who has 17 years of experience building software products across the e-commerce, travel, and loyalty domains for global customers in the travel and airline industries. He is a passionate digital innovation leader that helps travel companies succeed through innovative digital solutions using disruptive technology. Jiffin is an agile enthusiast and a certified professional in PSPO I (Professional Scrum Product Owner™), CSM (SCRUM ALLIANCE® Certified Scrum Master). Jiffin is a graduate in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Madras and is based out of Thrissur, India.