Payments, when mishandled, can create a minefield of missed opportunities and lost revenues for airlines. The global pandemic accelerated the need for digital payment strategies; it's now more important than ever to offer the right form of payments to global consumers and manage cross-border transactions. Improving authorisation rates and reducing average transaction costs - even by a few percentage points - delivers a significant boost to operating margins.
But in a travel payment landscape that is continually changing, making these improvements requires integrating multiple payment partners for optimal processing, routing and settlement. The good news is, Payment Orchestration makes it simple for travel merchants to build a best-of-breed payment solution and ecosystem.
What is Payment Orchestration?
Payment Orchestration is a concept which entails unifying multiple payment capabilities and partners into one platform to optimise payment transactions across all channels and markets. Payment Orchestration also streamlines data flows and automates back-end processes as much as possible. Payment Orchestration Platforms allow airlines to take back control of their payment strategy and quickly implement the right mix of payment methods, PSPs and acquiring banks while eliminating friction at checkout time for the customer.
Why choose a Payment Orchestration Platform? Here are ten reasons:
Reason #1: Increase your authorisation and conversion rates
A Payment Orchestration Platform overcomes many of the factors that limit authorisation rates, so your airline can accept more payments and convert more customers. At the front end, offering the payment methods customers prefer, and payment functionalities like one click-payment or split payments improve conversion during checkout. At the back-end, optimising the routing of each card transaction and using intelligent fraud screening further boosts authorisation rates.
#2. Reduce your average payment transaction costs
Dynamic and intelligent transaction routing uses the optimal acquirer for each location to minimise interchange costs. A Payment Orchestration Platform will enable you to deploy a local acquirers strategy, and reduce cross-border transaction traffic, optimising the routing of each transaction based on cost and acceptance rate. Routing your card transactions to a limited number of acquirers can lead to high transaction fees and sub-optimal acceptance rates; Payment Orchestration allows you to expand your acquirer network and route the appropriate transaction to the right acquirer.
#3. Take back control of your payment strategy
Many airlines outsource payments to a single PSP or the payment gateway of their PSS provider, assuming that a single vendor relationship will be simpler. But PSP or PSS providers may not share your priorities or support your markets, making modifications cumbersome and costly. With a Payment Orchestration Platform, you can eliminate reliance on third-party providers while still avoiding the need for in-house development. You determine your own payments strategy and can move quickly to execute it.
#4. Bring new payment methods to market faster
Payment Orchestration dramatically accelerates the roll-out of new global or local payment methods, whether they're card-based or alternative payment methods (AMOPs). Pre-integration is managed within the payment ecosystem connected to the platform itself. Put simply, a Payment Orchestration Platform allows you to rapidly select and switch on the payment methods that meet travellers' preferences in international markets.
#5. Provide a frictionless payment experience to your customers
Modern digital commerce has conditioned airline customers to expect frictionless payments. A Payment Orchestration Platform can help you deliver a consistent, seamless payment experience across all channels and make abandoned transactions less likely. By giving customers the payment methods and currency they prefer, one-click payments using stored cards, more discreet fraud checks, and the ability to easily resume the checkout process if interrupted, Payment Orchestration helps maximise conversions.
#6. Automate your back-end finance processes
Automated payment reconciliation and chargeback management eliminate time-consuming and cumbersome manual processes. A good Payment Orchestration Platform automatically receives settlement files from multiple PSPs and acquirers, standardises the data formats, and reconciles all cards and alternative payment methods transactions, identifying any issues in the process. It can also automatically analyse chargeback requests and prepare files to dispute the fraudulent ones. With a Payment Orchestration Platform, the complexity of working with multiple PSPs or acquirers doesn't reach your back-end services; in fact, they're simplified.
#7. Simplify and modernise your existing payment systems
The conventional approach to managing payments is too often tactical rather than strategic. That means new payment methods or functionalities are integrated channel by channel, as needed. New connections to PSPs or acquirers are made one by one to address specific needs in the moment. Time-consuming manual processes are just the status quo. Payment Orchestration Platforms, on the other hand, are designed to strategically reduce this complexity. They are architected to manage multiple payment partners, offer efficient and modern integration layers, unify payment processes end-to-end and break free from legacy system constraints that make it difficult and costly to add new payment capabilities.
#8. Extract maximum value from your data
Without a Payment Orchestration layer, customer and transaction data can be fragmented across systems, PSPs and channels, making it hard to analyse and manage. When airlines get a unified view of all their payment transactions, regardless of the channel or payment partner involved, they can select the right payment partners, optimise processing in real-time, and personalise the customer's payment experience.
#9. Enhance fraud protection
The right Payment Orchestration Platform can combine advanced pre-authorisation screening with several fraud systems and rich customer data to enhance the end-to-end fraud detection process in each market. This kind of intelligent fraud capability will speed up the payment process for returning customers by eliminating unnecessary verification and reduce the burden on your internal fraud mitigation teams.
#10. Ensure regulatory compliance
Payment Orchestration effortlessly meets the requirements of payment regulations. To be PCI-compliant, airlines must comply with all PCI guidelines in all their channels and pass a comprehensive annual PCI certification process. Having a Payment Orchestration Platform allows your airline to transfer the burden and liability of PCI compliance directly to your Payment Orchestration partner.
CellPoint Digital's Velocity Payment Orchestration Platform is a cutting-edge solution for airlines, designed to help simplify and modernise their payment processes and optimise their payment strategy through a single connection in just a matter of months.