New report by Airwallex and Skift shows 66% of travel companies' profits impacted by outdated payment systems

Tuesday 9 July 2024 14:20 CET | News

A report by Airwallex and Skift has revealed 66 percent of travel companies are seeing their profit margins impacted by outdated or complicated payment systems.


The report further showed that nine in 10 expected to prioritise modernising their financial operations in 2024. The travel industry is also being challenged by shifting payment preferences since the COVID-19 pandemic. While revenue from cross-border payments is on the rise, the unprecedented diversity of payment methods in different markets complicates transactions for 70 percent of travel companies.

Commenting on the research findings Airwallex officials stated that as global travel continues to surge, travel companies increasingly depend on fast and seamless cross-border payments to exceed customer expectations at every interaction. However, this latest study reveals that outdated and slow payment processes are driving up the costs of international money transfers, which is cutting into profits.

A report by Airwallex and Skift has revealed 66 percent of travel companies are seeing their profit margins impacted by outdated or complicated payment systems.

Furthermore, modernising financial operations with a unified and scalable payment solution is essential to reducing the costs and friction associated with managing cross-border transactions. For smaller companies, this modernisation can level the playing field, allowing them to compete with larger, more established firms.

According to the official announcement, Skift and Airwallex surveyed 473 travel executives in April 2024 across seven global markets — Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Singapore, the UK, and the US. The survey respondents confirmed that they make decisions about payment processes and financial operations for a travel company across the sector including online travel bookings, travel operators, tours and activities, and destination management.


Key findings of the research

  • Travel customer payment preferences are shifting with local payment methods being increasingly used: credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets remain by far the most common customer payment methods. However, travellers are increasingly using local payment methods or peer-to-peer payment apps, which can vary widely by market.

  • Cross-border transactions soar but bring significant global payment challenges: cross-border transactions are now commonplace with nearly 40 percent of travel executives reporting half of their revenues to be from international customer payments. Meeting different market payment needs, FX fees, and managing multiple supplier and vendor payments in numerous countries hinder travel companies’ ability to expand their supplier or vendor network in new markets.

  • Inefficient payment systems are detrimental to profits with travel executives saying financial operational upgrades are a priority: challenges with payment systems, such as multi-currency payments and settlements, fraud risk, and other operational inefficiencies are impacting travel companies. 

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Keywords: travel payments, cross-border payments, payments , financial services, Global Payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Airwallex
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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