Accepted & Prohibited Businesses

What types of travel industry businesses does Travel Payments accept as clients?

We provide merchant accounts for all types of travel industry businesses, but specialize in merchant accounts for businesses that are considered “high risk,” or hard-to-place. These can include travel agencies, cruise lines, vacation clubs, excursion providers, vacation rental businesses, and many other types of businesses in the travel industry.

Do you provide merchant accounts for non-US based businesses?

Sorry, we are unable to provide merchant services for foreign or offshore businesses, or any company that is headquartered outside of the USA. To be approved for a merchant account with Travel Payments, the business owner must have a valid SSN and US issued identification (driver’s license, US passport, etc).

Do you provide merchant accounts for travel brokers? 

Yes, please be prepared to provide information regarding the source of the tickets + applicable agreements with any 3rd parties. 

Is travel licensing required to be approved for a merchant account? 

Travel licensing is not required in most cases, but having an ARC/IATAN registration will increase the chances of approval with all our partnering banks.

Application & Setup Process

How do I apply for a merchant account?

To apply, first you need to complete the online application (which takes about five minutes), and upload any additional required documents. Next, you can review our full proposal (which includes pricing), and DocuSign it when you’re ready. When your assigned underwriter approves your account, you can start processing payments right away.

What information should I be prepared to provide during the underwriting process? 

Most travel industry merchant account applicants will be requested to provide information regarding fulfillment timeframes, main travel destinations, expected foreign card usage, and source of tickets.

How long does it take until I get approved for my merchant account?

After you apply, your merchant account will be pre-approved within 24 hours. Next, you will usually be fully approved (that is, through underwriting) within three to five business days. Unfortunately, same-day approvals do not exist for high risk businesses, due to the requirement that there be manual underwriting. Rest assured, however, that we will work as diligently as possible to get your account approved in a timely manner (typically three to five business days). Our priority is to get your merchant account up and running as fast as possible.

Foreign Payments

What payment currencies do your merchant accounts offer? 

At this time, merchant processing is limited to USD (US Dollar). Any foreign card payments will be taken in USD, with currency exchange being completed at the issuing bank level. 

What percentage of foreign card payments is acceptable on my merchant account? 

Merchants should typically plan to stay below a 30% foreign card payment threshold. Please speak with your sales representative if you plan on processing a higher percentage of foreign cards. 

Merchant Account Details

What is an acceptable chargeback ratio for my merchant account at Travel Payments?

For applicants with previous credit card processing history, the bank will typically need to see a chargeback ratio under 2% for approval, unless there are extenuating circumstances which explain a higher chargeback ratio.

For existing merchants, the acceptable chargeback threshold to be able to continue processing can vary, but ideally should be maintained below 2% to avoid running the risk of termination.

What is a “rolling reserve”?

A rolling reserve is a type of cash reserve used to protect the merchant account and the bank from potential losses due to chargebacks. In this case, a percentage of the credit card volume processed (typically 5-10%) is held in reserve. Risk management will gradually release held funds from the reserve after 6 to 12 months of consistent processing with low chargebacks.

Certain types of businesses will be required to have a rolling reserve to be approved for a merchant account initially. This can be reconsidered after the business has established a positive processing history with the bank.