PayPal is probably the most well-known online payment service out there. With the rise in mobile payments, PayPal has definitely paved the way for 21st century companies to take their goods and services online.
Despite PayPal's fame, there are quite a few drawbacks to it and the largest one being its unavailability in your country. Fret not, we've got a few ideas for you to continue growing your business if PayPal doesn't work in your country.
Back to basics
Before we start, it's probably good to know what you're actually looking for when you're looking for alternatives to PayPal. Essentially, PayPal is one of many Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that combine the role of a payment gateway, payment processor and a merchant account.
When a customer pays you with their credit or debit card, their information is passed on to a payment gateway which decides if the payment is to be approved or declined. An approved payment is the deducted from the customer's account and transferred into your merchant account. Once in your merchant account, the payment will then be transferred to your company's bank account.
Building your tour or activity business without PayPal
We know the importance of being present and available for customers to find you online and via mobile. It is just as important to allow them to book and pay for your tourism services online, before they even arrive at your destination. Without PayPal, there are still a myriad of different options out there. Here are just a few.
1. Regional or local equivalent
In many parts of the world where PayPal is not available, regional or local alternatives have popped up to satisfy the demand. Do a quick Google search to find out what online payment systems other businesses in your region are using. You can also verify the payment service provider's claims by asking for a free demo of their software, checking them out on social media or other review websites.
2. Silicon Valley alternatives to PayPal
Stripe and Square have also been growing rapidly in the last few years, even grabbing some of PayPal's market share along the way. While Stripe is well-known for its flexibility and customizable interface, Square has become a favourite with small businesses thanks to its beautiful POS interface.
Both are frequently used by SMEs like your tour and activity company, as well as freelancers. They aren't subscription based and have no start-up fees. The only drawback here would be the lack of personal support, as they do not provide phone support to their customers.
3. Payment system created specifically for tour and activity operators
This is where TrekkSoft fills the void. Our software not only provides an easy-to-use payment system that allows you to accept payments in major currencies, it also provides weekly payouts to bank accounts all over the world. Plus, we also provide you with features tailored for tour and activity businesses. For example, our "charge later" feature allows you to approve or decline a booking before a payment is processed to suit your availability.
A payment service provider becomes powerful when you combine it with other features like a booking and management software that helps you seamlessly run your business. This provides you with the time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as developing the quality of your tours and attracting new customers.
You can find out how TrekkSoft's booking and payment solution works for your business and in your country during your personal demo with our team.
*Note: I've excluded banks because most banks deem tour and activity businesses as risky businesses and therefore are highly unlikely to agree to enabling credit card payments on your website. Even if they do, it is likely that you will end up paying high transaction fees that only cripple your chances of competing with other businesses.
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Want to learn more about our payment solution? Why not set up a call with our professional team in Switzerland?
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.