Alternative Payment Methods use is growing on European tourism portals

At the end of 2016, the access rate to websites via mobile was 58%, registering a 46% growth yoy. Even if desktop is the main device for conversions (63%), mobile predominance is influencing also payment processes, both traditional and the so-called APMs, namely the Alternative Payment Methods.

APMs, such as Paypal, are catching on the Travel & Tourism industry, even though some markets are more ready to welcome these new payment typologies. As we have already reported, China was one of the leading markets: the mobile app WeChat, in particular, represented a big change, with almost 800 million users and the possibility to transfer money. In fact, 200 million people linked their bank account or credit card to their WeChat profile. China is one of the ideal markets to welcome these innovations, as 50% of the total e-commerce transactions is done via mobile, if compared to 20% in the USA and 35% in the UK.

According to a Phocuswright research, in Europe traditional payment methods are still dominating the Travel & Tourism industry market. Notwithstanding, operators are starting to analyse the target markets, adapting their offer to the preferred payment methods. In spite of this, only 8% of operators is currently supporting APMs. This report also underlines how tourism services suppliers are more inclined to support online payments and APMs, if compared to retailers which are usually smaller, apart from OTAs.

Source: Phocuswright

However, mobile payments still sees credit cards as protagonists (93%), followed by debit cards (52%).

Source: Phocuswright

Another Phocuswright’s report shows how, in the case of the United States, OTAs are still the operators which are leading the online payments market, and in 2016 they represented 39% of the total online travel market, registering 73 billion euros in gross online bookings, and it is foreseen to grow up to 41% by 2020. OTAs also represent more than half of total mobile bookings of the Travel & Tourism industry. 

At Twissen we observed that APMs have not became very popular in Europe yet, even if they are a growing trend. Operators of this sector are adapting their payment options to welcome the demand coming from the markets where APMs are widely used.