Vishal Mehta from Expedia Group’s Global Payments team shares the importance of offering locally relevant payment choices in the region.
Editor's note: Special contributor Vishal Mehta is Sr. Payment Strategic Partnerships Manager for Expedia Group. Vishal and his team collaborate with a range of payment providers – including with acquirers, issuers, card networks – in Asia Pacific (APAC) and across the globe.
Online consumers in APAC seek a variety of choice and efficiency from a wide range of online service providers. Delivering access to a huge range of travel choices along with locally relevant payment options is a recipe for success for Expedia Group.
1. Customer experience is key
First things first, no matter what business you’re in, always focus on the customer. For us at Expedia Group, we put the customer at the center of our innovation. We offer locally relevant payment options at a country, regional and global scale. This may sound like a mammoth task in APAC where you have a very diverse audience with different backgrounds, payment practices and preferences, but the key to success is keeping customer needs top of mind. Teams need flexibility to cater to local consumer needs and expectations at scale. The next few points I have are based on this approach.
2. Go global with local payments
To go global, you need to offer the payment methods that the world uses. Credit cards are very important for many, but you may be surprised how many international merchants think accepting credit card payment is enough to serve some local audiences.
Credit card payments are great options, but to be truly local across APAC, you may need to provide a variety of other payment methods that each unique set of consumers are accustomed to using.
For example, Expedia Group offers a wide range of payment choices across our portfolio of travel sites, catering to local expectations and needs, including internet bank payment methods like FPX in Malaysia, and online banking in Thailand, in addition to accepting cash-based payments at designated outlets in Thailand.
Offering the key payment methods used in APAC can help merchants provide their products and services to some 4.5 billion people, and potential consumers.
3. One unified system for better travel experiences
As the world’s travel platform, Expedia Group is focused on removing friction points on our portfolio of sites and brands when consumers interact with us, as well as when businesses leverage our scale to deliver business efficiencies. That helps people book and pay for all the elements of their trip in a seamless way on our sites. To deliver this, we leverage our platform scale and use a unified system for processing payments across Expedia Group’s brands.
Expedia Group, along with other like-minded merchants, has been instrumental in starting a merchant-dedicated forum for the payments industry. Not only can fellow businesses learn from one another during these events, but also share how we can work better together to create great experiences for consumers through payment technology and innovation.
This year, we are supporting a Merchant Advisory Group event in APAC on March 8, 2019. So be sure to join Expedia Group to discover how we can influence change in the travel industry with payments.