Dos and Don’ts of Summer Travel – for Businesses and Consumers
Signs of summer have begun to emerge, making consumers eager to get out into the sun and get ready for summer vacations. Whether taking a break from school, work, or the kids, travel season will soon be in full swing from coast to coast. It’s important for merchants and consumers alike to be aware of the vulnerabilities that exist in the travel ecosystem, and make an effort to protect themselves against fraud.
Optimize for mobile. More and more, travelers will be booking accommodations, travel, and activities for their trips via mobile, instead of desktop. A Hotels.com study conducted last year found that more than one in four transactions is now booked on mobile devices, making it essential for retailers to have an easy-to-use and secure mobile site and checkout. Unfortunately, a spike in travel sales can also lead to increased fraud. Merchants must be extra careful when it comes to mobile transactions – our recent 2015 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey found that less than 40 percent (39.7%) of organizations were able detect if a customer is transacting from a mobile device, and only 17 percent could determine the type of mobile device. Determining a transaction’s origin – not only whether it comes from mobile versus desktop, but also which specific mobile platform (iOS vs. Android etc.) – is an important step in the fight against fraud. Merchants should also be careful not to sacrifice security for efficiency. A truly user-friendly experience will be both seamless and safe.
Don’t underestimate your competition. Make sure you’re keeping up when it comes to new technology, security, and trends in the space. Consumers who are booking travel want a truly user-friendly experience, so don’t skimp when it comes to the search and checkout processes. With so many options available, consumers need strong incentives to stay loyal. Make the most out of the data available to by targeting returning customers with special promotions and offers to keep them coming back.
Be aware. Your wallet can just as easily be stolen by a sneaky pickpocket lurking on the train or while you’re making purchases online using an unsecured connection at the local coffee shop. Therefore, be mindful and on alert throughout your entire trip. Tech-savvy criminals can hack into your computer or devices through malware by signing on to public wi-fi networks and stealing your personal information, which can lead to identify theft or funds stolen from your bank account. Try to enter personal information online only when signed on to a secured network, and always keep a close eye on your personal belongings to safeguard your accounts and devices.
Don’t forget to plan ahead. There are many small steps you can take ahead of time to reduce your risk of fraud while traveling. Putting a password on your mobile device is a simple first step, while making copies of important documents (like your passport) can be essential if your belongings are lost or stolen. Call your credit card company to notify them if you’re traveling overseas, and exactly which countries you’ll be traveling to, in order to prevent any issues with your account.
Travel season presents a great opportunity for merchants in the space, but in order to continue to grow and retain customers, you must stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and securities. Consumers should also stay up to speed on the latest scams and hacks to ensure they’re one step ahead of fraudsters. Stolen data is an easy way to ruin an entire vacation.