Why travel brands should say yes to 'book now, pay later'

There is a growing trend of customers wanting to book now, pay later. It's evident across a number of different sectors, but especially the travel sector with customers often required to hand over large amounts of money to make a purchase.

In fact, many within the industry believe that offering this financing method has helped nudge a probable customer over the line. In this respect, there is a general belief that those businesses who are resistant to buy now, pay later – perhaps due to not wanting to defer income – could be doing themselves out of sales.

More and more travel brands and hotels are offering customers the option of paying on arrival, rather than when they make the reservation.

Expedia hasn't made clear how many of the hotels on its site are now offering this well-received financing option, but back in 2012 it said roughly 3,000 of its advertised hotels were giving guests the choice of paying later. We can only assume that figure has swelled considerably in the past four years.

Some travel brands have even made a business out of paying later. London-based lodging-world.com, for example, uses the strapline 'Pay when you stay hotel deals'.

As such, pay when you stay could now be considered less a trend and more the norm. What sets the travel industry apart from other sectors is that it doesn't tend to charge customers more for paying later. Even if it the price is slightly higher for the privilege of paying later, it's marginal.

Mail-order companies, on the other hand, catch customers out by levying them with extra charges if they don't repay the entire amount in the specified time. If travellers don't have the funds to pay for their stay by the time they arrive, they either put it on their credit card or forego their stay.

What we're getting at is there's not too many reasons why a travel business shouldn't offer the option if the goal is to improve their bottom line.

It's for that reason that we here at Digital Trip have recently updated our technology to support 'book now, pay later'. Please get in contact if you're keen to offer the option of 'book now, pay later' to your customers.