Amid recent headwinds, the Nigerian hospitality sector is poised to increase its advances by capitalizing on advancement and optimistic prospects. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Economic Impact Report (EIR) projects that Nigeria’s travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP would rise at an average annual rate of 5.4% between 2022 and 2032, which is higher than the country’s overall GDP growth rate of 3%. It is predicted that by 2032, this would increase the sector’s contribution to GDP to almost 12.3 trillion, representing 4.9% of the economy.
There is much anticipation among travel and tourism companies about the forthcoming progress, especially concerning servicing foreign business tourists. Conversely, this necessitates the adoption of new digital payment methods to provide consumers with various digital payment methods needed, it also poses an edge to the companies in the competitive market. Fortunately, a robust and secure method of accepting payments through foreign and virtual cards will enable businesses to capitalize on emerging opportunities and provide adequate service to their clients. Customers nowadays prefer performing transactions via the internet.
Inadequate payment facilities hindered hotel operations.
According to Chidinma Aroyewun, country manager of DPO Group in Nigeria, which provides the DPO Payment gateway, in their four years as an authorized payment solution service provider in Nigeria, the company has encountered various hotels having difficulty receiving payment. She noted that inadequate payment facilities had hindered the operation and capacity of standard, substandard as well as low-level hotels to receive payment via international and virtual cards. Moreover, often, it is due to the staff’s inability to comprehend the payment methods option.
Businesses have suffered financially due to inadequate payment capabilities as they are unable to charge checked-in guests or recover cancellation fees, which leads to a loss of customers. Aroyewun stressed the convenience and universal acceptance of credit cards as the predominant means of payment for business travelers. She claimed that the company’s bottom line would benefit from accepting international credit cards and foreign currencies like the US dollar as a result of the increased inflow of foreign currency.
Companies may accept bookings using online virtual card terminal.
In addition to the benefits of receiving direct bookings, offering a card service would allow companies to charge cover fees in the event of a cancellation. Nonetheless, many business owners are wary due to the ever-present risk of fraud, which has made them reluctant to provide a more diverse payment option. Alternatively, companies may accept booking deposits using an online virtual card terminal and process payments manually in any currency without the need for a physical POS device.
Given the system’s inherent openness, customers can clearly see the base price, the current exchange rate, and the total amount in their preferred currency at checkout. Aroyewun said that the company’s hotel now allows merchants to charge visitors over the phone when they make a reservation request on the internet or in person. Businesses may increase client retention by fostering a sense of confidence in them by accepting only the best and most effective implemented payment methods.
Collaborating with a reliable payment service boost sales.
With Virtual Terminal, businesses do not have to invest in expensive devices or wait for confirmation of customer payments to begin processing. It is simple to get set up, and they may add the service to their current method of payment without any hassle. Ultimately, Aroyewun said that the company’s customers are fast to spread the word that the company’s attractiveness increases as additional payment alternatives are made available. She added that collaborating with a reliable payment service that is well-respected across Africa will boost confidence and sales in the long term.