Choosing a Payment Gateway for Your Travel Website | Orioly

Choosing a Payment Gateway for Your Travel Website

Whether you run a travel company or any business in the tourism industry, providing a seamless and secure payment experience for your customers is crucial. The first step for that is to choose a payment gateway that is aligned with your company and customer’s needs.

This might sound like an easy task, but actually, with all the options on the market, finding the right payment gateway can be tricky.

However, in this comprehensive guide, we will dive deep into four popular payment gateways to help you make an informed decision on which suits better your business.

Understanding payment gateways

Let’s start from the basics. Do you know what is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway acts as an intermediary between your travel website and the customer’s payment method (e.g., credit card, debit card, bank transfer, etc.).

It authorizes transactions, checks for sufficient funds, and ensures secure data transmission.

When a customer books a tour or travel experience, the payment gateway plays a pivotal role in processing their payment, making it a critical component for businesses in the travel industry that are selling online.

Payment gateways are growing in popularity all over the world among merchants and users. In Europe, online payments are predicted to grow by roughly 300 percent in market size between 2023 and 2030, according to the “Global Payment Gateway Market (2023-2032)” report from Extrapolate.

Which payment gateway should I choose?

A fast search on Google will return a plethora of payment gateways for you to choose from.

On Visa’s website alone, you can find a list of more than 1300 payment gateway providers that are registered to operate with this brand. So, how to choose the right one for your business?

Some factors you should pay attention to are the fee charged, the geographical availability of their services, whether they offer a seamless checkout process, the quality of their customer support, and whether they adhere to compliance standards, especially data protection policies.

Working with the wrong payment gateway can be costly to your business. So, before subscribing to one, you should have the answers to the following questions:

  • Can it be integrated into my online booking system?
  • Is it available in my country?
  • Will my customers find it easy to use?
  • Does it have good reviews?
  • Does it have any hidden taxes or fees?
  • Does it follow all the compliance requirements?

Review platforms such as G2 and Capterra are great to help you choose which payment gateway to use.

They not only gather reviews from real users but also make it easy for you to compare the different solutions available in the market.

Popular payment gateways

As you can see, choosing the right payment gateway for your business requires proper research.

Tour operators using Orioly have the option to connect with more than 10 payment gateways, all vetted by our team. Access this link to check the full list.

Out of this list, four stand out for being popular among tour operators and other businesses in general. They are:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Mollie
  • Mercado Pago


PayPal is a versatile and globally accessible payment gateway that offers secure and user-friendly payment processing. Founded in 1998, today it’s available in more than 200 countries, which makes it one of the most popular and trusted payment solutions worldwide.

It offers a range of services, including payment processing, fund transfers, and digital wallet features, making it a versatile tool for businesses and consumers alike.

PayPal fees

PayPal offers different pricing structures based on the needs of businesses. Here are some key aspects of PayPal’s fee structure:

Transaction Fees: PayPal charges a transaction fee for each payment received. The exact fee varies depending on factors such as the country, the type of transaction, and the volume of payments.

Currency Conversion Fees: When a payment is made in a currency different from the tour operator’s primary currency, PayPal may apply a currency conversion fee.

Recurring Billing: For businesses offering subscription-based services or installment payments, PayPal offers recurring billing options, often subject to specific fees.

It’s crucial for tour operators to carefully review PayPal’s fee structure and select the pricing plan that aligns with their business model and transaction volume.


  • Global Reach: PayPal operates in numerous countries, allowing tour operators to tap into international markets.
  • Security: PayPal prioritizes security, safeguarding customer data and transactions.
  • User-Friendly: The platform is intuitive, offering a smooth checkout experience for customers.
  • Integration: PayPal integrates seamlessly with many booking systems and websites.
  • Familiarity: Customers worldwide are familiar with PayPal, enhancing trust in the payment process.


  • Fees: Depending on transaction volume and currency conversions, PayPal fees can vary and impact profitability.
  • Account Holds: In some cases, PayPal may place holds on funds, which can affect a tour operator’s cash flow.


Stripe is a widely recognized and versatile online payment gateway and financial technology company founded in 2010 and available in more than 40 countries.

It provides businesses, including tour operators, with a robust platform to process online payments, manage subscriptions, and handle various e-commerce transactions.

Stripe is known for its developer-friendly approach, allowing businesses to integrate payment processing seamlessly into their websites and applications.

Stripe fees

Stripe offers transparent and competitive pricing with fees that vary by region. Here are some key aspects of Stripe’s fee structure:

Transaction Fees: Stripe has a per-transaction fee that varies depending on factors such as the country, type of transaction (domestic or international), and whether it’s a credit card or debit card payment.

Currency Conversion Fees: If tour operators accept payments in multiple currencies, Stripe offers dynamic currency conversion options.

Subscription Billing: For tour operators offering subscription-based services, Stripe provides subscription management tools with associated fees, typically a percentage of the subscription amount.

Stripe’s transparent fee structure and straightforward pricing make it easier for tour operators to understand and manage their payment processing costs.


  • Global Availability: Stripe is accessible in many countries, supporting international expansion for tour operators.
  • Developer-Friendly: Its developer tools and APIs simplify integration into booking systems and websites.
  • Transparent Pricing: Stripe’s clear fee structure makes it easier for tour operators to understand and manage costs.
  • Security: Stripe prioritizes data security and offers robust fraud prevention measures.


  • Support: While Stripe provides extensive documentation and resources, some users may find the level of customer support less comprehensive compared to other providers.
  • Complexity for Non-Developers: While developer-friendly, tour operators without technical expertise may need assistance in setting up and customizing Stripe.


Mollie is a Dutch-based online payment service provider founded in 2004 and known for being a user-friendly payment gateway.

It’s an excellent choice for tour operators, particularly those operating within Europe or primarily serving European customers, as it is only available in this region.

Mollie fees

Mollie has a straightforward fee structure:

Transaction Fees: Its transaction fee varies depending on factors such as the payment method (e.g., credit card, debit card, bank transfer) and the country where your business is based.

Currency Conversion Fees: For businesses accepting payments in multiple currencies, Mollie offers currency conversion services.

Recurring Payments: Tour operators offering subscription-based tours or services may utilize Mollie’s recurring payment options, which may include associated fees.


  • European Reach: Mollie’s strong presence in Europe is ideal for tour operators focusing on the European market.
  • User-Friendly: Mollie’s platform is designed for ease of use and seamless integration.
  • Payment Method Variety: Tour operators can offer customers a wide range of payment options, enhancing convenience.
  • Security: Mollie adheres to stringent security standards to protect customer data and transactions.
  • Transparent Pricing: Mollie’s clear fee structure simplifies cost management.


  • Limited Global Reach: Mollie’s primary focus is on European markets, which may not be suitable for tour operators with a broader international customer base.
  • Currency Limitations: While Mollie supports multiple currencies, its emphasis on the European market may result in fewer currency options for some businesses.

Mercado Pago

Mercado Pago is a leading online payment gateway and financial technology platform based in Latin America. It is owned and operated by MercadoLibre, one of the largest e-commerce and online marketplace companies in the region.

Mercado Pago primarily serves countries in Latin America, where MercadoLibre has a strong presence, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Venezuela. It makes it a valuable option for tour operators operating in the region or targeting Latin American customers.

Mercado Pago fees

Mercado Pago offers a fee structure tailored to the specific needs of businesses in Latin America. The fee structure may include the following components:

Transaction Fees: Mercado Pago typically charges a per-transaction fee for payments received. The exact fee can vary depending on factors such as the type of transaction (e.g., credit card, debit card, bank transfer), the country where your business is based, and the payment method used by the customer.

Currency Conversion Fees: If your business accepts payments in multiple currencies, Mercado Pago may apply fees for currency conversion.

Subscription Fees: For businesses offering subscription-based services, Mercado Pago may provide subscription management tools with associated fees, which can include a percentage of the subscription amount.


  • Latin American Focus: Mercado Pago’s strong presence in Latin America makes it an attractive option for tour operators operating within the region or targeting Latin American customers.
  • Local Payment Methods: Mercado Pago supports a variety of local payment methods commonly used in Latin American countries, increasing convenience for customers.
  • Seller Protection: Mercado Pago offers seller protection features, helping to mitigate fraud and disputes.
  • Integration: Mercado Pago provides integration options for websites and mobile apps, making it accessible to a wide range of businesses, including tour operators.
  • Security: The platform prioritizes security and data protection, adhering to industry standards.


  • Limited Global Reach: Mercado Pago’s primary focus is on Latin American markets, which may not be suitable for businesses with a broader international customer base.
  • Currency Limitations: While Mercado Pago supports multiple currencies, its primary emphasis is on the local currencies of Latin American countries.
  • Availability: The availability of Mercado Pago’s services may be limited to specific countries within Latin America, potentially excluding businesses in certain regions.
  • Language Barrier: The platform’s primary language is Spanish, which may pose challenges for businesses and customers who primarily communicate in other languages.


Choosing the right payment gateway is a critical decision for tour operators and businesses in the travel industry.

Each of the four popular options presented in this article—PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, and Mercado Pago—offers unique advantages and considerations.

Carefully assess your business needs, target audience, and geographical focus to determine which payment gateway aligns best with your objectives.

Once you decide which option best suits your business you should integrate it with your online booking system. In our documentation, we teach you how to do that using Orioly, so you can start collecting online payments from your guests.

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