Monday,  October 2, 2023  7:36 am

Agents have 100% responsibility

Agents have 100% responsibility
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

This is the third part of a four-article series on preventing credit card fraud in the travel industry. Click to read part one and part two.

Have you ever heard people saying:

Why do I have to pay? You are the one who accepted the credit card!

But I had an Approval code!

It is not my responsibility!

Unfortunately, it is.

The travel agent or agency who deals with the customer making the purchase, is the one who will be responsible if there is a problem with the credit card payment.

Most terms and conditions for both tour operators and airlines say it clearly: you, as the selling agent decide to take the card as payment and it is you who will need to pay if the card payment is not honoured.

The Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), resolution 890 which was modified effective March 1, 2018 states:

4.4.2 The Agent recognises that receipt of an approval code from the card company does not guarantee the transaction, and that any such approval code or other authorisation does not (and will not be deemed to) guarantee that the charge will not be disputed. In the case of a rejected transaction, an ADM will be issued by the Member/Airline, …

Sample Tour Operator conditions:

In the event of a refusal by the credit card issuer to honour a payment for any reason whatsoever, the travel agency will be solely responsible for the costs and will have to pay the TOUR OPERATOR any amount due under its invoice.

Are we all exposed to danger when taking a credit card over the internet, phone or via an email? YES !

This is what is referred to as a Card Not Present (CNP) transaction. Since the data about the card can be good, the initial payment process will likely succeed, as at the time of sale the only validation taking place is a confirmation that there are available funds on the card.

Even though the money is initially transferred to the tour operator or airline, there is NO GUARANTEE that the actual cardholder will not say that the charge was not authorized. The bank who issues the card will often immediately refund the customer and then issues a chargeback to the airline or tour operator who was the credit card merchant.

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In many cases it can take months before the entire chargeback process is completed and the bad news is announced to the travel agent involved. We have often seen situations where multiple transactions are handled before the problem is discovered so the losses can be quite large.

You are responsible, so be careful and always follow the tips and suggestions to avoid fraudulent transactions.

What is the best protection against fraud? KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!