Corporate travel agents and TMCs are unlikely to feel the impact of Barclaycard’s decision to increase its merchant services fees.
A spokesperson for Barclaycard confirmed that it has added a sector charge of 0.15% to all travel firms as a result of increases in its cost base. He insisted however than Barclay’s fee structure for travel firms “remained competitive” with other providers.
The fee increase is applied to bookings made through PDQ machines, which tend to be used for walk-in bookings made on the high street. Ken McLeod, Corporate Director for Advantage, said that he hadn’t heard any rumblings from its business travel members about this, apart from some anecdotal evidence that credit card companies in general were starting to become more visible in the market.
“It would appear that it is retail agents who are most affected, as they use the PDQ machines a lot more than corporates or TMCs, who can use the GDS or the corporate card for bookings. And not many business travel bookings come through the door.”
He said that credit card fees were something that Advantage would have a look at, mainly for retail members but also with an eye on any implications for TMCs. “But 0.15% is quite steep,” he warned.