The potential for fraud is always present, but there are ways to minimize the risk. When it comes to paying for a cruise or even paying for purchases while on a cruise, clients like to know that the cruise line makes use of important safety features that protects them and their financial information. Here are some of the best practices for processing cruise line-related payments that must be part of the plan.
Verification of Identity
It’s all too easy for someone to pay for a cruise using stolen credit card information if there are no processes in place to verify the identity of the card holder. One way to verify the individual’s identity is to require some type of information that’s not found on the credit card proper. For example, requiring that the individual remitting the payment provide the zip code of the billing address, or possibly the street number of that address, would minimize the potential for fraud. While this practice is mainly aimed at electronic payment processing, there’s no reason why a terminal in a travel agent’s office can’t be set up to require the same type of data.
Assuming the transaction is taking place at the cruise line’s booking office or while the client is sitting across the desk from a travel agent, asking to see a picture identification makes a lot of sense. Comparing the name and the signature on the picture ID with the signature on the cruise documents is a good idea too.
Confirming Availability of Funds
It makes sense to have practices in place that verify the funds are available to cover the cost of the cruise arrangements. When the payment is made using a credit card, the system in place will initiate an inquiry to the company issuing the card. That makes it possible to confirm there is enough credit left to cover the transaction. Once that’s verified, a temporary hold is placed for that amount. In a couple of days, the transaction will complete and the charge will show up on the client’s account activity.
If the cruise line accepts electronic checks, the process will work in a similar manner. The client writes out a paper check, and it’s scanned using a terminal that’s in place at the point of sale. The data from the scanned document is transmitted to the issuing bank, including the amount. This approach makes it easier to confirm that the check is written on an active account, the address and other details match, and even that the signature is reasonably close to the sample that the bank has on file.
Protection of Proprietary Data
Whatever policies and practices are used by the cruise line, they must protect the data of the client at all times. This means utilizing software and hardware that’s secure and includes features to discourage unauthorized access. The last thing that anyone needs is to have the data stolen and subsequently used by someone who has no connection with the credit card or checking account.
As part of the setup, the cruise line will ensure that all measures are in line with standards such as those used for ACH processing. Doing so is important for more reasons than protecting the client and the cruise line from fraud. The measures also ensure that if a breach of security should occur, neither party has to end up absorbing the loss.
When booking a cruise, always find out more about the payment options and what type of protection they provide. Doing so will make it easier to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, and allow you to enjoy every minute of that cruise without worry.