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Interview with Logitravel Group on travel payments and fraud

Friday 1 March 2019 | 07:59 AM CET

We interviewed Pedro Bennasar, Payments and Fraud Manager at Logitravel Group, to learn more about travel payments and fraud & payments challenges for an OTA entering new markets

Established in 2004 in Mallorca, Logitravel Group has grown into a leading pan-European online travel agency focusing not just on Europe, but also on the Americas and Asia. What are the main revenue streams for Logitravel?

Although we started as an OTA mainly for the Spanish market, we have been diversifying, expanding and growing in different regions - not just in Europe, but also in the Middle East, the Americas and Asia – as well as businesses.

Within the recent years, Logitravel Group has become a well-established international enterprise within its different line of businesses it represents; from the traditional Online Travel Agency (, we evolved to have our own Bed-Bank ( or even a Room Booking Service ( and a global platform for independent travel agencies (

As a Group, we believe in the diversification and evolution, and our latest two launches made earlier in 2018 stand as proof to that: SmyHotels (, a vacational hotel chain which offers customer-centric experience with high tech solutions, and the opening of our first physical Travel Agency in Madrid in January 2018, which provides a twist to the traditional travel agency concept, allowing customers to experience first-hand the feeling of being in their desired destination before even booking their holidays.

Hence, our main revenue streams rely on having a solid structure, which enables us to benefit from scalability and keep up our growth in already existing models such as Logitravel and start up new ones, such as SmyHotels, which bring fresh air to the ecosystem, extremely valuable knowledge and additional profitability to the Holding Group.

What are the most important fraud and payment challenges for an online travel agent entering a new market?

To us, the major challenge lies in getting to know the culture and understanding how the market itself works.

Therefore, building up a business case per country gives us the necessary insight to take the right decision when it comes to choosing PSPs, APMs or acquirers.

Local laws and regulators are also something important to keep in mind, as they dictate the way the Payments and Fraud Department will define the strategy.

Every single region has its own idiosyncrasy and its people have a specific way of behaving in the ecommerce; not everybody feels comfortable using their credit cards, has access to a bank account and not everybody understands how the online world works. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a team that is able to adapt to the need of every single market.

Additionally, it is important to understand how to position the brand, payments wise, within the market and how to reduce the risk linked to it.

What kind of payment methods for the online travel industry do you see coming up as alternatives for cards in Europe?

Logitravel sees Europe moving a lot into mobile-friendly solutions as alternatives to card payments. There are mobile-oriented tools currently displaying across Europe. We actually see a large number of players getting into the market and just trying to develop in this direction.

What we also need to take into consideration is the PSD2 and how disruptive it is in the European ecosystem. It enables, within other considerations, banking APIs to be opened up; whether they’re going to be free or not it is still something unclear, but we do see also a new way for APMs to come out with brand new ideas.

On another note, biometrics has become a part of our day-to-day lives and there is a massive opportunity for our industry to advance and improve the UX on our checkouts, making the payment seamless for the customer and more secure for the merchant.

It is fascinating to see how Tube Russia enables its users to pay their ticket by making squads. Whether it is on the CNP or the CP environment, it is something that shall not be underestimated.

Since you are offering services in Brazil and Mexico, what did your company have to adjust to cater for the payments needs in these markets?

When we started there, we were actually doing everything from Europe. However, a big chunk of business was missing out and our rates were poor.

Therefore, within months, it was decided to go local; we were getting to know the market, which enabled us to learn more about the country, culture, its people, and adapt our business to its specificities.

Logitravel strengths are its flexibility, scalability and technology to jump into new endeavors and thus this is exactly what happened in these two countries, where profitability has boosted since the early days.

Hence, in our humble opinion, if you are thinking of expanding into South America, your best approach is going local and avoid transacting internationally (cross-border). Therefore, look for partners who can facilitate your access into the market.

This interview was first published in the Payments and Commerce Market Guide 2018-2019, which addresses the most recent and discussed trends in the global payments and commerce industry.

About Pedro Bennasar

Pedro joined Logitravel as Payments and Fraud Manager a year ago and, since then, he has been defining and implementing the Group’s Payments and Fraud Strategy. Passionate about Payments and its meanings, he has 10 years’ worth of experience in the Industry, mostly as a Merchant. He has worked in different sectors, such as Banking, Gambling and lastly Travel, giving him the needed scope to assess objectively any new arising trend and challenge.

About Logitravel Group

Logitravel is an international online travel agency specialized on packages, cruises, tours, and long-term trips. Being part of Logitravel Group who offers both consumer and industry-focused travel services, focusing its strategy in two main pillars: travel product specialization and technology.