Credit Card

Travel agents beware: be vigilant with payment transactions!

Travel agents should remember to always be vigilant with credit card transactions as fraud continues to be rife in the travel industry.

Here are some reminders of the most important Credit Card must-dos:

  1. Never process payments on a credit card without having the card/s present at the time of the transaction
  2. Check signature against original card/s
  3. Obtain required authorisation
  4. Take an imprint of the card – A FAX COPY IS NOT AN IMPRINT
  5. Ensure validity of expiry date and check that security features appear on the card
  6. Please be warned: Any invalid expiry dates entered for approval through one of the Global Reservations Systems that results in a fraudulent transaction, will be charged back to the agency
  7. A great way to check whether the card is valid is to check the issuing bank of the card on

And remember, authorisation alone is not enough

Although travel agents should always obtain an authorisation code for a credit card transaction, this code only indicates that the cardholder is in good standing with the bank (and is usually supplied automatically) but is no guarantee of payment.

It simply verifies that there are sufficient funds in the account. It can’t confirm the identity of the cardholder, or guarantee that the card and/or transaction are genuine

Having said that, travel agents should always get an imprint of the credit card as well as obtain an authorisation number. Failing to do so will result in charge backs and the travel agent will then be liable to settle the loss due to fraudulent transactions.

If in doubt, run a Mod 10 check!

The Mod 10 algorithm was designed to validate a variety of identification numbers, and can be used to verify credit card numbers before submitting transactions for authorization.

The Mod 10 algorithm detects all single-digit errors, as well as almost all transpositions of adjacent digits.

To implement the algorithm in your fraud prevention system:

  • Contact your processor and ask for the Mod 10 algorithm that lets you check the validity of a card number.
  • Use the Mod 10 algorithm to check all e-commerce transactions before submitting them for authorisation.
  • Immediately notify your customer if the card fails to pass the Mod 10 check. Display the following message on the customer’s screen “The card number you entered is invalid. Please try again.” or a similar message.
  • Do not submit the transaction for authorisation until the card number passes the Mod 10 check.

Using the Mod 10 algorithm for checking the validity of your customers’ card numbers will help protect your business against fraud or an error on the part of the cardholder and minimise related disputes and losses.