The ski season is now well and truly upon us as Brits head off in their droves to popular resorts in the Alps and further afield, and the ski and snowboard industries are getting ready for another busy year.

Generally speaking, those going on skiing holidays tend to be more prepared than your average backpacker to ensure that ski rentals, chalets, insurance and lift passes are all organised. One area that many of your potential customers might be less prepared in though, is how they will make payments whilst away.

Bringing cash onto the slopes has always been slightly awkward. Firstly, skiers must find a safe place to store money while skiing, and some level of budgeting must take place, deciding roughly how much they intend to spend before getting on the first ski lift. Most skiers, however, don’t want to have to decide how much they want to spend on their après ski drinks before their first downhill run.

Skiers ultimately want to keep the amount they carry to an absolute minimum, with most opting for just their lift pass and a credit or debit card. Brits are increasingly choosing to go cashless on their holidays and avoid the concerns that cash can bring (as they are often doing at home).

In recent research we conducted with Vanson Bourne, a third of British holiday makers said that they now keep the amount of foreign currency they carry with them to an absolute minimum. Instead, 62% are using their credit or debit cards for payments on holiday. Businesses in ski resorts can expect to see more of their customers wanting to make payments via these methods. Moreover, these are increasingly not just large payments for accommodation or equipment deposits, but also for much smaller transactions such as a round of drinks at one of the resort’s bars.

The issue arises that many of your customers don’t know what using their card abroad might mean in practice. Some assume that using a card on holiday is no different from using it at home. A worryingly large two-thirds of those we surveyed didn’t check the fees that they might be charged by their bank or card provider before they jetted off on their holiday.

Brits, and indeed card users all across the world, need to be properly informed before they head to the slopes to ensure that they can choose the best payment options. As part of this, they need to understand the differences between making credit or debit card payments in different currencies.

At the point of payment, your customer will be presented with two different payment options. The first is to pay in the currency of the country that the transaction is being made in. When this option is selected, additional fees might be added by the bank or card provider, depending on which bank or card provider is used. These additional fees are added after the point of transaction, meaning that one payment can appear in multiple instalments on card statements.

Alternatively, they can opt to pay in their home currency. Card and bank fees are replaced by a single dynamic currency conversion fee included at the point of transaction. The full cost of that payment is made at once, which some holidaymakers might prefer in order to better track the amount they’re spending alongside what they budgeted for.

No one payment option is right for everyone and the best way to make card payments will differ from person to person, as will whether or not they want to use their credit or debit card at all. For those in the ski holiday industry, being prepared to inform customers on the options available is critical, which will ultimately add to their holiday enjoyment.

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