Frequently Asked Questions
1) Who are Protected Travel Services (PTS)?
PTS, Protected Travel Services was set up by a selection of leading experts in the legal, accounting and travel fields. We spotted a gap in the market to bring client protection together with a regulated booking system to ensure the consumer is offered protection throughout their holiday as well as before they travel. We strive to develop the most comprehensive system to offer a truly cost effective platform to start, develop, and grow any travel agency or tour operating company.
We are a business committed to providing Tour Operators and Travel Agents with the tools required to grow their business as well as operate within the various travel regulations including ATOL and the 1992 Package Travel Regulations without the need to pay for expensive bonds. Please see UK Travel Laws and Regulations for more information.
2) Can I join PTS?
Any Tour Operator or Travel Agent can join PTS and take advantage of the many benefits we are able to offer. We only require that our clients submit an application and agree to operate within accordance set out in the PTS contract. Please see How to Join for more information.
3) How do we provide financial protection to consumers and suppliers of our clients?
All funds received by a client are held in a trust account. A trust account is identified as holding the funds of a third party, in this case, consumers or suppliers. This means that should a client or supplier fail, the funds we receive are protected and held separate from the business in the trust account.
Funds held in the trust account are protected against supplier and client failure and are only authorised for release by the independent trustees once the services are provided or additional financial protection is provided for the protection of consumer funds. Please see Trust Account for more information.
4) Who are the trustees?
The trustees are a firm of Chartered Accountants and are the only people that are able to authorise the payment of funds to clients or suppliers. They will not allow funds to leave the trust account until a strict authorisation process has been completed to ensure the correct amounts are to be paid to the correct businesses.
5) Why should you become a client of PTS?
As a client of PTS you will be able to guarantee your clients full financial protection for any funds they pay towards their booking. In turn you will also be able to provide your suppliers with the same peace of mind that the funds that are due to them are protected against your failure. As a result you will be recognised as a reputable client of the travel community.
As well as financial protection, PTS also provide full online merchant facilities as well as access to our market leading PTS Openworld software which will act as an online infrastructure for your business. Please see Client Benefits for more information.
6) How does PTS monitor the funds coming into the trust account?
PTS provide full merchant facilities to each of its clients meaning that any payment that is taken by debit or credit card will go straight into the trust account. If the consumer wished to pay by cheque, bank transfer or cash then the account details provided to them would be the details of the trust account.
Combined with the PTS Openworld software, PTS and consumers are able to monitor the payments made into the trust account and identify very quickly if there are any abnormal anomalies which PTS will then immediately investigate.
7) How does the trustee know when to release funds to the supplier/client?
The trustees have full access to the PTS Openworld software that each PTS client uses. Every payment invoice and any correspondence from suppliers of a booking are saved to the software to ensure it is there ready to view at any time.
This paperless method means that any delay in paying the correct funds to suppliers and the profit to clients is greatly reduced compared to having to work on a paper based model. Please see Software for more information on the PTS Openworld software.
8) Can I join PTS whilst running my own back office system?
You can join PTS and run alongside any current system you may have. However, all future bookings need to be placed within PTS Open World and monies deposited into the trust account so we can ensure that the customer money is safe at all times. The PTS logo is there to show you take customer care, as a company, to the highest standards.
9) How much does it cost to become a client of Protected Travel Services?
The costs of becoming a client are simple, transparent and inexpensive. The joining fee costs only £450 and includes full training, merchant facilities application and set up.
We also charge a monthly licence fee starting from £125 for the use of the PTS Openworld software and its continual development.
A ‘pay as you go’ per booking fee is charged for each booking that goes through the trust account which accurately reflects the work we complete daily in reconciling all credits, setting up all supplier payments and the cost of the trustees. More information on these fees can be provided on request. For more information on the costs of joining please see Cost of Services.
10) What if I am new to the Travel Industry?
If you are new to the travel trade, we can also put you in touch with some industry experts including accountants, marketing aids, insurance brokers and consultants to give you the support you need. These industry professional have been providing assistance to the Travel Industry for many years. For additional information regarding setting up a business for the first time please see Starting a Travel Business.