A new method of spreading the cost of paying for holidays by the use of direct debit is being introduced by Thomas Cook.
The monthly payments by direct debit scheme is linked to a low deposit as Cook becomes one of the first travel companies to offer an interest-free payment plan with zero fees for its customers.
Consumers booking online select the date of the month that the direct debit is taken and can match the timing of payment with convenient dates, such as payday.
Setting up the direct debit is integrated as part of the checkout process when booking on Thomascook.com.
Cook has teamed up with direct debit provider GoCardless to offer the service.
Customers pay no more than they would with a debit card – no surcharges are applied – and they pay by regular instalments, covered by a direct debit guarantee.
By using GoCardless technology, setting up a direct debit involves no paperwork and takes fewer keystrokes than the average card payment, Cook claims.
Customers can secure their holiday at a low upfront cost as they are offered the lowest deposit available. The deposit is paid through credit, debit or Thomas Cook gift card, then the customer can make a separate choice of which bank account to use for balance payments.
The automatic, fee-free installment mechanism removes the need to make balance payments manually.
Cook head of digital product for search and book, Emma Davis, said: “We know that for many of our customers, a holiday is their biggest spend of the year, and we are always looking for ways to help them pay.
“By partnering with GoCardless we’re offering our customers an easy, fee-free way to spread the cost of their holiday whilst securing upfront at minimal cost.
“From being the first company to issue a travellers cheque back in 1874, Thomas Cook is again leading the way, with a fully online, flexible direct debit offering”
Robert Whiteside, sales vice president at GoCardless, added: “By reducing the burden of a one-off cost Thomas Cook customers now have a stress-free way to pay for their dream holiday.”