There are many pieces to a great hotel experience: a clean room, great amenities, and excellent service, to name a few. Just as important is a smooth, secure payment process, from booking to checkout.
Gone are the days when a hotel could get by simply accepting cash, Visa, or Mastercard. The modern hospitality operation must accept all manner of contactless and digital payment options or risk being downgraded from four-star to roach-motel status.
So how can today’s hotel thrive in this ever-evolving payment ecosystem?
Give them a seamless transaction ...
More than ever before, guests expect the exchange of money for accommodations to take place in the background, perhaps without any in-person interaction at all. This removes a major point of stress during any hotel stay: rushing to get out on time. Rather than stand in line to check out while the minutes tick away until a flight or shuttle departure, guests simply pack up and walk out the door.
A connected payment solution allows for a seamless transaction by securely keeping a customer’s credit card on file, sending an email or text alerting them that their payment is due, and automatically processing it on their checkout date. The ideal system will also break down any fees, taxes, and add-ons they may have purchased during their stay.
One tool that makes this possible is the pre-authorization of funds, which allows for money to be kept on hold to cover additional charges or last-minute cancellations.
... but don’t neglect the in-person experience.
Some guests may love having the whole payment experience running smoothly in the background, but others will have to change plans in the middle of their trip, need the assistance of a concierge in a new city, or want to talk through booking options with a real-life person.
It’s all well and good to be a digital pioneer, but if the brick-and-mortar experience is less than stellar, that leaves customer satisfaction—and potential revenue—on the table.
Integrate payments and property management.
A modern payment solution allows your property to run on a single, digital set of terminals and supported operating system that connect transactions across the organization through the property management system. This also lets you customize payment options with apps specifically designed for the hospitality industry.
Such a solution also provides flexibility in your physical layout. Once a fixed point in all hotel lobbies, check-in desks are fast becoming moveable. Some establishments, such as New York’s Andaz 5th Avenue, have replaced their traditional front desk entirely in favor of a more personal and mobile check-in and payment experience. Now, all an associate needs is a mobile payment device, and the check-in desk can greet the guest as he or she arrives—another way to reduce or entirely cut out the need to wait in line.
And with major chains such as Hilton now letting you open your door with your phone, the whole concept of check-in and payment is in an exciting transition.
Embrace paperless payments.
In an age when sustainability is considered an essential business practice, paperless payments is an easy way for the hospitality industry to show its green commitment. Whereas a hotel clerk would once print a multi-page document on hefty company stationery for a guest to sign, now the same transaction can take place with just a swipe of the finger on a terminal, followed by an automatic email receipt.
Mobile POS also has perks for guests during their stays. Want another rum punch from the poolside bar? Order and pay from the hotel app. Need to arrange laundry service or call a shuttle for tomorrow morning? Done and done. All while their actual credit cards rest safely and comfortably in their rooms or the hotel safe.
This can also make employees more efficient and increase sales because waitstaff will easily serve multiple tables with payment and ordering taken off their to-do list.
Connected payments lead to satisfied guests.
Today’s travelers expect that the technology they enjoy in their daily lives will also thrive in the places they stay. From contactless payments to mobile check-in, the world is changing fast and hotels will find success by adopting a connected payment solution.
From direct hospitality businesses to industry resellers, Poynt’s customers know they can expect security and efficiency in a reliable, user-friendly system that will keep your guests happy and loyal.