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Having a good system for processing payments is perhaps one of the most overlooked elements that can help streamline operations in the hospitality industry with technology like smart payments.
Hotels need to make it easier for guests to book and pay, so they are more likely to complete their reservation and avoid website abandonment. This is also where smart technology comes in – it’s a way of integrating different ways of paying so that transactions are able to be processed more quickly, securely and more automatically.
The processing speed will depend on the type of provider you choose, but with a provider like Mews, hotel payment processing is done almost instantly in a click, during any stage of the customer journey.
In this article, we will look more in detail at what a smart payment system is and why it’s important in the hotel industry. So, let’s get started.
What is a smart payment system?
A smart payment system is a way of integrating the latest technology into your payment process. It integrates with a variety of applications that can assist you in better managing your hotel business.
Smart not only means that you automate processes and make them more efficient, but it also means you can potentially lead in the direction of a cashless hotel. Find out more about the future of cashless hotels.
Because online transactions are more complex than you might think, a smart system will help you to simplify the process by making payments part of your core system, whether that be your property management system or hospitality cloud.
Without guests having to physically show their credit cards when it comes time to pay, it is actually more secure, more convenient and more efficient.
This also means that hoteliers have the possibility of integrating payments in any part of the guest journey, and by accepting a range of payment methods, guest satisfaction increases.
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Why is a smart payment system so important in the hotel industry?
A hassle-free and easy booking process leads to more conversions on your website, but conversions are not the only thing hoteliers are guaranteed with a smart system.
There are also integrations and automations that make it easier to avoid errors and make paying more secure.
Now that we’ve looked at what a smart payment system is, let's find out why it’s so important in the hotel industry.
Avoid website abandonment
Once you’ve got potential clients to your website – that is to say they have chosen the path to booking directly instead of through an OTA or other third party booking engine – the last thing you want to happen is for guests to abandon your site, whether that be during the booking process or at any point in the customer journey.
This is why it’s crucial to have a system that allows for payments to be made easily and efficiently. The fewer barriers you have during the booking process, the more likely it is for future clients to complete their booking.
Increase guest satisfaction
There’s nothing more frustrating for your clients when they’re trying to make a booking and either their chosen method for paying isn’t accepted, the process takes too long, or their credit card is declined.
With smart payment, hotels have perhaps one of the easiest ways of increasing guest satisfaction by providing a large range of ways to pay, and the ability to decide at what point of the user journey to do so.
Thanks to smart technology, transactions are carried out with the blink of an eye, so there’s no need to wait and see if their reservation was successful; it’s almost automatic.
Offer a range of payment methods
Smart means that the traditional credit card is no longer the only way to pay at a hotel. Now hoteliers can have the possibility of accepting a range of online payments like iDEAL, PayPal and UnionPay, among others.
The more possibilities you offer, the more likely guests are to complete their transaction because they have the freedom to choose the most convenient way for them to pay.
Not only does smart technology allow you to offer a range of methods to pay, but you can offer different ways of paying at different important touchpoint during the user journey, whether that be through your own booking engine, when guests arrive at the front desk, at the check-in kiosk, when it comes time to check out online, or you even have the possibility to send a request via email or have guests pay at any integrated terminal.
Automation is another great feature of a smart system, because not only is it crucial to avoid manual error, but also leads to happier front desk staff who no longer have to manually input credit card data.
Happier front desk staff means better service, and with better service, guests are more satisfied, so automation is a win-win for all parties involved.
Instead of having to ask for credit card information upon arrival and settle room fees, the front desk team can focus on engaging with guests and providing the best first impression possible so that the experience with your brand from beginning to end is seamless. Learn about the ten best hotel greetings.
Make your guest’s security your number one priority
Avoid credit card fraud with smart technology that allows you to store and process data with the highest security standards possible.
Features such as 3D Secure Authentication, chargeback support to prevent fraudulent charges, tokenization and PSD2 compliance allow you to process electronic charges as safely as possible with end-to-end encryption.
You can also protect your hotel by carrying out pre-authorizations, making sure that guests have the funds necessary to pay for their reservation.
Investing in technology that is future-ready helps keep your guest’s security safe, but at the same time is more cost-efficient. Tap-and-go technology which uses Near Field Communication (NFC) can make both check-ins and settling up the bill faster.
The faster it is to make a payment, the more chances your hotel has to incentivize the purchase of amenities and to upsell because less time is spent handling credit card transactions.
We’ve looked at what a smart payment system is and how it is key to a streamlined operations process.
Through smart technology, hoteliers can avoid website abandonment, have the ability to offer a range of ways to pay, ensure guests’ security, and automate processes, all of which help lead to increased guest satisfaction.
The more satisfied your guests are, the more likely they are to turn into loyal customers, and the more your hotel can cut down on acquisition costs.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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