The hospitality industry is recovering, slowly but surely. Having been among the most severely affected since the beginning of the pandemic, hoteliers are expecting a continued period of growth as we move into 2022, as guests take to the road and air once again, both for leisure and business purposes.
However, hospitality merchants must be abreast of the latest payments infrastructure to ensure their business runs as efficiently as possible, maintains a competitive edge, and provides customers with seamless experiences – all whilst maintaining healthy growth.
Unforeseen circumstances plunged hoteliers into crisis in 2020. As was the case for many sectors, business came to a halt. Since restrictions have been lifted, new trends and behaviors have accelerated rapidly with consumers becoming more wary about hygiene or wanting to avoid queues.
Hoteliers looking to expand their business should acquire omnichannel payment capabilities by adopting an integrated payment solution. This will provide a great opportunity to drive revenue across all sales channels, as processes become more streamlined and automated. In turn, this enables staff to concentrate more directly on the needs of the guest.
In an increasingly digitalised world, payment infrastructure should be intuitive enough to recognise returning customers’ details from a previous visit or booking. In addition, guests should be able to pick up and put down their different devices - such as mobiles, laptops, tables - to continue with an ongoing booking or transaction.
This not only means they can skip queues, but it also allows the merchant to tailor visits according to guests’ specific needs or preferences, such as their preferred room service choices or type of room itself.
Tokenisation is a tool which helps to protect consumers’ sensitive information such as bank details. Instead of a company or merchant retaining the exact numbers of, for example, an account number following a transaction, a random group of numbers is created as a token, thus protecting the actual information. The token carries no value in itself and thus helps mitigate the risk of fraud and the potential for criminals to unlawfully access the merchant’s system, in turn enhancing security for all stakeholders.
Various trends have triggered a change in how guests book their stay, and Covid-19 has merely acted as an accelerator. To reiterate, people are now much more concerned about factors such as health and safety and the option to travel in an eco-friendly manner in the aftermath of the pandemic.
For some time now, an increasingly digitally-savvy generation of internet users have opted to skip online travel agencies (OTAs) and make hotel bookings themselves directly. Naturally, this phenomenon was to the detriment to the middlemen, the OTAs, who saw a decrease in business, leading some businesses to fall into serious financial trouble, the most obvious example being Thomas Cook.
Now more than ever, hospitality merchants must invest in innovative new systems This will help drive revenue and meet the needs of customers, who are inclined to choose the most convenient form of payment when away.
Limiting the need for the customer to think about money from the moment they start their journey will bolster their experience, as will the implementation of widespread, automated payment systems that streamline businesses, decrease touchpoints and give back essential resource for staff to concentrate on making the guest experience as bespoke and memorable as possible.
Find out more about Worldline’s Hospitality solution here: WL Hospitality Suite - Dedicated Payment Solution for Hospitality (worldline.com)