Hoteliers struggle to limit expenses. The most obvious means is retrenchment but when you limit the number of staff, it should be done with due care given to the fact that guests’ experience shouldn’t be jeopardized, nor should the overall efficiency go for a toss.
So, how can hoteliers circumvent this situation to reduce operational cost, without affecting processes? Automating processes can contribute significantly to cut corners without being impacted negatively. But where and how does this automation get started? Can it be done without chaotically upending the processes that have been carried on for a long time?
Can automation be integrated seamlessly without disrupting other operations or halting daily activities?
Thankfully, the answer to the aforementioned questions is yes.
The easiest and perhaps the most effective is Hotel Payment Automation and today, we will discuss this in detail in this article.
Payment automation is gaining so much popularity in the hospitality sector because it not only enhances operational efficiency for hotels, but at the same time, adds value to the guests’ experience.
Topics explored in this article are-
• What is hotel automation?
• What is Payment Automation?
• Benefits of Hotel Payment Automation?
• Best hotel payment automation solution?
What is hotel automation?
The number one reason why automation of any process is highly preferred is because of the extensive control it gives to the operators. With a proper hotel payment automation system in place, hotels wield complete control of all payment related activities, like sharing easy to pay, highly convenient payment links, share instant reminders, set scheduled payments, collect international payments hassle-free, real-time payment tracking, and the complete consolidation of all payment related details in one place.
Enabling a feature-rich mobile application is another key factor that can significantly raise the guests’ overall experience.
In a highly competitive scenario, hotels should leverage these technology-powered solutions to stay ahead of all competitors.
Customers choose a hotel that can give added value for their investment. Convenience, security, top notch services are paramount, but all this should come at a price that will not break their banks. These are the key factors that will help hotels create and retain a loyal clientele over a longer period of time.
This is exactly why some people choose hotels for a lifetime. Their experience is so singularly good and services beyond their expectations that they simply don’t abandon the hotel no matter how many new players emerge in the market.
Automation can be done across different processes, including hotel access automation, guest room automation system, payment automation, etc. Contactless check-ins and outs, smart control of lights, fans, TV, blinds, heating, etc., virtual order placing, real-time status tracking of order, are a couple of examples of process automation that elevate the guests’ experience to the next level.
What is Payment Automation?
There are a couple of players in a transaction, like vendor, guest, banks, card issuers, etc and consider multi-party payments or cross-border transactions, then even a single payment can get quite complex.
Interchange fees, scheme fees, processing fees, conversion fees, service taxes and what not, all these add to the already arduous task.
This is exactly why automated payments are a game changer!
All the above-mentioned hassles can be mitigated to a great extent, and that too with minimum manual intervention.
Smart and powerful Cloud technology enables you to collect payments automatically without the physical presence of cash or cards. This improves security, convenience, efficiency, and undoubtedly the revenue influx too.
Implementing Hotel Payment Automation?
If your hotel has a PMS or Property Management System in place, the automated payments can be enabled via the PMS.
Capturing payments from anywhere globally should become a breeze!
From the booking engine or booking confirmation, on the hotel premises, or even a kiosk check-in, or a payment initiated via a request to pay.
An increased number of payment options can greatly enhance the guest’s experience as they can choose the payment mode that suits them the best. For further information related to payment automation visit smartcheckinn.
Benefits of Hotel Automation ?
Payments in every sector have undergone a disruptive shift globally. Fintech has been emerging as a major change driver in every industry for the past decade, be it Hospitality, banking, F&B, education, ecommerce, healthcare and what not.
Customers have finally got a payment mode that enables them to make payment from anywhere and at anytime. Products from around the world are now accessible to a vast majority of consumers. Once upon a time, in a cash-based economy, transactions were cumbersome, messy, and risky, especially those involving money in largesse.
Coming back to the hospitality sector, transactions at a counter with harried staff rummaging for change, while frustrated guests stand in long queues for their turn, may not be as unpleasant as a visit to a dentist, but it is cumbersome nonetheless.
Now imagine a cashless society but here too, there are dependencies that affect the process’ efficiency. Technology alleviated our dependence on cash. With the introduction of cards, payments became cashless but did it really enhance the experience?
Definitely card payments have made the process more convenient by eliminating cash, but it was still not purely contactless as card payments relied on internet connectivity and a card processor like a PoS machine. A contingency can be expected if signal is lost or erratic, and card processor machines are not foolproof either.
Also, to ensure seamless payment for both hotels and guests alike, they should be able to set and forget about payments and transactions and invest time and effort in engaging guests with conversations that will aid in building a long-standing rapport with the guest.
So, what is the solution? Automated Payments!
Enhanced Operational efficiency
Automated payments are simpler and more convenient than traditional payments. This statement has been repeated ad nauseum, ad infinity, and is the most cliched statement in fintech parlance, but cliches are so true every time.
Just imagine, a payment can be authorized in just one click. Bookings, confirmation, cancellation, refunds, everything can be actioned in just a few clicks and the entire process takes less than a few seconds. Imagine all the time saved and all manual errors eliminated. Not to mention bringing down the stress levels among staff.
So much paperwork can be done away with. Hotels needn’t print paper receipts; guests needn’t go through the hassle of carrying and tracking paper receipts. With all this, reconciliations are smooth and effortless. Also, better inventory management is facilitated with a proper automated payments system in place. Every transactional status will be automatically reflected in your PMS or any other ERP systems, everywhere eliminating the manual intervention that can cause unwanted delays, and errors which can further exacerbate problems.
Better Security, Reduced chargebacks
There is no room for speculation when it comes to the increased security experienced while transacting online, especially when the amount involved is bigger. And no merchant will jeopardize his hotel’s reputation with non-compliance when it comes to security. Therefore, hotels strictly adhere to protocols and certifications to make them as reputed, trustworthy, and reliable as possible. Certifications like PCI-DSS, PSD2 regulations are mandatory.
All major card providers strictly follow these regulations to give maximum card data security to their loyal cardholders. Tokenization is another technology that guarantees enhanced security. Tokenization refers to the technology where actual card data is not transmitted across different systems, instead, a unique token is generated against the card. This multi-layer authorization coupled with stringent regulations, SCA-enabled transactions, OTP authorization all ensure hard-core 3D secure digital payments.
Increased Revenue Opportunities
There is little doubt that globally there is a changing consumer payment preference globally. More at hotels and more consumers are switching to digital payments. In this new scenario, it is only natural that hotels that offer different payment modes to guests will be able to capture more revenue opportunities than the ones that don’t offer digital payments.
The very fact that you can make a payment without entering your cards 16 digits every single time itself is a great attraction to guests. A technology-empowered hotel will have all its counter-service centers like spas, restaurants, recreational places, cafes, lounges, all interconnected so that everything can be billed at one place and at one time.
With so many options, and features that make payments a piece of cake for all parties involved, there is no doubt that guests will be much happier. Automated payments save time, effort, money, cuts operational costs, streamlines processes, keeps guests happy, increases revenue, and much more.
So, what are you still dithering for? There is no time to waste. Install a hotel payment automation system and start realizing your hotel’s potential to the hilt.
Best Hotel payment Automation Solution?
What are the main features to look for in a hotel payment solution?
From security options to different modes of payments, per-authorizations to multi-currency support, compliance and multi-party payment support, etc., the possibilities are endless.
Automated payment systems can be customized to suit each hotel’s specific requirements, however, there are a handful of functionalities that are a must have.
The importance of security in any online transaction cannot be stressed more. The payment option that guarantees maximum security features should be prioritized.
Diverse Modes of Payments
The more the payment options, the more convenience for your guests and what is good for your guests is always good for you too.
Accept multi-currency payments
With the wide proliferation of digital payments, international payments are becoming more and more commonplace. The ability to accept multi-currency payments is mandatory for any hotel that is looking to poise itself as a global brand.
Real-time payment tracking
Having all payment-related data consolidated in one place can be extremely helpful and eliminates a lot of unpleasant conversations. Also, in the event of failed payments, duplicate charging, or any other technical failure, reconciliations become hassle-free.
Agility to make Ad-hoc payments
A guest may want to make payments at different times during his journey. He must be able to exercise this agility, if you are looking to stand out from the competitors.
SmartCheckInn is Abzer’s Hotel Payment automation solution. A comprehensive payment automation solution specifically for the hospitality sector can be too good to be true, but it is.
SmartCheckInn is your hotel’s trusted partner that ensures your payments are smooth, hassle-free, customized and with a personal touch.
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