Payment processing is a key part of the organization and management of a hotel, and whether online or in-person, it is important to have many ways of processing your guests’ transactions in a secure, efficient way. Accepting a variety of payment options not only expands your customer base, but improves the customer experience from booking to check out, increasing brand loyalty.
Website payment processing integration offers benefits such as:
- Instant payments – transactions are processed instantly, saving you time and giving your customers peace of mind that their booking was completed
- Reliability – guests will consider your hotel more credible and reliable if they can complete their booking easily online
- Increase in sales – by accepting credit and debit cards on your site, your rooms and services are made available to more potential customers
- Decrease in overhead – your staff won’t need to manage phone and email communications for bookings if guests can take care of it themselves
- More visibility – integrating your website payment processing with booking agents and channel managers means increased exposure for your hotel, by ensuring your hotel is visible and your availability information is current on comparison websites and search engines
In-person payment processing
The ability to accept a variety of payment methods in person at the front desk is important, as not all guests arrive with a pre-planned trip, or prefer to pay offline after booking online. Some also want to amend their existing booking, making changes or adding services. Making this process as smooth as possible for both the guests and your staff means adding revenue to your hotel and increasing customer satisfaction.
Mobile point of sale systems offer a range of benefits to both guests and hotel staff. For the guest, a mobile POS allows them to stay comfortably in their seat while ordering and paying at the bar, restaurant, or pool. They also have the peace of mind that their credit card is safe, as it never leaves their site. Hotel staff efficiency is improved because the waitstaff can cater to one table at a time, avoiding distractions and long queues for payment. Expedited service also leads to faster turnover and increased revenues. Overall, the experience is better, faster, more personalized, and more efficient.
A simple yet valuable part of processing payments in hospitality is the pre-authorization of funds. Upon booking, a pre-authorization ensures that whether you or your guest cancels the booking for any reason, there is no need to process a refund (thus avoiding potential fees in refunding a transaction). Upon check-in, the hotel can place a hold of funds on the guest card for covering additional charges such as room service, or for liability purposes. With the funds held until check-out, you do not need to worry that the guest will leave without paying for the room and services.
Some guests feel most comfortable booking by speaking with someone directly. For guests who are paying in person or over the phone, virtual terminals are a system for manually accepting these payments. You can also use virtual terminals to process virtual cards received from online travel agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com and Expedia Secure. Virtual cards act like physical credit cards but private payment data is not transmitted to the hotel or stored, and is PCI compliant for a high level of security.
Customers expect efficiency, security, and ease in completing their transactions. A complete payment solution will include all of these above elements, and will ensure you fulfill the demands of your guests, keeping them coming back for future stays.