Payment processing in the hotel industry has become increasingly complex with the advancement of the internet and mobile technology. According to a Forbes report published in 2016, only 18% of the world’s total population use credit cards. However, more and more new payment systems such as Google Pay, PayPal, and Swipe have entered the market and gained a lot of popularity, which has prompted hotels to revamp their existing payment methods.
With people becoming more used to the slick purchasing experience provided by commercial websites, they expect the same for their travel bookings as well. But many web pages are still lagging behind with only a limited number of payment options available to their customers.
The hotel industry still often manages payments on a property-by-property basis, and many hotels don’t offer any other payment options except for cash. This legacy payment system has created a lot of hurdles for both international and local tourists, who have to carry a considerable amount of bills with them.
To resolve these issues, and to keep up with the expectations of modern travelers, offering alternate payment methods is a viable solution for hotels. In this article, we will discover the different benefits of using alternative forms of payment methods in your hotel.
With the growth of social networks, travel blogs, and review websites, it has become mandatory for hotels to develop an online presence. A large number of hotels across Europe have collaborated with leading travel websites and blogs, to reach out to their potential customers online.
It may seem obvious but it is important to realize that the real conversion from a site visitor to an actual customer is only complete upon payment. It is vital that you don’t lose your customers due to a lack of payment options provided by your website. By offering convenient check-out options, you can quickly close the deal, and make sure you never miss out on a prospective client.
Moreover, upon seeing their preferred payment method, people feel more comfortable and are more likely to go ahead with the transaction because they trust it. Hotel websites offering a wide range of payment options are able to cater to international tourists, enabling them to select a payment method prevalent in their own country. For instance, iDEAL in Netherlands, SOFORT in Germany, and Alipay in China.
Ironically, hotel owners often refrain from adopting alternate payment methods due to the additional costs required for country-specific research, technical integration, and maintenance. In reality, the new payment systems are making such chores far simpler, and the total costs for their integration are lower than imagined.
By providing multiple methods of payment, you give your guests the opportunity to buy more from you. Online payment systems like PayPal provide occasional discounts and cashback offers, which may tempt the user to purchase more.
You can make these payments more attractive to your guests by, for example, selling transportation tours, restaurant deals, and local sightseeing tickets at a discounted price when purchased with specific digital wallets. This will not only generate extra revenue for your hotel but it will also help you build your credibility as a service provider.
Smartphones have become an integral part of the complete travel experience – from shaping what the guests want to see and where they want to stay to discovering travel insights provided by fellow travelers, all the way to creating and posting stories on the go through social media.
Furthermore, the incredible increase in travel bookings made through mobile devices can at least in part be attributed to the speed, convenience, and security provided by mobile payment systems. Travelers find it easy to use PayPal or Google Pay over credit/debit cards to finish a transaction. They prefer a fast, no-frills payment method that enables them to make quick decisions and complete their bookings with just a few taps on the phone screen.
Apart from convenience, security is a major factor governing the rise of alternate payment methods. With an increase in credit card frauds, some customers have become skeptical of sharing their credit card details for online transactions and may want to pay differently.
In contrast, payment options like PayPal, Google Pay, and Swift use state-of-the-art encryption methods to protect the financial information of their users. Plus, the sign-in process can be secured through multi-step authentication, which blocks any third-party intrusion when making a payment.
The future of the hotel industry will be shaped by continuous innovations in digital technology. Not only will the booking process of hotels be streamlined, but it will also create a more immersive experience for your clients by empowering them to customize their hotel experience.
To keep up with the increasing competition in the travel industry, hotels need to integrate modern technology with traditional hospitality. Availability of alternate methods of payment adds to the convenience of travelers, which in turn increases your chances of generating more revenue.