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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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Mobile Payments, An Important Part of Hospitality

10/04/2016

Today’s guests are accustomed to doing things on the go. They live in a mobile world. They value a simple and frictionless consumer experience for selecting where they will stay, what they will eat and where they will spend their dollars. The manner in which guests assess, select, experience and spend is changing almost as quickly as technology is advancing.

What technologies are you leveraging that actually help you better serve guests? Chances are you’re using integrated solutions with advanced interfaces that make guest services as efficient as possible. Guests needn’t be aware of the complexities of systems, and should be able to enjoy their poolside cocktail rather than spend a lot of time purchasing it.

Bringing payment acceptance to the customer, wherever they are, has been proven to grow revenue through increased guest engagement. There are several reasons why mobile payment acceptance should be high on your priority list for technology investment:

1. Increased Sales
Mobile ordering and payment processing technology helps drive mobile guest service, which translates to more revenue-generating opportunities. Payment acceptance on a POS tablet, for example, actually expands your guest reach, targeting guests in areas that may otherwise be underserved. By including mobile ordering and payment acceptance, there’s an opportunity to make more sales, since the majority of guests these days expect to be able to pay virtually anywhere on property.
2. Quicker Guest Service
Long lines are a turnoff. Equipping hotel staff with mobile check in and credit card processing tools can reduce guest wait times and increase satisfaction. Self-service kiosks for check in or even retail purchases can offer quick service when a staff member is not immediately available.
3. Upsell Opportunities
Individual guest attention provides more opportunity for engagement and upsell. When staff members have tablets they can interact with guests and gather information about their preferences. This, in turn, is used to inform a guest about additional products which might be of interest. Guests appreciate a more personalized service and the additional interactions offer the advantage of increasing guest spending.
4. Tableside Service
Restaurants that implement mobile payment technology are enabling customers to spend more. Equipping servers with tablets allows the server to spend more time in the dining room making it easier for guests to purchase additional drinks or desserts. Servers remain closer to guests because they’re able to process orders, transmit them to the kitchen or bar, and even process the payment  all without leaving the guest’s side.

Pay-at-table technology not only allows the guest to make a payment in real time, but the guest also enters the tip directly on the device. This saves time adjusting checks at the end of a shift.

5. Card Data Security
Mobility without the proper security can open up new risks of data loss. Mobile devices are not physically locked down, and sensitive card information is transmitted wirelessly.  Protecting the customer card information is critical to guest satisfaction and business reputation. A validated point-to-point encrypted (P2PE) solution keeps the card data out of your systems and protects the card from exposure during swipe or dip processing. Physical security and secure operational processes are also part of a validated P2PE solution and guidelines for ensuring this security are included in the solution’s P2PE instruction manual (PIM).

Including mobile payment technology in your guest experience can help grow revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. Mobile payment acceptance offers the opportunity to improve the guest experience. Bringing payment acceptance to the customer is a proven way to grow revenue through increased guest engagement.

About The Author
Roberta Braum
Director of Product Magement, Payments
Agilysys, Inc.


Roberta Braum is the director of product management, payments for Agilysys, Inc.

 
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