Earlier this year in keeping with COVID-19 health suggestions such as possible contamination through payment touchpoints I stopped using cash or credit cards to facilitate payment and moved to use the Apple Wallet app. This now acts as the digital version of the traditional leather wallet, and I have amongst many other apps the following on my Apple Phone which I found to be very beneficial.

  • All my credit cards easily available that I can use from my phone for any payments, even for a simple cup of coffee.
  • Digital passport certifying I have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (in Australia 2 vaccinations are required).
  • Frequent flying program and other reward programs.
  • Airline seat allocations.
  • Mobile ordering app at my favorite restaurants and bars.

Recently at its development conference, Apple announced that via the Apple Wallet you will be able to access your guestroom with your mobile phone and in conjunction with ASSA ABLOY it is working with Hyatt Hotels to roll out this technology. In my opinion this is a game changer and I see it leading to a much higher usage rate of mobile key in the future.

In 2020, digital and mobile wallet payment was the most popular payment method globally. 21.5% of transactions made in 2020 were through digital and mobile wallet payments. COVID-19 was a major contributor to this boom. During the pandemic, the number of consumers using mobile wallets escalated from 900 million to 1.48 billion. According to research, mobile wallets are expected to make up one-third of all POS transactions worldwide by 2024. With this rise in the use of mobile wallets among travellers, incorporating it into hotel systems is becoming a necessity.
 
Advantages of Mobile Wallets for Guests

Security
Having a digital wallet while traveling reduces the risk of credit or debit card theft which is rather common during travel. Access to credit card data is encrypted in digital wallet systems, and passcodes or fingerprint identification can provide further protection.

Easy Accessibility
Having a mobile wallet will only require downloading an app and creating a user ID and password. Waiting time and payment time will be reduced significantly, and the need to enter details with every transaction will be swept away. With no more fumbling for wallets, daily transactions will be made more accessible.

Research shows that today, about 83% of travellers use their smartphones at every point of their journeys. With the increasing number of global internet users, digitally savvy travellers will increase, and they will be more open to trying out the latest technology and prefer to use digital money. The demand for an easy payment method will therefore continue to grow, boosting the use of mobile wallets. Mobile wallets bring many advantages which help travellers to enjoy a seamless experience, which is a priority of all hoteliers.
 
Mobile technology is increasingly becoming crucial to the entire travel experience due to their accessibility and ease. Travellers are drawn to using this payment method over traditional payment procedures. As a part of the service industry, satisfying the needs of the guests is the duty of every hotelier. Therefore, adopting measures that are preferred by the guests is important. Accepting and incorporating mobile payments into their hotels will therefore bring high returns for hoteliers.

Mobile payments have brought transactions and payments to the fingertips of people around the world. One major reason for its popularity is how it simplifies operations while saving time. Hotels which are willing to incorporate mobile wallets will not only be able to gain the same benefits but also will leave a lasting impression of the hotel upon guests.

Advantages of Mobile Wallets for Hotels
The security and convenience provided by mobile wallets have ensured that they will be one of the most popular methods of financial transactions in the travel industry. Due to this, incorporating a mobile wallet system into hotels is gradually becoming mandatory. Having a mobile wallet facility will create a comfortable stay for the guests and also will be highly beneficial for the hotels.

Security & Mobile Engagement
One benefit that mobile wallets would provide is facilitating fast and secure transactions. Compared to traditional methods, contactless payment would provide more security through encryption. Guests can therefore always remain confident about the safety of their data.

Another benefit that mobile wallets provide is increased customer satisfaction. The use of mobile wallets will provide guests with the latest technological solutions for financial transactions. Satisfied guests would leave with a positive impression about the establishment, boosting the hotel’s reputation.

Mobile wallet usage increased by 23.6% during the years 2020-2021, mainly because hygiene was made a crucial factor in every person’s life during the pandemic. This has led hotels to be more aware of the maintenance of hygiene in their property for the safety of the guests. Having a mobile wallet system will guarantee the cleanliness of the payment process. Guests will therefore feel comfortable during both the check-in and check-out processes. It would also showcase the hotels’ ability to adapt to the challenges of modern times positively.

 Securing a contactless payment gateway allowing guests to initiate check-out with a simple click of a button. This delivers instant and contactless communication between guests and staff making it easier to maintain minimal contact.

Incorporating mobile engagement software in restaurants and bars is another important aspect through which hoteliers could maintain minimal contact. This provides hoteliers with the necessary assistance to incorporate effective mobile engagement and it needs to be integrated with a secure payment portal facilitating quick transactions.

Today, mobile payment services have become increasingly important to guests in choosing a hotel or a restaurant. Hotels which become mobile-friendly would be the go-to options for the guests. Therefore, adopting proper software to carry out successful mobile payments would help hotels for both an uprise in guest satisfaction and market position.
 
Ted Horner is the founder and managing director of E. Horner & Associates, Sydney.  He can be reached at ted@hornertech.com.au.