What could integrated payments do for you? How hoteliers can take control and add value with an integrated system
Guest experience is the bedrock of the hotel industry, and throughout its evolution the hotel industry has defined its business strategies around it. But recently, it has become even more crucial and is turning out as a differentiator for hotel businesses. The guest experience that was once restricted to a few touch-points is now spearheading the entire journey. One area that particularly helped hotels to put their guests at the forefront for improving their experience is the ease of making payment.
The legacy standalone system for payment is a slow and time-consuming experience, not just for guests but for hoteliers too. They have to deal with fragmented payment providers and record transactions of each customer separately. The accounting process is difficult as they have to match these transactions manually during the reconciliation process, which can also lead to mistakes.
Further, claiming expenses for additional services such as spa or gym that guests utilize during their stay was also a mammoth task for the hotel staff. They have to collect and consolidate all the invoices from various service providers and then send them to the guests for payment. It can become more complex if the guests are in the group and want to split their bills. Besides that, if the guests are from cross-border hotels it can incur a transaction processing fee. Above all, in the case of no-show guests, hoteliers have to bear the financial loss since there is no provision for upfront payment.
From admin work to accounting, the traditional payment system has derailed the hotel business in many ways. Not surprisingly, technological advancement has led the hotel industry to overcome these challenges and deliver a personalized experience to customers. The benefits of technology have encouraged hotel owners to incorporate technologies such as PMS and mobile apps for fast payment and quality customer service.
Hotel businesses that operate worldwide need better control over their funds and transparency in the business process. They seek a business model that is sustainable and resilient. They want real-time access to the hotel’s revenue and performance data. They want real-time access to the hotel’s revenue and performance data. Hotel PMS integrated with payment can solve this and overcomes the complexities associated with the payments process. Guests can also settle their bills quickly and leave the hotel happy.
What is Property Management Software?
Property management software (PMS) is a centralized hotel management system that allows hotel staff to perform and manage various tasks such as booking reservations, billing and payment, check-in/check-out, room rate management, customer management, housekeeping and maintenance management, plus more besides. Property management software can be accessed as on-premise PMS, cloud PMS, and hybrid cloud PMS.
Does Integration of PMS With Payment Add Value to The Hotel Business?
Integrating PMS with payment brings a range of benefits to the hotel’s operations and streamlines the payment process.
Enhance cash flow: PMS with integrated payments gives a clear view of the business cash flow and revenue. It even gives insights into the local tax and fees that the hotel industry is liable to pay. With all the transactions traceable and financial details in hand, hoteliers can make a better business decision. It eventually boosts hotel business and increases cash flow.
Reduce human errors: With a manual billing system, the risk of errors remains high. A small error in enteringthe guests’ check-in or check-out information can bill guests wrongly. It can cause unnecessary disputes between hotel staff and guests.
Optimize customer experience: During their stay in the hotel, guests sometimes use ancillary services such as a gym, spa, bars, transportation, etc., for which they need to pay separately. An integrated PMS allows service providers to bill and claim all the additional expenses through a single interface. Since the card details are stored securely at the front desk, the guests do not need to visit them frequently to make payments. Guests can enjoy their stay without interruption by paying all charges at once.
Payment in any currency: Hotels attract guests and tourists from all around the globe, and a PMS that supports payment with multiple currencies give them the choice to pay how they want to. Guests appreciate the hotels that allow them to pay the bill in their currency and overcome the hassle of converting foreign currency into local currency.
Reduce accounting work: Hotels that rely on manual reconciliation methods may take more time in matching payment transactions and leave room for accounting errors. Hotel owners’ dream for a profitable hotel business can turn into a nightmare if the reconciliation process is not accurate and full of errors. A PMS system integrated with payment can make the reconciliation process easy as all the transaction details are directly updated in the PMS system. It reduces the accounting work and eliminates the financial discrepancies due to wrong entries.
Cloud-based PMS: Cloud-based PMS can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. Cloud PMS integrated with payment can give guests the flexibility to check out and make payments from any corner of the hotel. It saves guests time and reduces the workload from the front-desk staff.
Increase guest engagement level: With all the customers’ information on the dashboard, it becomes easy for hotel staff to push loyalty programs and discount coupons that they can redeem through the PMS payment system.
Is it safe to use PMS integrated with payment?
Hotel owners can make guests happy when they encourage them to make payments securely online and in person. The PMS integrated with a payment gateway processes the payments in a PCI secure platform. This follows regulatory mandates such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, and Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) compliance. To fulfil PCI DSS compliance with cardholder data, the organization implements network segmentation and segregation techniques. Many hotels adopt a tokenization strategyto reduce the scope of PCI DSS- which means minimizing the costs, efforts, and risks that come with PCI compliance. Tokenisation uses unique tokens to securely store guests’ card details on file for additional payments. The card data never enters the hotels’ network with an integrated solution, so hotel managers do not have to worry about the data breach and have peace of mind. Tokenization and role-based access control makes PMS software more secure.
With the ever-changing customer payment preferences and evolving business trends, hotel owners need a payment system that is guest-centric. It requires a closed-loop process that eliminates all the ambiguities around payment and enhances guest experience. A PMS system that is payment agonistic can simplify the payment process and support the idea of delivering greater value to the hotel business. Considering all the benefits and hotels competing for a unique guest experience, a PMS integrated with payment can work in the best interest of hotel owners to help generate revenue and improve loyalty.