“How Embedded Payment Processing Benefits Hotels and Guests: An Insight into Hotel Payment Processing and Guest Data”

The hotel payment processing system is ripe for innovation. For independent operators, enhancing payment processing in hotels has been a significant challenge. However, the closer payment processes are integrated into a business’ core systems, the more advantages they offer. Hotels have recognized the importance of integrated payment processing, which enables merchants to incorporate their capabilities into a hotel’s point-of-sale systems. However, this still requires a digital “handshake” between service providers to process a simple payment. The next stage in this evolution is embedded payments, which assist independent operators in managing costs and simplifying guest purchases.

Embedded payment processing elevates integrated systems by enabling hotels to use a single provider for management software and payment processing capabilities. Embedded solutions enable businesses to customize their checkout experience, eliminating the need for customers to switch from a hotel’s branded site to a third party to handle transactions. This approach to payments is preferred by guests for various reasons and is more likely to associate their purchase with a business or brand rather than a merchant.

Embedded payment processing also offers other benefits to hotels, such as more accurate accounting information and the ability to store all of a hotel’s purchasing data in one place. When payments are routed through embedded tools, hotels have more information about their guests, can keep their guests’ information more secure, and travelers can rely on increased confidence to drive further purchasing decisions.

Third-party payment processors have been beneficial for independent hotels in the past due to their ability to level the payment landscape, but they also introduced different challenges. It can be disruptive for guests to be redirected to a third party during a purchase, and any shifts to a payment screen separate from your hotel’s branding can cause consumers to rethink their buying decisions. By using an embedded payment processing system to create a consistent check-out experience, hotels can improve conversion rates while creating more opportunities for guest purchases. This setup also reduces churn and holds guests’ attention for less time during check-out.

Embedded systems also have the potential to enhance the security of guest information tied to payments by reducing the number of channels a transaction must traverse before business can conclude. With fewer instances of money changing hands, there are fewer opportunities for guest data to be compromised. Additionally, avoiding third-party interactions also increases the perception of security when payment processing is concerned. Increasing positive perceptions about data security will be paramount to raising consumer confidence in hospitality throughout the current business cycle.

Finally, embedded payment processing yields significant guest data that is now available exclusively to hotels, not selectively provided by payment processing partners. The closer hotels are to their guests’ data, the more insights they can gain. By embedding payments, hotels can track the journey of every dollar throughout their system. Direct access to these funds from beginning to end also provides benefits through accounting services, as they can be even more accurate than when routed through integrated systems.

Travelers crave consistency, especially when it comes to payments. Consumers want to be sure they are spending money with the business they expect, and by embedding purchasing tools, hotels can create a more consistent overall travel experience from beginning to end. Hotels must consider how airlines, rideshare companies, and more are embedding their payment processing capabilities and how guests are used to a certain presentation when it is time to pay.

Additionally, embedded payments provide a level of authenticity to a business that can’t be replicated, to the point that it even provides access to additional revenue streams. Independent hotels can more consistently market ancillary services, amenities, or property attributes to guests when payments are embedded directly into the site. Hotels can cross-sell, up-sell, and more using cross-department carts and a streamlined purchase experience.

Independent hoteliers should ask their PMS provider about the availability of embedded payment solutions and how they can help create a more robust data and payment ecosystem for their hotel. Through embedded systems, hoteliers can ensure guest data stays within their purview while providing a more comprehensive guest experience from beginning to end. They are the natural endpoint for hotel payment processing, and these systems are available today.

Warren Dehan is the President of Maestro, the preferred cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals, and multi-property groups. Maestro was first to market with a fully integrated Windows PMS and Sales & Catering solution and is continuing that trend with leading edge web and mobile based solutions. Platform and deployment independence present Maestro as an investment that will continue to grow and adapt as new technologies emerge.

Source: hoteltechnologynews.com

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