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Customer-centric hotel payments: Are you missing an opportunity to get more direct bookings?

29 November 2016
As hotel brands desire to increase direct bookings and grow additional ancillary revenue streams, their big challenge lies in offering a customer-centric travel service that supports guests throughout their journey – from inspiration, booking and payment, to transfers, check-in, stay and departure.

A service that generates more direct bookings, manages itinerary changes, offers ancillary services, facilitates check-out and takes payment seamlessly. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? There’s only one catch…

What should be easy to implement technically is almost impossible due to the property-by-property payment model existing in the hotel industry today. Currently, payment information is captured during the booking process and forwarded to each individual property, which in turn has its own acquiring agreement to process the payment. 

To increase revenue opportunity and improve the booking experience for guests, the hotel industry must shift to a model where payments are managed centrally. 

This is the only way that ancillary services can be offered centrally without the need for a “many suppliers to many properties” relationship. It would also enable pre-payment rates to be processed immediately and centrally, without needing to forward payment information in a PCI compliant manner. 

Many hotel chains have shied away from converting their brand website into a true transacting platform on par with online travel agents. One of the main reasons is the perceived complexity around taking payments and forwarding funds to individual properties and third parties. But it’s not that complicated. 

So what are those critical areas in your payment set-up to get more direct bookings and ancillary sales? 

1. Become the “merchant of record”
2. Offer an amazing payment experience
3. Customize your payment method mix 
4. Manage fraud and chargebacks 
5. Control the payment flow
6. Pay your individual properties

Find out more about these critical areas by reading the full article in the Hotel Yearbook here.