Hotel payment automation might not be the first thing to come to mind when considering the abundance of new upgrades in the hospitality industry. But with so many technological advances in hotels, payment automation should not be overlooked.
The Hotelier Technology Sentiment Report states that of the 525 hoteliers surveyed, nearly 82% implemented at least one form of technology during the pandemic. Plans to adapt technologies are expected to increase during 2022.
Now that people feel more comfortable about traveling and happy to get out of their houses, the hospitality industry is experiencing a boost in business. With so many remote and hybrid work positions, business travel has morphed into business leisure travel. And old-fashioned vacations are also on the rise.
Whether people are traveling for business, vacation, or something in between, automation technology is at the center of hospitality upgrades.
Virtual reality tours give potential customers a 360-degree view of the property and their room before booking. The hotel can send mobile communications to guests even before they check in. Guests can use their mobile devices to make restaurant reservations, check in, and other amenities through apps or the hotel’s digital framework. Keyless and contactless room entry has quickly become the standard in guest comfort since the onset of the pandemic. And when it’s time to check out, some hotels provide a choice between contactless payments or self-check-out kiosks.
But why let advances in hospitality technology stop at the guest rooms?
Hospitality Technology Advances Aren’t Just for Guests
Many of the upgraded hospitality technologies were implemented during the pandemic to make guests feel safer. But they offer a bonus of greater optimization for the hotels. Automated processes have helped hotels cover the recent waves of labor shortages.
Reservation automation management tools help to ease front desk workflow. Innovations such as smart rooms can automatically adjust the temperature and lights based on the time of day. This advanced feature reduces the hotel’s energy output and supports eco-friendly initiatives.
Contactless and smart technologies require less human interaction from staff. For example, booking engines eliminate the need for third-party booking channels and allow guests to book direct. Automated property management systems help better integrate administrative tasks, especially between multi-location properties.
Automating processes routinely handled manually or by a team of people has advantages for hotels. It reduces labor costs, streamlines operations, and decreases expenses in several areas.
Hospitality Back-Offices Need Hotel Payment Automation
Hospitality automated payment solutions are essential for back-office efficiency. Both buyers and suppliers have similar obstacles when it comes to payment processes.
- Manual AP processes
- Payment delays
- Limited or no visibility of transactions
- High processing costs
- Fraud risk
Hotel payment automation alleviates those obstacles and helps hospitality back-office staff and the suppliers being paid.
Automated payment systems create efficiency by removing tedious tasks, minimizing human error, and allowing staff to focus on more customer-facing and productive activities. In addition, real-time invoice and payment tracking allows for faster reconciliation and eliminates duplicate invoices, lost, or double payments.
With a cloud-based payments platform, suppliers are paid on time, and buyers avoid late payment fees, strengthening the buyer/supplier relationship. Furthermore, payments are more secure than paying by paper check minimizing the potential for check fraud or lost checks. Access is available at any time from a smart device. And full visibility of payment activity reduces the review and approval process.
Hospitality Digital Payments Help to Upgrade Your Suppliers
CSI’s digital payments implement fast, secure, and automated payments with detailed reporting. Our automated AP solutions have industry-specific supplier portals that connect your hotel with suppliers already accepting CSI payments. Moreover, CSI’s automated payments easily integrate with hospitality ERPs and accounting systems.
The virtual credit card has a unique one-time-use number assigned to an invoice or transaction. The predetermined amount is more secure than traditional credit cards and reduces fraud from lost or stolen checks. As a result, suppliers receive their payments quickly, securely, and with less paper. Virtual cards can also increase monthly income with rebates just by paying your bills.
Along with technology, the hospitality industry also experienced a 300% increase in electronic B2B payments from January 2020 to May 2021. According to PYMNTS, there were more suppliers accepting virtual card and ACH transactions during that time.
Not all of your suppliers accept card payments. ACH is another option that allows you to automate your payments by sending funds directly to your supplier’s bank account. Suppliers receive an electronic remittance, and there are no supplier fees.
CSI’s B2B Payment Network is a proprietary network. It works like ACH by transferring funds directly into your supplier’s bank account, but it also provides invoice-level transaction details. You can also earn rebates for every bill you pay.
If your suppliers only take check payments, you can still automate those payments by letting us send them out for you. The CSI Paysystems platform allows for convenient online check approvals. We’ll handle the printing, signing, and stuffing and have approved checks in the mail the next business day.
CSI’s enrollment team will educate suppliers about the benefits of virtual cards and help get them onboarded with faster, automated payments.
No Reason to Fear All Hospitality Technology Upgrades
Despite the increased upgrades in the hospitality industry, many fears are holding some branded and independent hotels back. One of the most common is the high upfront costs associated with new technologies. Some brands see the complexity of the latest technologies as difficult to integrate with their current platforms. And they don’t see them as scalable for future growth. There is also the fear that too much technology will feel impersonal to guests.
Some upgrades may be costly for the hospitality industry. However, there are no upfront costs for CSI’s payment automation solution. There’s the potential to earn income from rebates on qualifying payments. And our payment solution integrates with virtually all ERPs and accounting systems.
The new technological upgrades in the hospitality industry will soon be commonplace. Many are in line with the digitized and automated services that guests are familiar with in daily transactions. One of the most secure, easily integrated, and beneficial automations for hotels to start with is an automated payment system.
Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI) is a global FinTech leader providing innovative payment solutions to world-leading brands across all industries. CSI automates and digitizes B2B payments with a safe and highly secure cloud-based payments platform. For a more efficient way to manage payables, including virtual credit card, B2B Payments Network, ACH, and check, please visit https://www.corporatespending.com/contact to book a demo.
CSI is an Edenred Company, the global leader in payment solutions for the working world.