Accelerate the payment process and enhance the customer experience.
Dirty money has more than one connotation and given the current state of the world, we mean germs! Cash is known to host all types of viruses and bacteria. Depending on the germ, some can even live up to 17 days on cash. The hotel industry is mindful of this, and as travel starts to bounce back after a global pandemic, many believe cashless payments may be the key to recovery.
According to PhocusWire, hotels will have to implement major changes beyond temperature checks and hand sanitizer stations if they want people to feel safe and comfortable travelling again. Hotels will need to begin restructuring their payment process to be cashless and contactless for both the safety of guests, as well as hotel staff who sometimes handle cash and plastic cards throughout their shifts. Some examples of cashless payments would be paying via credit card authorizations forms, pre-paid reservations, or hotel apps that allow for mobile check-in. These alternatives also reduce traffic in common spaces, such as check-in lines and waiting areas, further reducing the risk of transferring germs from one person to another.
In addition to providing guests with a more seamless and safe check-in experience, cashless payments also provide hotels with trackable customer data. According to PhocusWire, hotels can gain valuable insight into a guest’s behavior based on their foot traffic around the resort, frequented locations, and commonly used products. With this data, hotels have the ability create a more meaningful, personalized experience for their guests. In turn, they hope to maximize a guests length of stay, encourage brand loyalty, and secure repeat reservations.
While hotels begin to transition to cashless payments, corporations can implement their own safety precautions for their travel program by using virtual credit cards. Virtual cards can be faxed or emailed to hotels, allowing the reservation to be paid for in advance, minimizing and potentially eliminating time spent at the front desk. Also, with some businesses still working from home, expensing travel could become increasingly difficult to manage from a distance. With virtual cards, centralized billing can be used for business trips that are tied to a company’s credit line.
Hotels are implementing the necessary protocols and restructuring their payment processes to make the travel experience seamless. Businesses can also take part in this by implementing new processes in their travel programs. Travel doesn’t have to be a place of anxiety because of coronavirus.