Hoteliers’ First Defense Against Fraud (and Tedious Lines)

As the hospitality industry continues to embrace mobile tech, digital ID verification is here to protect against fraud and help free up front desk staff.

Everyone knows mobile tech and contactless options are in. While mobile check-in and mobile key have held the limelight for the past year (rightly so) the trend toward digital has brought with it new security concerns. The next big thing in hospitality tech might not be as glamorous as room keys on guests’ phones, but its role in the mobile check-in process will prove crucial in keeping hoteliers and their guests protected from fraud in the ever-growing digital landscape.

Hoteliers abroad and those who travel globally are likely already aware that many countries require international guests to turn over a physical copy of their passports to be photocopied. But as mobile check-in has increased exponentially, bringing passports to the front desk after check-in on a mobile device disrupts the ease, convenience, and COVID safety that made mobile check-in so popular.

That’s where digital ID verification comes in.

And for guests traveling within their own country, showing ID with their credit card is common practice. Again, this requires physical verification which takes time and face-to-face attention. The process of verifying your guests protects them and you from fraud, but the necessity doesn’t make it any less tedious.

Digital ID verification can help here, too.

How ID Verification Actually Works

Here’s the breakdown: ID verification requires guests to add a photo ID and take a selfie that the hotel can have on file to ensure it matches the ID. It imitates the experience of a front desk person taking a guest’s ID and checking that the photo is of the person they see in front of them. In this case, the digital verification uses AI to make sure the two photos match.

The reason ID verification tech is an up-and-coming part of the mobile check-in conversation is because it mimics the physical experience of having a photo ID be copied, while cutting out steps for both guests and staff. Hotels have a legal obligation to keep paperwork of their guests on file, and by integrating ID verification into the mobile check-in process, all the needed documentation and verification is automatically entered into the hotel’s records. Plus, it’s even more secure than paper copies.

Why ID Verification Is Important 

Without it, anyone with the right confirmation number or email address could access someone else’s reservation and check-in as them or create a reservation under someone else’s name—this gap in security opens up a world of opportunities for exploitation. But with the added encryption and additional authentication of digital ID verification, guests are largely protected from malicious attempts at identity theft and hotels have a strong defense in place to shield from fraud.

The great benefit to adding this feature to the mobile check-in process is this: the very fact that it exists in a given hotel is a deterrent to potential scammers. If people know they have to verify their identity, it naturally discourages those considering fraud/theft. Beyond that, the property has the ID and photo on file so they can double check it later if something does happen. For example, let’s say someone disputes a credit card charge from their stay and claims someone else made the charge. In this case, the hotel can check the ID and the real-time selfie the person submitted at the same time they added their credit card to the reservation. If the photo matches, the hotel has proof of the purchase. On a more serious note, if there is a criminal incident, the hotel has a photo and an ID on the reservation they can then share with the police. It’s an ideal safeguard: something you hope to never use, but definitely want in your back pocket just in case something happens.

ID Verification—The Digital First Defense

Last year, when the entire industry hopped on mobile, we were ready. As digital tech has expanded, INTELITY has been investing in security measures to match. Among those measures, ID verification. As tech developments continue to expand and integrate into the check-in and check-out process, digital ID verification is being adopted more widely. Now, more than ever hoteliers need to step up their digital security and the place to start is by protecting yourself and your guests from identity theft and fraud.

Curious about what’s available and what’s coming in digital ID verification tech? Request a Demo today.

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