Find out why they’re important, what they mean for hospitality, and how they can generate extra revenue for your property without adding work for staff.
As we near the one-year anniversary of the first lockdowns to combat COVID-19, it couldn’t be clearer that the world will never be the same. But for the first time in a while, there’s a lot to look forward to: more than 326 million vaccine doses have been administered across 121 countries, the post-holiday surge in cases is over, and according to a brand-new study from American Express, nearly 80% of people are looking to travel in 2021 to relieve the stresses of 2020. Cue the cheers.
Hoteliers are preparing to transition into the “new normal”—or something close to it—within the next six months. And as the post-COVID world begins to take shape, we’re finally getting a better sense of what will stick with us, and what won’t.
One trend has held steady throughout: everyone’s on their phone all the time, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Over the last year, we’ve talked constantly about the importance of mobile check-in and mobile key, both in the context of the pandemic world and the future that lies beyond it. Yet as important as that technology is, there’s one that’s been even more in demand. Contactless payments.
In April 2020, Mastercard released a stunning study based on online interviews of over 17,000 global consumers. They found 88% of consumers had adopted contactless payment technology—and 74% planned to continue using it post-pandemic. At the same time, mobile purchases went up in nearly every sector, and made up 73% of all ecommerce sales last year. And it’s not just the pandemic. People have also never been more worried about fraud and information security, and mobile payments are simply safer to use than cash or credit cards.
All of this to say…mobile purchases and contactless payments are here, and here to stay. They represent a new way of life that’s impacting every industry. So, what does that mean for hoteliers? If you’re not prepared to process mobile purchases and contactless payments, you’re missing out on huge revenue potential—something most properties and brands simply can’t afford to do in this rebuilding phase.
That being said, hotels are in a uniquely strong position to embrace mobile payment technology. First, restaurants and retail have already mastered mobile payments and offer a roadmap to success that hoteliers can follow. But most importantly, all mobile payments and orders should also be processed through the systems you already know and trust—meaning you shouldn’t need to retrain staff or reconcile financials from multiple systems.
That’s because what hoteliers need to harness the revenue-generating potential of mobile isn’t really a new payment technology. It’s a few new credit card terminals and guest technology. Guests are asking for a way to check in and out, order food, and make purchases during their stay from their phone—usually through a mobile app. And on that front, it’s the app provider’s responsibility to work with your PMS and POS vendors to ensure they can facilitate mobile payments, not yours.
What you need to know about mobile payments can be boiled down to this: they should add convenience for tech-savvy guests and extra revenue for your property, not more complication for you. If anyone tries to tell you differently, that’s a red flag.
Want to find out more about how to leverage the power of mobile technology to increase your property’s revenue? Request a demo of the INTELITY platform today.