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Hospitality, Hotels, Mobile Payments, News

How to create an express hotel payment service in a matter of days

Today’s hotel guests expect their payments to be as simple and frictionless as an Amazon checkout or a contactless in-store payment. Unfortunately hotels seem to be resisting this demand due to the effort involved in implementing new payment systems.

The good news is that setting up an express payment service can be a quick and easy process too.

This article outlines Prommt’s model for expediting guest payments, and how that model can be implemented in the space of a few days.

First off, let’s consider what makes payments happen faster

To achieve faster hotel payment, we need to cover two key requirements:

  1. For the guest: frictionless access to preferred payment method;
  2. For the hotel: access to technology that efficiently manages and expedites payments

Prommt’s approach to the first point is to send the guest a unique payment link via email or SMS. They don’t need to login to a portal, enter their contact details, or prove they’re not a robot. The deal they negotiated over the phone, or reserved via booking.com will be waiting for them. They can just enter their card details and pay.

Where we can help on the hotel’s side of the transaction is to give staff the tools they need to manage guest payments and protect their revenues.

Let’s consider the process for taking payments from repeat customers.

It is all about taking as much of the process as possible out of the hotel’s hands, and placing it in the control of the customer. When a customer receives a payment link, they enter their card number directly into our secure payment page, to be tokenised by your payment gateway. Neither the hotel nor Prommt transmits, processes or stores sensitive card data. For the hotel’s returning customers, we can take this a step further by ensuring they don’t need to re-enter card details at all.

If a customer needs to make regular payments – say, a monthly leisure club membership fee – the hotel can use Prommt to set up a Recurring Payment. The staff member sets up the request in a single action, and the card is then automatically debited according to an established plan. When a Direct Debit goes unpaid, it incurs cost and requires manual intervention by your staff. Our Recurring Payments solution will retry over a set period, and offers the customer the ability to update card details. Customers are increasingly looking for flexibility and we can help you deliver that.

Another popular feature of Prommt is Autocharge – our card on file solution. This is used by hotels to manage event payments and really helps shorten the payment cycle. A Prommt request is sent to the cardholder, with a mandatory opt in to Autocharge which means you can take the deposit, and hold the card open for the balance. This is a particularly useful feature for corporate bookings and package tour groups, where numerous guests want to charge of items to a single account.

All these features help enable faster payments for guests who want to settle up promptly – but what about those who don’t?

Incomplete and late payments are a long-standing bugbear for revenue managers. We enable hotels to monitor and chase up payments with easy to use reporting and alerting tools so you’ll know when a payment is made, but as importantly when a payment fails or a customer cancels a recurring plan.

Now let’s consider how to make payments faster

As we’ve seen, there’s a lot of functionality within Prommt’s express payment process. That doesn’t mean to say it is difficult to implement.

Prommt is already integrated with the main payment gateways, and once we receive your merchant account credentials from them, the process of going live can be completed within a day.

The cashflow incentive for creating an instant payment system

We’d like to close with a final thought on why expediting hotel payments matters; it’s not just about the guest.

Hotel businesses are unusual from a cashflow perspective, in that they usually receive payment for the services they provide at the end of a customer’s stay.

This places an increased demand for hotels to process payments quickly. The sooner the money’s in the bank, the sooner the hotel can cover its costs, and the better equipped it will be to supply the demands of the next customer.

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