A survey made by Hotels.com™ Mobile Travel Tracker* made some surprising discoveries in the preferences of travellers, especially those booking on mobile devices.
Contrary to expectations, while factors like property information, value-for-money, and guest reviews are important, a massive 54% of the participants in the survey say they would abandon a booking if their preferred method of payment is not available. What then is a hotelier to do except try and be able to accept as many payment types as reasonably possible!
Which types of payment?
But what types of online payment methods are sought most? Of course, they differ geographically, but the methods used most often** are (in alphabetical order) bank cards, credit cards, e-wallets (like PayPal), and online banking. So being able to offer (at least) some of them as payment options may be the thing to sway the booking-making decision in your favour.
What about security?
Another very important factor when it comes to online payments is security. In numbers presented by a 2016 UPS survey***, more than a third of online payments have been abandoned because of security concerns. So it is important that the payment options you as a hotel offer are as secure as possible.
This is easier said than done. On one hand, the established security standards for handling payment card data (PCI DSS), for example, can be quite costly to achieve. On the other hand, connections to online payment gateways can be useful, but they are one more piece to implement and synchronize with your current software.
A hotel software with integrated payment processing
However, there is another way. If you are using a hotel software which handles all kinds of payments and conforms to PCI DSS, or takes away the responsibility from you, your problems will be solved. Enter
A comprehensive property management system, Clock PMS caters for all key aspects of the accommodation business like hotel management, real-time online distribution, continuous guest engagement, and - of course - integrated payment processing.
ClockPMS: three options to choose from
Aiming to help as many hoteliers with their different cases as possible, Clock PMS offers three options of processing online payments: secure credit card vault, integrated processing, and hosted payment pages. They vary in the security burden carried by the hotel and the amount of the transaction fees.
Secure credit card vault
This is the basic option where the hotel receives and handles credit card details. With this option the system verifies the validity of the card, stores the details in a secure server, and deletes them at the end of the booking stay.
Integrated payment processing
This option allows accepting all the major types of payment mentioned earlier: credit cards, bank cards, online banking, etc. The security risk here is lower because credit card details never actually reach the hotel. Instead, the hotel operates with a token sent by the payment service provider. Other upsides are the lower transaction fees for some of these payment types, the automatic transfer of amounts between the PMS and the POS terminal, and the support of multiple one-click payments even without the card being present.
Hosted payment pages
This last option uses payment gateways like PayPal, WorldPay, or Adyen. Understandably, it is the easiest on security costs for the hotel and is available for all online bookings. A nice touch is the seamless integration that allows bookers through the hotel web reservation system to actualize their payment without visibly leaving your website or interrupting the experience.
Modern-day travellers increasingly book their holiday or business stays online. Spoilt for choice in all other aspects of their life as consumers, they expect the same high standards of convenience from hotels as well. A variety of secure options for online payment has come to be a must for accommodation properties relying on online sales. A perfect solution can be found in a property management system like ClockPMS which, beside defragmenting hotel management in general, features a wide variety of integrated options for payment processing.