By Larry Talley
Contactless technology and travel are hot subjects as everyone looks towards safer times ahead and the chance to spend time with loved ones again after much time apart. When it comes to staying at a hotel, the guest of the future expects contactless and even more so touchless check-in reflected everywhere from valet parking to keyless entry. That journey may begin at valet but it continues right into the payment process with “26% of consumers indicating they want digital room keys and 35% asking for contactless payment options.” (Hotel Tech Report). The modern payments ecosystem provides a frictionless guest experience across entire hotel properties.
Hotels and staff must accommodate the innovations that make guests comfortable, and one of those is contactless payment. Whether its payment for the room itself or amenities like room service or adding a spa treatment, the benefits of paying this way are reflected for both the guest and their host. Let’s take a look at some of those more closely.
Contactless front desk and room entry: The front desk can be frustrating for both guests and staff alike. It can be a time-consuming process of waiting. However, contactless and SMS options available mean a guest sends a text to the front desk for communication about their room and check-in. Check-out is a breeze by just sending a text to alert staff to departure.
Easy ordering and payment: Just as QR codes became the new menu, they also became the fast way to pay. Whether its ordering a late-night meal or scheduling a massage, guests who are able to book and pay by text or pay via their phone are more likely to have larger check averages – it’s easier for them to spend and easier for the hotel to offer payment options quickly.
Customer satisfaction: The goal of any hotel is to retain guests and ensure they plan to visit and stay there again. A simple transaction process paired with the ability to offer upgrades or quickly address issues during their stay means the guest is likely to have an enjoyable experience and likely to visit again. Combine this with a short check-out survey and loyalty program via text and business will skyrocket.
Additional benefits of contactless payment and SMS communication options with hotels include offering a virtual concierge who has readily available destination information and answers to questions just a text away, food & beverage extras like the ability for a chef to share culinary inspirations or answer ingredient questions or a bartender to share wine expertise, and post-stay automations to allow customers to send feedback about the stay gives hotels a better chance to listen and learn.
Contactless has checked-in and is here to stay – it can enrich a guest’s experience, provide control over their stay, and even encourage them to spend a little more. The hospitality industry was hit especially hard by the pandemic and is only just starting to recover. Contactless payments are helping the hospitality industry swiftly return everyone to the glory days of travel.