Contactless Hotel Technology: Payment Solutions

Why Should Hotels Invest in Contactless Payment Solutions

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Want to make a purchase? Wait..there’s an app for that, there are a multitude of apps that are specifically designed for mobile devices.  Your credit card companies, banks, cellular providers and your favorite merchants all provide mobile apps for their customers, and it makes sense, as over 3 million people worldwide are cellphone owners.  The pandemic accelerated the need for contactless technology, but the demand for mobile solutions is growing, as most of our daily lives revolve around the use of our mobile phones and devices.

The past year has presented us with a lot of challenges, but as difficult as the pandemic has been, it has also created opportunities for positive change.  The pandemic has led to numerous technological innovations, as hotels were forced to invest in contactless hotel technology in an effort to meet safety guidelines.  Hotels have invested in contactless technology such as mobile check-in, that gives guests the capability of checking in from anywhere around the world with their mobile devices.  Guests can use Mobile key to open their room doors, to gain access to the elevators and guest floors all with the use of their mobile phones and devices.  Contactless technology has also been expanded to the guestrooms with contactless room controls.  Guests can use their mobile phones to access the in-room entertainment, to control the temperature, the lighting, to control the curtains and blinds and to request services.

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Contactless Payment Technology for Hotels

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Contactless payment solutions are on the rise, in April of 2020, a Mastercard survey of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries found that 8 in 10 respondents used contactless payments.  Between February and March of 2020, contactless transactions grew twice as fast as non-contactless transactions during the pandemic.  Restrictions such as social distancing forced consumers to seek out contactless payments for safety reasons.  Contactless payments can be made using a mobile wallet that uses an app or by contactless technology that is embedded directly into the credit/debit card.  Consumers can download the mobile app of their choice and enter their payment information.  They will then simply tap their phones on a payment terminal that has an NFC chip, in order to complete payment.  NFC (Near Field Communication) is a wireless technology that enables short range communication between compatible devices.  Most credit card companies have contactless technology embedded directly into their cards as well, that only requires the tapping of cards on payment terminals to complete transactions.  No pin is required, and the payment process takes half of the time to complete as it would if a card with a chip was used.

Contactless Technology is Here to Stay

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If hotels were to capitalize on the demand for mobile purchases and contactless payments, it has the potential to be a high source of revenue.  Mobile purchases and contactless payments are in demand and that demand will only grow, as contactless payments has the potential to become one of the most important app features.  Contactless payments allow for faster transactions, 74% of those surveyed reported that they will continue to use contactless technology even after the pandemic is over.  More people are using contactless payments even for very small purchases that are normally dominated by cash. Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless transactions during the 1st quarter of 2020 alone and 80% of contactless transactions were under $25 which are normally cash transactions.  Additionally, 82% of respondents felt that contactless payments were a more sanitized and efficient way of making purchases. Mastercard said, “Social distancing does not just concern people’s interactions with each other; it includes contact with publicly shared devices like point of sale terminals and checkout counters,” said Blake Rosenthal, Executive Vice President and Head of Mastercard Acceptance Solutions. “Contactless offers consumers a safer, cleaner way to pay, speed at checkout, and more control over physical proximity at this critical time.”

Benefits of Contactless Payments for Hotels

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Consumers want the convenience of contactless technology.  A new global consumer survey released in May of 2021, revealed that 63% of respondents have tried a new payment method, including contactless payments, the use of QR codes and biometric check-out.  53% felt that new payment methods saved time, 47% said they wanted to avoid using cash and 59% said they would avoid a merchant that did not accept digital payments.  Travelers want the option of mobile check-in/check-out and the ability to order food and make purchases by using their mobile devices.  Hotels that invest in mobile purchases and contactless payments will reap the benefits.

Contactless Payments Offer a More Personalized Experience
Hotels can use contactless payments to gather data on guest behavior, such as spending patterns and habits that can be used to tailor experiences that are geared towards individual guests. Creating a more personalized experience will ensure that guests are more likely to return in the future.

Contactless Payments Offer Speed and Security
Consumers want to reduce their wait times and with contactless payments, guests can complete transactions within 15 seconds.  Due to wireless encryption, personal information remains secure in the event that your card or phone is lost or stolen.

Contactless Payments are Safe and Hygienic
COVID-19 has put a spotlight on sanitation and guests and hotels alike are looking to limit interactions that could potentially spread the virus.  Contactless payments do not require pin numbers or touching of payment terminals and provides a completely contactless experience.

Contactless Payments Increases Customer Satisfaction
Guests are looking for efficiency and contactless payments meet those expectations.  Guests can process payments in half the time than it would take when using non-contactless payment methods. Guests will spend more time enjoying their experiences instead of spending time waiting on lines or spending time making lengthy transactions.

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