How Customized Payment Solutions Can Optimize Your Hospitality Business
Success in the hospitality industry depends partly on being able to serve high volumes of customers efficiently, without compromising the service you offer to your valuable clientele.
It also depends on being able to keep up with – or outperform – the competition – in an industry where it’s essential to stand out from rivals. In addition, you need to consider security and ease of use for your customers, too.
Working with the right payment processor for your hospitality business can address these requirements. However, before you choose a payments processer, you need to know what to look for.
The following tips should help you find the right payment processor for your business.
Choosing Your Payment Processing Partner
The unique demands of the hospitality industry require a payment processor that understands the specifics of your business.
A payment processor with expertise will have a much better understanding of the challenges you face. They’ll know that the right payment processing equipment is not just about taking payments, but helping other key areas of the business like making inventory and accounting easier, and they’ll be able to suggest suitable solutions.
When drawing up a list of possible payment processors, look on the website for information on the type of businesses they usually work with. In addition, ask the company about the size and scale of businesses they’ve worked with before, and perhaps ask for names of some of their satisfied clients so you can get a better sense whether they are the right fit for you.
However, before you make a commitment to any one processor, find out more about their reputation. See if there are testimonials on their website, do some research online to see what other people are saying about them, or ask the company for references from customers.
Reduced friction and personalization are two of the top things that consumers are looking for, according to Deloitte’s outlook report for the travel and hospitality industry.
Limiting friction is also essential to both customer experience and to efficient payments processing if you want to boost sales: customers don’t want obstacles put in their way when they are trying to make a payment or as part of the customer experience itself. And without addressing these problems, payment fiction could be costing you business.
However, payment processing can go some way to reducing friction in the payments processing procedure.
And by using data from a POS system to learn more about individual customers, you can personalize your marketing to them. Nevertheless, customers don’t always like their details being tracked; thus, it’s advised that you always get your customer’s consent before tracking their details.
When selecting a payment processor ask them how they help you to deliver the personalized, straight forward customer experience your customers are looking for.
Keeping Up With Competition
Hospitality businesses have always had to face strong competition, but now it’s facing new threats, with relative newcomers to the industry such as Airbnb, which is taking a considerable part of market share. And with fewer customers, a hospitality business is also losing out on food and beverages sales, further decreasing revenues. So how can hospitality businesses make themselves more competitive?
One of the ways of achieving this is by using the correct payment processing tools so you’ll receive detailed data. This data can help shape the way you do business by allowing you to identify trends and demands among your customers, while also identifying potential areas for improvement and for boosting sales.
Talk to the payments processor about the tools they can provide and how they’ll assist you in producing the useful data that will help drive your business forward and make it more competitive.
Fraud Detection & Prevention
Fraud is a considerable concern for all businesses, but research suggests the hospitality industry is being targeted more often.
In the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in data compromise in general, and a notable percentage of businesses compromised have been restaurants and hotels, according to ACI Worldwide.
Hospitality businesses are exposed to credit card fraud in two main ways: through their payments processing system being hacked, or from customers using stolen or fraudulent cards. With the introduction of EMV, card present fraud has reduced considerably, while some experts would argue that it has increased ecommerce fraud, especially during peak holiday times. Furthermore, online fraud is expected to increase due to the introduction of EMV.
In addition, research indicates that half of global consumers have a lack of trust in businesses in general when it comes to keeping their financial details safe.
Given the fraud risks in the hospitality industry, and consumers concerns about it, it’s important to do what you can to put consumers’ minds at ease.
To do this, find a payment processor who can provide the latest in fraud detection and use the latest equipment with up-to-date security. If you’re taking payments online, choose a secure payment gateway with SSL and show your PCI certification for added reassurance.
Putting Customer Service First
Pricing is important, especially in some areas of the hospitality industry where profit margins are already slim, but it shouldn’t be the only consideration when searching for a payment processor.
Although it can be tempting to go with the cheapest merchant services provider you can find, paying less can also mean a lack of quality, both in the service you receive, and the service that you can offer to your customers.
Rather than looking purely at pricing, a dedication to excellent and efficient customer service should be the priority so you’ll know support will be readily available should you need it.
With competition fiercer than ever, businesses in the hospitality trade need to do all they can to give their business an edge, and this starts with choosing the right payments processor for your hospitality business.
The ideal processor will have expertise in your area, understand the unique demands of your business, and provide you with the tools that will help you meet the specific challenges such as managing inventory, accounting and staff more easily.
A good company will also understand that they’ll be times when you need some guidance and support along the way, and they’ll be there to provide it.