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The hospitality industry has witnessed a massive shift in the way customers pay for their food and drink. Within a decade, we have witnessed payment methods shift rapidly from cash to credit cards, tap-and-go and also digital eWallets. But how about the real-world impact of this shift in payment methods, how has the behaviour of the customer changed and what does the future hold for hospitality payments? Here, we discuss how payments are evolving, the benefits of the hospitality business and its impact on the industry.
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Embrace Digital Transformation and Tap into a Trillion-Dollar Market
Navigating a complex payment landscape is not new to the hospitality space. In a service-driven industry, businesses have to accept and aggregate payments across a number of different systems, third parties and agencies. Without centralizing the payments on one platform, operations are costly and fragmented. While businesses experience such challenges firsthand, customers feel it.
Delayed office processes can also cause friction in the many moments when a customer engages with a business: right from check-in to check-out to booking a table and also settling the bill. 71% of travel and hospitality businesses who connected their payment systems grew by at least 20%. If the industry continues growing as much as it expects, it could amount to a $7.7 trillion dollar opportunity.
For Payments - the More Choice, the Better
Customer expectations are always increasing and businesses that offer customers the choice are at a major competitive advantage. As per studies, 56% of consumers like to have multiple payment methods at checkout, which means that customers are looking for a method that is tailored to their needs. This includes card schemes but also payment choices that allow multiple languages, currency options and preferences to transact through wearables. These customers also expect a seamless payment experience.
Tokenization is a good tool for designing convenient payment experiences for customers. Tokenization is a process in which sensitive card information is replaced with a token which means nonsensitive information. This enables businesses to store a customer’s payment details and allows for subsequent transactions, a faster checkout experience and automatic top-ups while keeping the sensitive data secure. Hospitality businesses and hotels know the importance of keeping guest payment safe across different channels and systems that they interact with.
Increase in Online and QR Code Table Ordering: Increase in Customer Spend
There is an increase in the total revenue earned through QR table orders and online orders. This is either when customers order and pay through their smartphones or when customers order ahead for delivery of products and collection. As per research data, customers who order via QR codes and online ordering spend 20% more than those who pay via cash.
Why do customers spend more on QR and online orders?
There are various factors that influence why customers tend to spend more when ordering on their phones - these are some of the noteworthy factors:
Easier to upsell - An app would almost always ask “Would you like to add fries with that? And it’s easy to enable upsell workflows for the menu items.
Easier to reorder - Customers can quickly reorder with a few taps. They don’t have to leave their seat or even walk up to the bar. Convenience trumps!
Images entice - Online ordering apps help users in viewing exactly what their meal will look like. When customers see the visuals they care less about something especially when the food looks delicious.
The hospitality industry has faced its share of challenges in the past years. However, the steadfast adoption of technology in this sector has helped businesses for a new way of working and also serving customers. The role digital solutions play in the hospitality business will become even more important in the coming years given the changing user behaviour.
Connectivity is Crucial to the Customer Journey
It can take days, months, or even years for a business to build enough trust with a prospective customer to get them to purchase. And once they get to your business, the experience is paramount to whether that person becomes a loyal customer or not. However, each business is unique and the same goes for the experience they offer: luxury hotels have the challenge of catering to exclusive repeat guests, while resorts want to design an effortless experience that has multiple touchpoints and businesses with budget-friendly clients. The common thing that these businesses share is the requirement for connectivity throughout the customer journey.
As the hospitality business prepares for an influx of customers in the future, the importance of bringing multiple channels together on one system is clear. One system that connects and manages payments from various channels: online, in-app and in-store could set businesses up for success. Unified commerce syncs disconnected payment channels and allow for more efficient processes as well as a convenient experience for customers.
The hospitality industry has faced its own share of challenges in the past years but the adoption of technology in this sector has prepared businesses for a revamped way of serving customers. The role played by digital solutions in how hospitality businesses serve their customers will be important in the coming years.
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