Last editedNov 20212 min read
Choosing the right payment processing methods is important for any small business. Today’s customers expect an easy, secure and frictionless payment experience. This is especially true of the hospitality industry. Friction at the point of payment can exacerbate stress and frustration for prospective guests. Some of whom may be trying to book last-minute accommodation for a business trip or have recently completed a long and stressful journey.
If you run a small hotel or B&B, you’re competing with huge international hotel chains that have sophisticated software and ample human resources. Fail to make your payment processing as fast, fluid and frictionless as possible and your relationship with the customer is off to a rocky start. And given that this sector of the hospitality industry is all about referrals and recommendations, that could be disastrous to your reputation and your brand. Here we’ll look at everything you need to know about payment processing for small hotels and B&Bs.
Common pain points for small hotel payment processing
Unlike your larger counterparts, your small hotel or B&B may not have an extensive booking team to keep track of receipts and whether payment has been made for each guest. This is a potential vulnerability that could lead to frustration on the part of your guests. They want to check in as quickly as possible. They don’t want to wait around with their luggage while your team struggles to ascertain whether or not their payment has been received.
What’s more, many of a small hotel’s payments are considered high-risk because they are Card Not Present (CNP) transactions, meaning that payment is taken online and over the phone. What’s more, many are high-value transactions taken long in advance. As such, any oversights regarding cancellations can have a serious impact on your cash flow.
UK hoteliers are also expected to be Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) compliant as of September 2021. As such, even the smallest hotels can risk losing revenue, courting payment processing mishaps and falling afoul of regulations if they don’t have a strong infrastructure for processing online payments.
Integrated hotel payment systems and how they can help
Processing payments without an integrated hotel property management system is much more labour intensive than it needs to be.
When taking a payment, hotels begin the process by requesting the credit card information from their front desk and retrieving an access code by logging into their email inbox.
Once the access code has been retrieved, the guest’s credit card can be viewed and the payment can be processed using an online payment gateway or your on-site POS terminal. When the payment has been processed, it must then be processed through the front-desk management system. What’s more, this process will need to be repeated when guests check out if there is any remaining balance to be paid for bar charges, room service etc.
Integrated payment processing solutions make life much easier for both guests and hotel staff. Which is especially advantageous for smaller operations that are run by families or employ only a handful of staff. They integrate fully with property management systems and facilitate faster payments and smoother check outs with no need to double-handle payments.
As a result, the guest experience is frictionless and staff find that less of their time is occupied by administrative processes. So they can instead focus their attention on delivering an outstanding experience to their guests.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about payment processing for your small business, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.