Skip to main content

As Business Picks up During a Worker Shortage, Now is the Time for Hotels to Streamline Payment Processing

With a staffing shortage, hoteliers will benefit most by automating tedious back office functions so that employees can spend their time serving valuable guests.
a hand holding a remote control
Advertisement - article continues below

The hospitality industry has been rebounding from the economic effects of the pandemic, as the stock prices of major hotel groups have recovered from the 2020 dip. While investors anticipate a full return to normalcy by next year, those working in the lobby require more assistance to maintain smooth operations amidst laborer shortages.

Hotel guests – many of them vaccinated – are booking rooms again as they resume travel for business and pleasure, but many hotels are struggling to make a full recovery without the necessary workforce to support it. Amongst the employee shortage, it is critical to automate as many tedious back-office functions as possible and allow the limited employees to spend their valuable time serving guests.

One major example of this back-office automation is the streamlining of payment processing. If not efficiently handled with an integrated system, payment processing can cost a business substantial amounts of time and money, requiring staff to spend countless hours crunching numbers when they should be attending to guests.

Time, energy and resources are essential in helping hotels get back to a rapid pace of business. By providing automated solutions, robust reporting, and real-time synchronization across devices, a streamlined integrated system can reduce complexity and support an easier transition into normal business. Here are three topics every hotel operator should comprehend about payment processing:

Interchange and Other Fees

Credit card fees can climb quickly when running a property, but with different cards subjecting hoteliers to various fees and processes, it’s not always clear how much a hotel is shelling out at the hands of credit card companies.

At the root of these fees is one in particular: the interchange fee, which shows the varying fees that companies like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and others charge businesses just to accept their card. The type of card a hotel accepts and whether they are keyed in or swiped/inserted affects the interchange fees the hotel will pay.

Beyond the interchange fee, the costs continue. Sign-up Fees, Statement Fees, Assessments, Equipment Costs, and Cancellation Fees are a few at the top of the list.

Hotel operators should be paying meticulous attention to the fees they are paying, but the process doesn’t have to be meticulous itself; in fact, this practice could be simplified with an integrated payment system.

Payment Needs Vary by Industry

Every industry has its own unique needs when it comes to processing payments. These needs are determined by the customer a business is serving, the way the customer prefers to pay, and the level of payment processing deemed appropriate to offer them.

Split or recurring payments, for example, are useful options in medical billing, but this need comes up far less often in the hospitality industry. For hotel operators, chargeback support is far more useful.

In the hotel business, payment reconciliation has its own considerations, as guests tend to pay for their rooms and other services at all hours.

To know for certain that a hotel is getting the best deal from credit card companies, hotel operators must have an in-depth understanding of the specific payment processing needs of their industry. Many hoteliers get this clarity from using an integrated payment system or partnering with payment experts that have a deep knowledge of the hospitality business.

The Basics of Payment Integration

Some hotel operators have delayed the move to a fully integrated payment system, fearing that it will require a substantial investment in new technologies or that the system will take to long to set up and learn; however, moving to this kind of system actually saves properties money and these integrated partners usually include a hands-on Onboarding/Installation Team to complete training on an already extremely user-friendly system.

Payment integration is critical to financial success. Whether you operate a chain of high-end hotels or a single independent property, there are affordable and effective options to implementing an integrated system. These solutions often pay for themselves through business intelligence functionalities that lead to higher cost savings, as integration goes hand-in-hand with report consolidation and improved strategic decision making. For example, such systems can improve tracking and forecasting charges, as well as offer insights on performance management.

These systems continue to add cost savings by optimizing the use of staff hours. At the front desk, sizeable hours are saved with automated post-backs, decreased reconciliation time, and reduced errors when manually entering card details into the system. Additionally, hotels can keep all transactions and report data in a single, secured location.

The pandemic threw a wrench into the hospitality industry, but a rebound is underway for many hotel operators. Staff shortages and ongoing uncertainty around our country’s reopening indicate that hoteliers must shore up their processes and make the greatest possible use of employee time.

Payment processing is one area that could be guzzling time and resources from the operation – but this does not have to be the case.

The opaque world of fee structures and conditions could become a whole lot clearer with a strategic transition to an integrated payment system. Once the integrated solution is in place, the time that employees spend dealing with mundane payment matters could be redirected to higher-level tasks, such as ensuring guests are comfortable and happy.

In support of the hotel staff, a pleasant guest experience, and healthy economic rebound, now is the time to streamline payments processing. Fortunately, the right technologies and the right partners are ready and willing to make it a seamless process so hoteliers can get back to business.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds