News Briefs

  • 7/24/2023

    BeCause Partners with Booking.com to Provide API for Third-Party Sustainability Certification Data

    BeCause logo

    BeCause, a startup enterprise software company transforming how the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries manage their sustainability data, has announced a new partnership with global online travel platform Booking.com. Through a dedicated API, the partnership will make it possible for Booking.com to receive updated data in real time about accommodations that have earned an array of more than 40 recognized third-party sustainability certifications. This will enable the company to more efficiently present reliable, up-to-date information about those accommodations with a third-party certification, so travelers can make a more informed choice for their next trip.  

    The ability to transparently communicate credible sustainability information is increasingly crucial for companies like Booking.com, as a growing number of people continue to indicate that they prefer more sustainable travel choices. In fact, according to Booking.com’s latest Sustainable Travel Report, 57% of global travelers say they would feel better about staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification, and 81% say sustainable travel is important to them.

    A bespoke sustainability solution to meet global tourism and traveler needs

    Based on its Sustainability Management Hub platform, BeCause developed an API solution specifically for Booking.com’s needs. As one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, Booking.com sought an efficient, scalable way to receive data from accommodations certified according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognized standards, among others. They also wanted that data to be automatically updated in their database, so Booking.com customers would always have access to up-to-date sustainability information about the available accommodation options.

    BeCause’s solution addresses both needs first by replacing manual update processes, which are time-consuming and occur only periodically, with automated sustainability data transfers. The BeCause solution also maps standards from 40+ certifications that align with GSTC criteria to the data provided by tens of thousands of individual properties worldwide, providing a more complete and accurate picture of the sustainability information for those accommodations available on Booking.com.

    “Through our partnership with BeCause and the technical solutions they have created specifically for our platform, we’ve streamlined how we receive sustainability information from our accommodation partners that have invested in achieving a credible third-party certification, allowing us to focus our efforts internally on those areas where we can further innovate and have the most impact,” says Thomas Loughlin, Sustainability Manager at Booking.com. “We get the accurate, trustworthy data that we need in real time, which we can then in turn automatically present to our customers, enabling them to make more informed decisions about how they choose to travel.”

    A partnership between leaders in the sustainability sphere

    “Working with Booking.com, which beyond having an extensive global reach, has an equally considerable reputation for being a leader in sustainability issues and efforts, is a significant deal for our startup,” says Frederik Rubens Steensgaard, CEO and Co-founder of BeCause. “It’s an ideal fit in terms of vision, needs and capability, and we look forward to helping Booking.com expand its sustainability data management capabilities even further as our partnership continues.”

    BeCause helps organizations collect, coordinate, and communicate their sustainability data, reducing redundancies and creating efficiencies that translate to positive revenue and ecological impacts. BeCause’s solution connects certification entities and travel providers and distributors, enabling over 17,000 hotels and online travel platforms to provide travelers with accurate and reliable sustainability data. These processes, traditionally handled via spreadsheets, emails and unconnected niche systems, are ripe for transformation, and the need to manage them efficiently to ensure compliance and competitive advantage is fueling the growth of BeCause.‍

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 6/24/2023

    Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

    Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

    Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

    “Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

    In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.

  • 7/24/2023

    Grubhub Relaunches its Loyalty Subscription Program

    Grubhub is doubling down on savings, rewards and unique experiences for diners with the relaunch of Grubhub+, its loyalty subscription program that gives members access to unlimited $0 delivery fees on eligible restaurant and convenience orders over $12.

    New benefits available on eligible orders by members include lower service fees and a 5% credit back on pickup orders. Members will still receive unlimited $0 delivery fees on orders over $12, donation matching on Grubhub+ orders and member-only offers from restaurant and convenience partners. With these new benefits, members can get an additional average monthly savings of 20%.

    Coming soon, members will receive additional benefits that will help them celebrate some of life's most joyful moments, including milestone rewards, month-long member savings and new Grubhub+ offers including the Fuel Rewards program at Shell. Through this new collaboration, Grubhub+ members will receive Gold Status in the Fuel Rewards program at Shell, saving them 5 cents per gallon on every fill-up when they sign up or link to their Fuel Rewards account.

    In addition to Grubhub's new Fuel Rewards offer, Grubhub works with  Amazon Prime, Bank of America and Lyft to provide Grubhub+ to offer additional value to their customers — bringing more benefits to their existing membership programs. 

  • 7/24/2023

    ClientScan Launches an AI Facial Recognition Solution for the Hospitality Sector

    clientscan logo

    ClientScan, a specialist face detection and recognition company, has launched a complete end-to-end artificial intelligence system that takes customer service to the next level by enabling front-of-house staff to deliver a personalized customer service by blending the digital and physical worlds.

    In today’s digital world, we all expect that we can enter a hotel, club, restaurant, or airport lounge and check-in digitally - without needing any human intervention. While this model is quick and convenient and provides a frictionless service, for the VIP guest or when providing a luxury customer experience, winning the hearts and minds of guests is increasingly about getting inside their hearts and minds. Therefore, personalization is the key. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. (PWC)

    With ClientScan installed, when a customer enters, a real-time alert is sent to staff, informing them that the customer has entered enabling front-of-house staff to offer a personalized greeting. The alert with the client intelligence can be delivered to all relevant services such as Customer Relations, Restaurants, Bar, Valet parking, and Spa as the customer enters together with key information such as allergies, favorite drink, spa treatment etc. ClientScan recognizes customers in less than one[1]tenth of a second and with an accuracy rate of over 99%.

    The software is approved by Microsoft, and can be run on any standard Microsoft Windows PC that has access to one or many webcams. ClientScan is easy to install, with just a few clicks from the Microsoft App Store.

    “ClientScan is one of the world’s first AI-driven facial recognition systems breaking new ground to innovate Customer Service,” said Laura Bedborough, Head of Business Development and co-founder of ClientScan. “Providing a personalized tailored experience differentiates a brand from its competitors and makes customers feel more valued, inspiring greater brand loyalty. Our solution represents a comprehensive and custom development of a Convolution Neural Network to ensure exceptional speed and accuracy whilst maintaining high levels of security.”

    Focusing on providing exceptional customer experiences, brands can build lasting relationships with their customers and ensure their retention and long-term success. According to a McKinsey report, 76% of consumers say they're more likely to purchase from brands that personalize the experience and 80% of companies report seeing an uplift since implementing personalization technology. (Econsultancy)

    The ClientScan end-to-end solution can be used on its own or be integrated into existing membership systems and is available now for the hospitality industry. Further product evolution, such as real-time centralized reporting, is in the product roadmap and will be launched in H2-2023.

  • 7/24/2023

    Wildfire Systems Launches RevenueEngine to Drive Monetization of Generative AI-Powered Offerings

    Wildfire Systems Logo

    Wildfire Systems Inc., an innovative technology platform that powers reward programs, shopping companions, and content monetization launched RevenueEngine, the industry’s first solution for monetizing ecommerce transactions driven by generative AI-powered applications, plugins, and products. 

    As the AI economy accelerates, companies and startups are increasingly leveraging generative AI to create innovative applications that promise to transform industries - including retail, travel/hospitality, financial services, healthcare, and more. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the generative AI industry may grow from $40 billion in 2022 to $1.3 trillion by 2032. 

    However, many companies lack a clear monetization strategy for their AI applications which prevents them from tapping into this market opportunity. Wildfire’s platform solves this problem, transforming new AI applications into revenue-generating products. 

    “In dorm rooms, garages, and offices around the world, people are using AI to build innovative products and services, however, monetizing that content still remains a challenge, and that’s where we come in,” said Jordan Glazier, CEO, Wildfire Systems. “RevenueEngine is uniquely positioned to be the foundational layer which enables innovators to easily earn revenue from the services and generated content they are creating.” 

    RevenueEngine turns AI-created product recommendations from general and specialized chatbots, predictive text, or other software that generates or enhances content into monetized, revenue-driving ecommerce links to nearly 60,000 online merchant programs around the world. Whenever products are mentioned in generated content, RevenueEngine transforms those product mentions into monetizable links so that creators can earn a share of purchases made through those links. 

    Rather than generating content itself, RevenueEngine provides the AI infrastructure layer for monetization that can be used by anyone developing LLMs, or building products on top of them. For example:

    • Publishers using AI to generate an article about “must-have” products for a new baby  can leverage RevenueEngine to automatically populate the article with monetized links directly to the products mentioned in the article. When readers clicked the links and made purchases, publishers earn a share of the sale

    • A financial services company using AI to generate personalized product recommendations based on past spending habits can tap into RevenueEngine to automatically link recommended products to the retailers selling those items online. When users click the links and make purchases, the financial services company earns a share of the sale.

    TravelArrow, an all-in-one travel assistant that helps consumers get the best deal on their next vacation, partnered with Wildfire in 2022 to power their MilesBack feature which allows their customers to automatically earn miles or cashback when they shop online. As the company began to develop ForgeMyTrip to provide AI-generated trip itineraries, they again turned to Wildfire.

    “Wildfire was integral to making our MilesBack feature a success, enabling us to substantially improve the customer experience we deliver- so we knew they’d be key to the success of ForgeMyTrip as well,” said Jaideep Patil, Co-founder, TravelArrow. “It makes sense to provide users with convenient links to learn more about AI recommended points of interest, book travel, and more. With RevenueEngine, the links are monetized and generate revenue nearly effortlessly for us. Integrating was quick and easy, taking less than a day because of the simplicity and efficiency of the Wildfire API.”

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