Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,000 hotels across more than 95 countries, today unveiled a new, portfolio-wide, mobile tipping solution for its U.S. and Canadian franchisees, making it one of the first major hotel companies to do so.
Developed and managed by Béné, a leader in cashless tipping, the platform enables guests to easily tip hotel team members digitally via their preferred mobile device and is now available for adoption by Wyndham franchisees across all brands. It comes as a growing number of consumers adopt and show preference for digital payments, which according to consulting firm McKinsey, 82% of Americans are now using.
“The pandemic dramatically accelerated guest demand for digital payment solutions and that trend will only continue in the coming years,” said Scott Strickland, chief information officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Having previously empowered our franchisees to accept digital, contactless payment for stays at their hotels, the next logical step was to find a solution that allows guests to recognize housekeepers, wait staff and other frontline team members in a similar fashion. This platform does exactly that and at virtually no cost to franchisees.”
Once a hotel opts-in and is setup on the Béné platform, guests can easily recognize the team member of their choice by scanning a QR code during their stay and choosing how much they would like to tip. QR codes are unique to each team member and tips are deposited daily either directly into their individual bank accounts or into the property’s account to be distributed with regular payroll. The platform accepts multiple forms of payment, including credit card, Apple Pay® and Google Paytm. Similar to other digital payment services, platform costs are covered by guests via a small transaction fee, leaving franchisees responsible only for basic marketing materials, which they can either order directly from Béné at a minimal cost or create themselves.
Added Strickland, “The beauty of this solution is its simplicity and how easy it is for our franchisees to allow their guests to make the switch from cash to digital. There’s no app to download and no software to install. It’s entirely web-based, which means so long as guests have a phone and an internet connection, they’re able to tip and show their appreciation.”
Wyndham’s push for mobile tipping comes amid the Company’s broader celebrations supporting International Housekeepers & Environmental Services Week, a global initiative sponsored by The Indoor Environmental Healthcare and Hospitality Association (IHEA), dedicated to recognizing the efforts of housekeepers and custodial staff members. Held every year during the second full week of September, Wyndham leadership, along with its franchisees, are spending the week celebrating housekeepers at hotels around globe, making in-person visits while giving away an array of awards and prizes, including millions of Wyndham Rewards points.
“At the heart of every great hotel is a great team of housekeepers,” said Scott LePage, president, Americas, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “This week is all about celebrating them and all that they do for both guests as well as our industry. While we invite everyone to join us in showing their thanks this week, our greater hope is that through initiatives like mobile tipping, we can empower guests by making it easier for them to show their appreciation with every stay, no matter the time of year.”
Mobile tipping is the latest initiative as part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts ongoing, multi-year, digital transformation. Over the past three years, the Company has significantly invested in new technology to enhance the guest experience while delivering best-in-class resources and enhanced operational efficiencies for its franchisees. Earlier this year, it launched Road Trip Planner, an innovative new tool allowing travelers to seamlessly plot, plan and book their ideal road trip via Wyndham’s award-winning mobile app and more recently, debuted RevIQ, a next-generation, cloud-based, mobile-first revenue management system designed to help franchisees optimize their revenue strategies and grow market share