In the increasingly competitive world of hospitality, payment automation is a sure way to increase your bottom line while adding convenience & speed to guests.
#1 Automatically Send Guest Card To Your Payment Processor
If your PMS supports the payment processor you are working with, this should be achievable. Otherwise you can use third party tools like ChargeAutomation to securely transfer card data from OTA, PMS and booking engines directly into your payment processor.
#2 Automatic Card Validation & Card Pre-Authorization
It is common for guests to book a hotel with invalid card just to hold the room. They may have no intention of showing up. By conducting an automatic card validation, you are ensuring the guest is using a legitimate credit card and their intention to show up.
Card pre-authorization ensures your guest has sufficient funds prior to arrival and the fund can be captured in case of no-show.
#3 Auto Charge Guest Card According To Cancellation Policy
If the reservation balance is due 7 days before check-in, don’t wait until the guest is a no-show to attempt to charge the card. There is a high probability the charge attempt will fail. It is a sure way to waste the night away.
Most hotels don’t follow this, either because they rely on human power to manually go through the list to see which reservation is due based on cancellation policy.
Let’s say a staff is doing this manually and an attempted transaction fails either due to insufficient funds or the card requires PSD2 SCA (card holder authentication). Now, the staff has to draft an email and send it to the guest. Staff can forget to do this daily and really not the best use of your resources if your staff is spending time doing this.
If your PMS does not have this capability, consider using PMS plugin like ChargeAutomation to achieve this
#4 Failed Payments Solution
Payments fail for various reasons including invalid card number, insufficient funds or require 3D-Secure card holder authentication.
Let’s talk about the first 2 scenarios, invalid card number & insufficient funds. In these cases, an automatic failed payment notification email/SMS must be sent to the guest with a payment link. Simply capturing a new card number does not give you any guarantee the payment will go through. Therefore, this payment link must process the payment instantly while the guest is on session.
The 3rd case, where the transaction requires Secure Cardholder Authentication (3D Secure) must be handled differently. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a new European regulatory requirement to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure. In order to give frictionless experience, this shall not require the card holder to re-enter the card, instead it should simply send a push notification or SMS to the guest to authorize the transaction. This gives guests comfort & security.
#5 Let Your Guest Pre Check-in Online & Complete Payment
During pre check-in, you can collect outstanding balance, city / tourist / accommodation tax, security deposit & any necessary documents & questionnaires. This will provide seamless digital guest experience and ensure payments are all cleared for check-in.
Bonus: No clicks
Everything I have mentioned above shall not involve you or require a single click from you.