October 11, 2021
The last thing holidaymakers want to be reminded of during a Tuscan getaway is how much their vineyard-view room is costing them, or worse, have to deal with any hiccups while paying for it. As it stands, the hotel booking experience involves multiple payment checkpoints, from inputting card details online to paying the bill (and accompanying minibar tab) at the end of the stay. Nothing sucks the magic out of a wonderful holiday like a hefty tab that needs to be dealt with moments before heading to the airport. Why not enable clients to simply stroll out of the lobby on checkout day with the same ease they felt throughout their time away?
As Iain McDougall, CCO of payment processing firm Stripe, says, “Invisible payments are the future – where you only ask your client or your customer once for their payment credentials – irrespective of the channel they come through, be it online for the booking, or at checkout in the hotel or the property. It’s about making sure the payments are not intrusive for them.” Cue the mobile wallet, the simplest answer to digital payments, which eliminates the need to dig out a credit card mid-online booking or at the end of a vacation. The one-tap nature of an e-wallet creates the exact magic feeling that McDougall alludes to with regard to invisible payments, which customers can practically forget even happened.
While food delivery apps and ride-hailing services have already made quick, quasi-invisible payments part of their DNA, the hospitality industry is playing catch-up when it should in fact be leading the pack. In a space where the experience is everything, hotels cannot afford to maintain vestigial payment systems that interrupt the flow of a traveler in the vacation mindset.
Old-school, desktop-heavy hotel booking websites remain dependent on credit cards, slowing down the reservation process, especially for those who do not have their card details pre-saved on their device. Selfbook, on the other hand, is now giving hotels the power to leapfrog their competitors and bring the booking experience into the 21st century. The first hotel booking system to integrate digital wallets and ultra-simple payments, the platform has built-in capabilities to foster the use of Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and more, bringing hotels swifter transaction times and higher conversion rates to match.
Nearly 80% of consumers rank easy payments, convenience, and efficiency as the defining factors of a strong customer experience. These facets far outweigh fun, design, personalization, and atmosphere, all of which are central to a hotel stay, highlighting just how critical simple booking solutions are to creating a winning hospitality experience. In fact, the ease of a payment can often tip the scale when customers are deciding whether to partake in an experience at all.
Beyond reserving and paying for the room itself, the add-ons that enhance the experience, from crêpes in bed to a hot stone massage at the spa, shouldn’t add a layer of complexity either. It is up to hospitality providers to ensure the elements that make a hotel stay more enjoyable require zero effort on the customer’s side. Selfbook has crafted a one-tap payment system that allows guests to select new additions after confirming their booking, as well as throughout their stay, with one unified payment flow. The platform takes care of the complexity of multiple rates and funnels them into a single-step payment connected to the user’s mobile wallet so guests don’t need to think twice about the additional charge and can simply enjoy. Not only does this make for a fuller and more seamless experience throughout, but it also allows guests to end the journey on a positive note, enhancing the likelihood of a return visit.
The benefits customers will experience through one-step payments with integrated mobile wallets are manifold, but the hoteliers on the other side of the transaction will generate even more returns thanks to enhanced client satisfaction and increased efficiency. Driving sales, increasing average order value, and ultimately, customer loyalty, Selfbook’s digital wallet and easy add-on functionalities are set to create a surge in revenues and repeat visitors for hospitality players across the board.
Giving customers the power to customize their entire experience on mobile without ever needing to reach for their wallet, Selfbook’s digital payment systems are giving all-inclusive a whole new meaning.
By Haley Crawford