The pandemic created an earthquake that shook the hospitality industry at large. And while Summer 2022 has seen a strong recovery, with many locations seeing occupation levels back to, if not exceeding, the levels of 2019, hotels are still facing several challenges.
Costs are increasing due to global inflation, staff are increasingly hard to find and retain, and customers have higher expectations of their whole hotel experience – from a personalised online booking experience through to a smoother, contactless check in process and easy access to services within the hotel. Add to this the concerns that remain from the pandemic – cashless and contactless transactions are here to stay – which means hotels have to manage the complexity of processing payments from multiple systems and processes, creating potential inefficiencies and additional overheads.
Against this backdrop, how can hotels seek to reduce costs, drive up margin and deliver excellent customer experiences? Delivering digital transformation might just be the answer…
Every business around the globe is looking to embed new, digital technologies to streamline their operations, increase efficiency, create agility and new value for both their business and their customers. Hotels should be no different. And in an environment in which delivering a great customer service is key, digitising previously manual or offline processes can unlock streamlined and more personalised guest experiences whilst protecting margin within the business.
A key, and often overlooked, element of this is digital payments. Hotels often fail to deliver a joined-up payments experience for their customers – from searching for a hotel room online through to paying for food or drinks on site, the experience is often disjointed with multiple internal systems creating inefficiencies for the business and confusing the end-user by presenting a mix of currency options. Managing currencies from guests from all around the world can also often reduce margin by creating inefficiencies between the multiple payments systems in play across hotel chains or in different countries or regions.
So how can a business streamline their payments experience while offering the excellent guest experience that travellers now expect? A dynamic currency conversion (DCC) solution, as part of an overarching digital transformation, could help to deliver real benefits to both customers – and the business. A recent customer survey carried out by Fexco indicated that 81% of consumers agreed that paying in their home currency improved their experience, while 78% said that being able to use a dynamic currency conversion solution makes the experience seem more personalised to them. 79% of those surveyed said that they were likely to return to a store that offered DCC; this goes to show what a game changer this solution could be for hotels.
By utilising a consistent payments platform, such as Fexco’s DCC solution, across every sales channel that a hotel uses, guests can pay in the way that best suits them – in their own currency, with fully transparent conversion rates. And a consistent, seamless experience doesn’t just deliver customer benefits – hotels can benefit from streamlined FX processes with zero risk, as well as an additional revenue stream.