Welcome to my second blog, I hope you could use some of the tips from my first blog which focused on what impact automated processes has on your guests’ ‘customer journey’. This blog will also be in connection with the customer’s journey / experience and the professionalisation of processes.
Deposits have always been a very important part of the reservation process since I have been working in the hospitality industry, here in South Africa. Originally, I am from the Netherlands, where they have very different policies in place, i.e. same day free cancellation policy. As we know, in Southern Africa it is a little different, it being common to immediately charge 50% when making the booking and to have the balance settled upon arrival. Here is where the difficulties start. How will you get this payment with the least effort from your guests as well as yourself in the most secure and professional way? With this thought, I started to explore what payment service provider (PSP) would be able to help our clients. After testing, investigating and meeting a few PSP’s we came to the conclusion to start working together with Peach Payments for our South African customers.
What type of payments are there & how can I receive the deposit from my guest?
I would first like to focus on the different types of payments there are in the market. Guests can book via multiple channels: travel agents, OTA’s (online travel agents, like Booking,com), via your website or via the phone/email (direct). The various ways of booking at your property needs a different approach to receive the deposit payment through Peach Payments. I am going to focus on the three most important ones: Direct bookings, OTA and website.
Still, a fair amount of guests book via email or telephone, resulting in some more manual work to make a reservation. The difficulty here is to get payment from your guests in a quick, efficient and professional way. I have experienced hoteliers asking CC details over the phone, via WhatsApp, email or a CC authorisation form. Sometimes the hoteliers are a bit more advanced and can send a payment link via a payment gateway. Personally, I found these ways of getting payment very unprofessional as well as time consuming. This is why RoomRaccoon has made it easier, and more professional for you as well as your guest. With one click you can fill in the amount you would like to process (in the PMS), and the guest will receive a nicely branded email with the payment request. Because RoomRaccoon also allow instant EFT, you are more likely to save a serious amount of money on transaction costs. Once payment has been done, the guest will receive a confirmation and the payment will automatically reflect on the booking. Would you like to experience this? Check out our Booking Engine.
There are many different OTA’s active in South Africa, but let’s focus on the three biggest ones: Booking.com, Expedia & Agoda. They all have different ways to provide you with ways to receive the deposit. The two most well-known methods are: virtual credit card (VCC) as well as providing the credit card (CC) details. VCC payments make your life easy as the OTA takes responsibility of charging the guest and you are able to charge the credit card on the day of arrival. However, if you feel like receiving the deposit on the day the booking is made, then you have the option that you as the hotelier have to collect the payment. Many hotels charge the credit card via the physical machine/merchant point or process it via a not secure online terminal. Meaning that the CC details do not get cross-checked for fraud – and can end up in chargebacks.
RoomRaccoon does this in a very professional and automatic way. You are able to send a payment request with one click when the booking comes in to the RoomRaccoon PMS (Property management system). This email is branded to your property, and requests that the guests pay online via a 3D secure way DC (debit card)/CC or securely with instant EFT. Once payment has been made the guest, as well as you, will receive an automatic confirmation of funds received and the payment will automatically reflect on the booking.
RoomRaccoon & Peach Payments finds it important to help your guests book seamlessly via your own website. I have come across many hotels that allow the guests to book on the website, however payments will either not be required while finalising the reservation or the system does not allow instant EFT or secure credit card payments. This results in a required follow up with the guest to receive the deposit payment. This costs a lot of time for admin and frustrates your guests as they need to again make time in their busy work schedule to finalise the deposit payment you require.
Due to not providing the guests with the best experience and also a waste of your time, RoomRaccoon has fully integrated this automatic process into the booking engine on your website. Meaning that guest can securely pay via DC/CC or via instant EFT. This also avoids the possibility fraud in terms of the security and guests won’t be able to book without paying.
So there are quite some different type of payments you require to keep your costs down, provide your guests the best and most seamless experience as well as make it as easy and convenient for you as an hotelier. For this reason RoomRaccoon and Peach Payments have partnered to be able to let you give a good night of rest with no stress.
I hope this blog gave you some more insight on how to improve the way of receiving deposit payments. I would be more than happy to show how RoomRaccoon & Peach Payments can help you improve receiving your deposit payments.