Why 5-Star Guest Experiences Start with Payments

Our business expert explains how a powerful payment system can improve your guests’ experience, boost their satisfaction, and keep them coming back.

Today’s traveler is taking more control of their travel experiences and opting to minimize in-person interactions. These factors are driving the need for hospitality businesses to reimagine the way they offer their guests value to stay ahead of their competition. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is to put guests in total control of their trips by enabling them to book, pay, and manage their stays in the way that works best for them. Fortunately, with massive leaps in payments technology over the past few years, doing this is now easier than ever.

Read on to find out how you can use the latest payments technology to give your guests the 5-star treatment.


The Impact of the Pandemic on Hospitality Payments

Hospitality was without a doubt one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. The payments portion of hospitality businesses in particular saw a massive transformation. This can be attributed to two shifts within the industry: changes in the workforce and consumer attitudes towards payments.

The initial downturn in travel meant that hotels were not only seeing fewer bookings during this period, but also operating with smaller staffs. Many establishments had to operate with a smaller workforce and it became imperative that hospitality businesses found ways to streamline processes.

At the same time, guests’ payment preferences began to shift. According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), there was a sharp decline in the use of cash for payments, plus a loss of momentum in the growth of card payments.

An increased desire for social distancing and contactless payments drove demand for digitized payment options. Rather than using cash or credit cards to pay on site, consumers shifted towards digital transfers via online banking, mobile banking applications, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, and digital wallets.

This combination of smaller teams of staff and greater demand for digital payments drove the uptake of payment infrastructure that offers increased automation and a multitude of payment options.

What Guests Expect from a Payment System

The shift away from cash and even card payments means that guests now expect fully digital payment systems that allow them to book their stays and activities without needing to come into contact with hospitality staff.

Travelers are increasingly seeking convenience and security brought by digitizing payment systems and integrating these into the guest experience. 

Hassle-free payments are a top priority. Guests value having complete control over how they pay for everything, from bookings to restaurant and spa services. They’re also particularly interested in being able to use multiple payment methods and the ability to pay in their own currency.

What’s more, guests are looking for a seamless experience. Whether they’re interacting with your brand via an app, your website, or an in-hotel terminal, it’s essential they want to be able to access and adjust their booking and payment information across a variety of devices.

Finally, with the steady increase in online fraud, travelers want to be assured that their personal and financial data remains secure during transactions. Features like tokenization and multi-factor authentication are necessities for guests’ peace of mind in terms of online security.

5 Ways Payments Can Create 5-Star Guest Experiences

Now that we have a deeper understanding of how the pandemic changed hospitality payments and the shifts this brought about in guest expectations for payment systems, let’s take a look at strategies your business can use to create a 5-star experience for your clients.

1. Increasing Security

Security is without a doubt one of the top concerns around payments. A payment system that tokenizes the payers’ information and uses multi-factor authentication to verify payments will increase guests’ trust in your business and enhance their experience.

2. Offering Variety of Payment Methods

Guests want to be able to pay in their own currency using their payment method of choice. You’ll want to ensure that you’re able to receive global payments via credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and other alternative payment methods. The ability to send payment links and manually capture details via a virtual terminal are also essential for many hospitality businesses.

3. Facilitating Full Flexibility

In a survey of more than 20,000 travelers from 28 countries, online travel agency Booking.com found that 51% of guests see refundable accommodation as an essential for their trips. Here, it’s important to work with a payment service provider that’s able to issue full or partial refunds without creating too much hassle for your guests or your business.

4. Creating a Seamless Experience

Having complete control over how they reserve, book, pay for, and manage their stays is a top priority for guests. As they’ll likely use multiple channels (think apps, websites, and in-person services) to execute these actions, a payment system that integrates with your existing hospitality infrastructure will offer guests the ultimate in convenience and consistency.

5. Personalizing Guests’ Stays

Using a payment system that’s not only able to integrate with your existing infrastructure, but also features powerful reporting and analytics tools will help you to better understand your guests needs. This will give you the ability to provide them with personalized offers and services that will enhance their experience.

The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider

Pay.com provides no-code solutions and developer-friendly APIs that you can easily integrate into your hospitality business’s website. 

Our full-service payment infrastructure offers a variety of features that ensure you’re able to give your guests a 5-star experience:

  • Multiple payment methods: Offer your guests a choice of their favorite payment methods when booking, including credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH transfers, and many others.
  • Frictionless checkout: Your guests’ checkout experience is automatically optimized for the device they’re using, in their own currency, and using their payment method of choice to reduce delays.
  • Additional ways to accept payments: Allow your guests to book their stay and pay later using delayed capture. 
  • Customer insights: Gain a deeper understanding of how your guests interact with your business, from the types of stays and activities they book to the value of their transactions using the Pay Dashboard.
  • Guaranteed security: Pay.com tokenizes credit card details in transit to prevent data breaches. Plus, we are PCI DSS Level 1 compliant, so you can display the council’s logo on your checkout page to give your guests peace of mind that their transactions are secure.

Click here to create your Pay.com account now.

The Bottom Line: Personalized Payments For Perfect Guest Experiences

The 5-star guest experience is all about personalization. There are a variety of ways that you could enhance their stay, from offering a plush pillow menu to having a range of restaurants on site or implementing a flexible checkout policy.

Using Pay.com as your payment service provider is one of the simplest ways to create this experience for discerning travelers. Our secure full-service payment infrastructure allows you to accept a wide variety of payment methods. 

What’s more, you can use our no-code solutions straight out the box or integrate our API into your website to enjoy all of the benefits of our full-service payment infrastructure.

Click here to create your Pay.com account now!


What's the best way for a hotel to accept online payments?

Hotels can easily accept global payments from international guests using a variety of payment methods via Pay.com. You can also take advantage of our delayed capture feature. This allows you to ensure that your guests have sufficient funds in their account when booking their stay, but only process the payment when they arrive at your property.

What payment methods do hotel guests prefer?

The growth of digital payment options over the past few years as well as the increase in demand for convenience have both meant that hotel guests now prefer digital payment methods. Credit and debit cards are the most popular way for hotel guests to pay for their stays, with digital wallets and mobile payments being the runners up.

How do you create a good guest payment experience?

A good guest experience is all about personalization. You need to ensure that your guest is able to pay with their preferred payment method in their preferred currency and on whichever device they prefer to use when making travel arrangements. Plus, you’ll want to provide them with special offers and rewards based on their payment history.

What can a hotel do if a guest initiates a chargeback?

Chargebacks help cardholders prevent fraudulent transactions from being processed on their cards. However, they can leave hotels out of pocket when a guest has already used their services and then reneges on the payment. Understanding chargeback codes and keeping detailed records will help to identify when you can and can’t dispute a chargeback as well as increase your chances of success in securing payment.

Meet the author
Nicole Forrest
Nicole Forrest is a writer and editor who has been using storytelling to help build brands for more than a decade. With a special interest in fintech and a passion for creating compelling content, she focuses on making complex topics easy to understand.
Multiple Ways for Guests to Pay

Pay.com allows you to accept a wide variety of payment methods, from credit and debit cards to ACH transfers, digital wallets and more. Plus, you can receive payments from guests no matter where they are in the world – or which currency they use to pay.

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