Editorial Board   

Mr. Carr

Bob Carr

Chairman & CEO, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor in 1997. Under his guidance, Heartland has been named a FORTUNE 1000 company; climbed the rankings from #62 to #5 in the nation and #9 in the world; from 25 to 3,400 employees; from 2,500 to 250,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $80 billion. Heartland is the official preferred provider of card processing, gift marketing, check management, payroll and tip management services for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and 38 state lodging associations. Mr. Carr spearheaded The Merchant Bill of Rights (www.merchantbillofrights.org) - a revolutionary public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of all business owners. He has been a driving force in the enhancement of payment card security and at the helm of the development of “E3™, (www.E3secure.com) Heartland's end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the lifecycle of card transactions. Mr. Carr received his Master of Science degree in computer science and his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), as well as an honorary PhD from Lewis University.

Mr. Carr can be contacted at Bob.Carr@e-hps.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.