A Guide to Protecting Guest Data with EMV and PCI-Validated P2PE

By Roberta Braum Director of Product Management, Payments, Agilysys | February 07, 2016

Hotel guest satisfaction has hit a record high, according to the J.D. Power 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. But we can never become too comfortable. Continuing to grow satisfaction levels will give your property a distinct advantage over others. And, while embracing the latest technology trends offers new opportunities to improve guest satisfaction, it also presents a few challenges.

Guests are accustomed to a very mobile world and have more ways than ever to select where they will stay. The manner in which guests assess, select and experience their lodging is changing almost as quickly as technology is advancing.

What technologies are you leveraging to serve your guests? Chances are you're using integrated solutions with advanced interfaces that make guest services most efficient. All good, right? Well, while the guest experience starts during research and reservation, at some point guests will spend time in your gift shop or restaurant - and, even if they don't, they will certainly check out of the hotel. Enter EMV.

EMV technology eliminates key security challenges for hotels, yet presents a new challenge in the form of a longer payment processing experience for the guest. Savvy consumers will have little patience for the delays EMV creates. When it comes to EMV, hotels looking to earn and keep guests will have to balance the risk of guest frustration with the benefit of increased security.

In 2016, EMV is expected to be more common among hotels, and its adoption will be driven largely by guest expectations and fraud concerns. Until it becomes more commonplace, understanding your EMV options - and how each affects your workflows and guest experiences - will best prepare your hotel. Some guidelines about what to expect and things you need to know are outlined here.

P2PE, Not EMV, Protects Guest Data

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.