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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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.