New Payments Technologies Expand Hotel Revenue Opportunities

By David Hogan Executive Director of Major Accounts, Heartland Payment Systems | September 23, 2012

With the world shifting to digital and hotel competition increasing daily, hotel owners/operators must adapt on a variety of fronts to increase revenue while meeting or exceeding guest expectations and demands. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in a hotel’s various technology options, from the property management system (PMS) to data security to taking guest payment options beyond the front desk to so much more. Quite simply, revenue management is so closely tied to technology that hotel owners/operators must determine which technology improvements will bring the greatest return on investment.

According to PwC's U.S. Lodging Forecast, lodging demand continues to expand and hoteliers should see moderate economic growth this year. As the industry continues to recover, hoteliers are once again investing in infrastructure, amenities and technology. While each of these components plays a critical role in operations, everyone knows that a hotel’s PMS is the technological foundation that allows hoteliers to profitably enhance the guest experience.

PMS’s allow hoteliers to check past booking patterns and not just sell the right rooms at the right price, but also manage guest portfolios from reservation to checkout. As new and enhanced technologies emerge that upgrade these invaluable systems, it is imperative that hoteliers don’t forget about another crucial aspect of PMS revenue management — data security.

Incorporating security with the hotel’s PMS is essential to revenue management because if guest payment data is breached, it can devastate a hotel’s reputation, and, thus, financial stability. As cybercriminals continue to target payment card data from the hospitality industry, payments-oriented data security upgrades are imperative.

Why Technology Matters

In order to effectively leverage technology to maximize revenue, hoteliers must understand recent developments in hospitality technology. The hospitality industry continues to be one of the most breached industries and payments innovators are continually responding with new ways to thwart cybercriminals. Although most guests do not have data security top of mind when booking a hotel, if their credit or debit card information is compromised after a stay, no matter how beautiful the room or attentive the staff, that is the only thing they will remember. In today’s social media culture, where a bad experience can be shared with not just one’s closest friends and family, but with hundreds and thousands of online connections, hotel owners/operators must be mindful that a confirmed or suspected data breach can have immediate and catastrophic consequences on revenue and damage to their “brand.”

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