Mobile payments are becoming a mainstay within the hospitality sector. These methods offer a host of guest benefits while simultaneously presenting the property in a more amenable light. Let us take a quick look at some of the advantages associated with this cutting-edge technology in order to better appreciate why these methods should be implemented.

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A Quick Look at Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are transactions carried out through the use of a portable device such as a smartphone or a tablet. In regards to hospitality technology, these payments are convenient due to the fact that customers will no longer be forced to used traditional methods such as a credit card. This can provide a decidedly convenient edge for those who might already be governed by a hectic schedule. As the majority of guests will arrive with some type of mobile device, it only stands to reason that this type of payment is quickly becoming a mainstay within the hospitality industry. Now that you have been provided with a basic overview of such transactions, it is a good idea to relate them to modern hotels.

How do Mobile Payments Work Within the Hospitality Industry?

While the technology behind mobile payments is slightly complicated, the fact of the matter is that their principles are rather simple. First, a terminal equipped for contactless payments will need to be present. This is often located at a typical point-of-sale (POS) station. The customer will then place his or her mobile device within two inches of the terminal. Once the device is detected, the transaction process will begin. Detailed and encrypted payment information is sent between the two devices; the process itself normally requiring no more than a few seconds to complete. Assuming that the transaction is recognised, the individual is then prompted to provide proof of identification via a fingerprint scan or by entering a PIN code (depending upon the device and/or terminal in question). The transaction is thereafter approved; enabling the guest to validate the reservation and access a specific room.

Some Examples of Mobile Payments in Relation to Hospitality Management

It is already clear to see that mobile payments are quickly becoming one of the most pronounced hospitality trends. This is largely due to the fact that these platforms are quite flexible in terms of implementation. What are some common examples and how can these benefit your establishment?

Dedicated Mobile Banking Applications

The majority of banks offer their clients some form of mobile payment system in the form of a downloadable application. Many of these support contactless payments at hotels and similar establishments. The main intention here is to provide their customers with an even easier way of making payments while still ensuring that their personal data remains safe.

Apple Pay

Those who own a device powered by Apple likely posses a software package known as Apple Wallet. This provides users with the ability to store credit and debit card details directly on their phone. Thus, wireless payments can be made in a matter of seconds. This system likewise supports online payments and even transfers between two individuals. Some Apple Watches are also equipped with this digital wallet.

Google Pay

Google Pay is slightly different due to the fact that credit card details are not required. Instead, this system is supported by a dedicated application of the same name. The Google Pay app sends an on-time encrypted number that is attached to their payment card. If the number is correct, the wireless payment will be processed and accepted. It is also possible to use Google Pay to send and receive funds. Many brick-and-mortar establishments already accept Google Pay.

Samsung Pay

Samsung likewise provides users with a digital wallet. This wallet can be used at many merchant terminals (such as those present within the hospitality sector). The principles associated with Samsung Pay are quite similar to those mentioned earlier and yet, there is one key difference. Samsung users are often able to earn rewards such as cash-back incentive or points.

PayPal Transfer Systems

It should come as no great surprise that PayPal has likewise adopted a mobile payment system. Those who already have an account can download a dedicated application for both iOS and Android operating systems. There are no hidden fees and depending upon the purchase, customers may qualify for buyer protection. When making a reservation, the funds will be sent from a PayPal account; a slight advantage for those who do not wish to use their primary bank account.


Cryptocurrencies are unique in the fact that they are arguably the most secure and anonymous way to make a wireless payment due to high levels of end-to-end encryption. Those who are already familiar with digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum could, therefore, find this alternative payment method quite attractive. However, it should be highlighted that not all establishment recognise cryptocurrencies as a valid form of payment. This is why customers should enquire in advance.

Four Reasons why Mobile Payments are Becoming Popular Within the Hospitality Sector

There is no doubt that mobile payments are here to stay. We have already seen that they offer a secure and convenient means to complete a transaction within only a matter of seconds. However, there is a bit more than may initially meet the eye in regards to their sheer prevalence. It is, therefore, a good idea to quickly examine four additional windfalls which your property can expect to enjoy.

Increased Levels of Customer Satisfaction

One of the key components of a positive RevPAR involves the notion of customer satisfaction. Guests who are provided with the latest technological amenities are much more likely to feel that their bespoke needs are being catered to at all times. This is particularly relevant when speaking of the convenience associated with mobile payment platforms. Satisfied guests are prone to leave positive online reviews and as a result, your establishment can enjoy robust booking rates.

Fast and Secure

As mentioned previously, contactless payments are extremely fast and quite secure in relation to more traditional methods. In fact, this very same level of encryption is often utilised by banks and financial institutions to enact transfers on a daily basis. Guests can, therefore, remain confident in the fact that their personal details will remain hidden at all times.

Bespoke Loyalty Programmes

Many hotels will incorporate dedicated customer loyalty programmes into their mobile payment platforms. This could be in the form of points or similar end-user rewards. Some common examples include discounts for those who choose to upgrade a room, advanced check-in options, deals at an in-house restaurant, or even the ability to sign up for local sightseeing tours without having to pay any additional charges.

The Importance of Hygiene

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the concept of hygiene is more important to guests than ever before. Mobile payments help to ensure a much higher level of on-site cleanliness; enabling guests to feel comfortable during the check-in process. This also illustrates that the hotel in question is well aware of the challenges associated with these modern times.

Video: Advantages of Mobile Payments

In the video below you find the top 3 mobile payment advantages.

How Can My Hospitality Business Accept Mobile Payments?

There are a handful of considerations if you wish to accept this form of payment including:

  • The ability of your POS terminal to accept mobile payments;
  • The presence of NFC technology such as encryption and digital tokens. This will help to prevent potential fraud;
  • A reliable payment service provider that accepts these types of payments.

Mobile Check-In: What are The Benefits for Hotels?

The article “Reasons Why Mobile Payments are Getting More Popular in Hospitality” has shed a great deal of light on why mobile check-in methods are prevalent within the hospitality sector. As this technology and its many conveniences continue to become recognised, it only stands to reason that hotel management should begin to adopt such practices sooner as opposed to later.

More Technology Tips in Hospitality

Technology is playing a significant role in the hospitality industry, and its presence is only expected to increase in the coming years. In the following articles you will learn more about technology:

It is now clear to appreciate why mobile payments are taking prevalence within the hospitality sector. There is no doubt that this trend will become even more pronounced in the near future, so managers who adopt a proactive mindset will be able to remain one step ahead of the curve.

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