Skift Take

Hotels need to be where the consumers are. Offering digital and alternative payment options is key to benefitting from current trends, and this means working with fintech players that are able to offer these services by integrating into hotel tech systems.

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The payments sector is generally typified as an "enabler" of doing business. But while credit cards still rule the world in terms of volumes of transactions, the entire payment landscape and the tech involved has become much more complex. The digitization of payments has far-reaching impacts in terms of payment habits and fraud management, and hoteliers will need to educate themselves about the opportunities and pitfalls of these shifts.

In our recent report The State of Hotel Payments 2021, we set out how payment habits are changing, provide an overview of the payment ecosystem related to the hotel industry with the important players and tech vendors, and discuss a number of trends which will shape the industry moving forward. Below is a short excerpt from this report, exclusive to our Skift Pro subscribers.

The Pandemic Pushes Modernization of Payments Infrastructure

Fast changes in the payment landscape spare no industry, and the current COVID pandemic has provided an added boost to hoteliers’ willingness to change their operations and systems.

The understanding and acceptance (or even expectation) from consumers for new technologies in the hotel industry has grown considerably over the past year. In 2020 and 2021, Skift and Oracle Hospitality undertook two surveys which measured consumers’ expectation of technologies present in hotels. All tech had a higher rate of expectation from consumers in 2021 than in 2020, including self-service check-in, mobile keys, and contactless payment options, with the latter up 15 percentage points.

Expectations of Altered Hotel Experiences Post-COVID Expectation20202021Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting procedures60%66%Guest areas/public spaces arranged for social distancing39%60%Contactless payment (no physical handling of credit car