Hotel collection management: a new opportunity for the direct channel
Collection management is often a big problem for most hotels. Now, it’s taking more and more time and resources, and it's also a source of customer complaints. In addition, the return of charges by customers involves more administrative work and is usually very frustrating.
The lack of flexibility in the configuration of collection policies and the absence of automated tools that facilitate the operation of collection of guaranteed reservations by credit card, means that hotels have to work with unsafe manual processes that also violate current regulations of treatment and card payment services.
Currently, hotels are more interested than ever to bet on flexibility in paying prepaid bookings and to advance the collection of credit card reservations.
To do this, they need a tool integrated with their sales systems that complies with current regulations that helps automate collection processes and allows to offer a positive differentiation by offering more flexible payment methods in order to attract the customer to the direct channel.
1. More flexibility in payment methods
ePayments Manager allows hoteliers to improve the collection management of their customers' direct channel bookings by enabling the splitting of collections, offering more flexible payment methods to customers, and integrated with the revenue strategy aimed at benefiting direct channel bookings.
Strategies such as offering a first charge of 10% of the reservation at the time of making it for bookings with lead time greater than 60 days, and a remaining charge 15 days before the customer's arrival at the hotel, can be very beneficial for the direct channel. The system also allows to do this based on amounts and different conditions may apply per rate.
2. Better cash flow on your direct channel
One of the classic payment methods of the direct channel has always been the "payment at the hotel." Even when we set up non-refundable rates, the charge is often made on the arrival date.
A more flexible and automatic collection system allows to advance the collections, improving the cash flow of the hotel. Properties may define not only the amount to be charged at the time of booking or the next day, but also what other amounts and on what dates prior to arrival will be charged. This will facilitate the entry of liquidity prior to the customer's arrival at the hotel.
For example: if the customer anticipates 20% of the amount at the time of booking and the remaining 50%, 15 days before arrival at the hotel, we will have 70% of the reservation charged prior to the arrival of the guests at the hotel. We could also of course decide to have 100% charged before arrival, being able to make it the day before it.
3. Greater ease of payment: means better conditions in the direct channel and better conversion
This can be another great opportunity to differentiate the direct channel from other booking channels. Semi-flexible or non-refundable rates are not only cheaper for the customer (as in other channels), but also our customers will see that they have better payment terms for these rates.
This differentiation will help us to increase the conversion rate of prepaid reservations in the direct channel, offering a more flexible and attractive form of payment for the client, with different payment times or pay days, as the arrival date approaches.
In addition, ePayments Manager enables to unlink the reservation moment from the moment of collection, increasing the conversion ratio of reservations with prepayments, by reducing friction and not requiring online collection at the time of the booking.
4. Designed to simplify hotel collection operations
The direct channel collection management operation is not only tedious and time-consuming, but often also complex, as it requires tracking the collections made, card claims, etc.
Now, the hotel's prepaid management operation is significantly streamlined, as not only does the system automatically launches charges on the planned date, but it also enables to make returns or refunds with a click or even replace the credit card of the reservation very agilely in case of denied transactions.
ePayments Manager can be used in manual monitoring mode or in automated mode, so all charges are released on the scheduled pay days, enabling to speed up collection management, improve process efficiency, and save hoteliers time and effort.
For example: the staff in charge of managing the collections will not need to manually type the credit card details to launch each charge of a reservation, as these will have been managed automatically through the tool, speeding up the entire operation of the hotel.
5. Increase security and reduce fraud risk
ePayments Manager is integrated and supported by major payment platforms that strictly comply with current PCI DSS and PSD2 security regulations. These rules aim to increase payment security and protect customer data.
Tokenization is a system that enables to convert the customer's credit card number (the PAN number) into a number code that is used during the transaction by replacing the PAN. ePayments Manager can launch transactions without having to access credit or debit card numbering to execute charges or returns and customer data remains protected during the online transaction.
Therefore, not only is the system responsible for making the planned charges, but also the hotel staff will not need to have access to the numbering of the credit cards, which allows to increase the level of security.
Finally, the system helps reduce the cash payment at the hotels front desks, which always means gaining tranquility.
ePayments Manager is a very interesting system not only for hotel customers who will benefit from more flexible payment methods, but is also very attractive to hotels, as it helps them to improve the profitability of the direct channel, increasing security in payments, introducing automatic management and offering formulas to differentiate it from other booking channels.