Did you know that hotels that rely on third-party distribution companies to hold their funds run the risk of being impacted by the financial instability of those companies? Properties that collect funds from third-party vendors that manage their ancillary revenue, brand activations, and collect payments, may face various risks regarding the funding and viability of these vendors.
Many new hospitality technology start-ups have entered the field of managing ancillary revenue for hotels, such as cabanas, pool chairs, activities, amenities, excursions, day passes, events, boat slips, parking spaces, food & beverage, day & night clubs, and more. These companies often collect payments from guests on behalf of hotels and hold them until the guests arrive and depart. Although these companies have raised significant amounts of funding and are expanding rapidly, hotels’ primary concern and question should be who is holding their money and how secure it is.
If a third-party distribution company collapses or faces financial difficulties, hotels may be unable to access their funds, leading to cash flow issues and potential damage to their operations. To mitigate these risks, hotels should carefully evaluate any third-party vendors they consider using for distribution payment collection. Before entering a new partnership, it is important to thoroughly research the vendors’ funding sources, growth strategies, and security measures.
Integrated payments are the core of a successful hotel operation for many reasons. By having a payment platform that integrates directly with your hotel’s merchant ID, hoteliers also gain the power to lessen the number of manual tasks required to operate, reducing the possibility of human error. Direct payment integration also allows the guest to reserve and pay for any activities 24/7 and for the hotel to collect funds immediately. Hotel technology payment integrations are essential because they can help hotels provide a more seamless and personalized experience for guests.
Hotels should collect funds directly instead of using a third-party provider for a few reasons.
- Control over the guest experience: When hotels collect funds directly, they have more control over the guest experience and can ensure that guests have a seamless and efficient reservation and execution process.
- Data security: Hotels can ensure that sensitive payment information is handled in a secure and compliant manner by collecting funds directly rather than relying on a third-party provider that may have a different level of security.
- Branding: By collecting funds directly, hotels can maintain their brand identity and ensure that guests associate their experience with the hotel rather than a third-party provider.
- Revenue management: Hotels can manage their revenue more effectively, as they can access real-time booking data and adjust prices and availability accordingly.
- Reduced processing fees: When hotels collect payments directly to their merchant IDs, they can negotiate lower processing fees with their payment processor, resulting in cost savings.
- Faster access to funds: When a hotel collects payments directly to its merchant ID, it has direct access to the funds, allowing speedier processing.
- Better cash flow management: By collecting payments directly to their merchant IDs, hotels can better manage their cash flow and have more control over when funds are deposited into their accounts.
- Flexibility: Hotels can offer a broader range of payment options and be more flexible with their policies, such as providing refunds or making changes to reservations, when they collect funds directly.
- Cost: Hotels can avoid paying a commission or transaction fee to a third-party provider.
- Direct relationship with the guest: By collecting funds directly, hotels can maintain a direct relationship with their guests and access their data, allowing for marketing and revenue management purposes.
By integrating directly with the hotel’s merchant ID, the guest is using a secure and compliant payment gateway: This secure payment gateway has already been approved and is compliant with industry standards such as PCI-DSS to ensure the safety and security of guests’ payment information. With this, properties can worry less about what’s going on behind the scenes, and focus on getting creative with front-facing guest offers that will connect directly to their system.
RealTime Reservation’s fully integrated platform partners and integrates with Elavon, Shift4, and FreedomPay, allowing guests to reserve everything offered on the property (amenities, activities, parking, airport shuttle, food & beverage, marina, cabanas, pool & beach areas, etc.), through a safe, secure, and direct connection.
Learn more about how working with RealTime Reservation can benefit your hotel operation at https://www.realtimereservation.com/
Shawn Tarter, President & Founder RealTime Reservation
Shawn Tarter is President & Founder of RealTime Reservation, an organization that provides real-time inventory management reservation software to the hospitality/travel industry. Shawn recognized opportunities at many properties and was eager to give the hotels ways to improve the customer experience while providing services that support client satisfaction and loyalty. In 2015, Shawn founded Ipalapa Corporation, which rebranded in 2018 to RealTime Reservation. In the three short years since its rebrand, the company has experienced significant sales and revenue growth, despite operating during a global pandemic. Today, the company employs fifty professionals across development, R&D, client services, administration, sales, and marketing and boasts more than 500 clients.