Tech boost to hospitality sector by integrating backend deliveries in real time
The tech solution can add to the capability and management of data flow and deliver both real-time business and customer intelligence
Hospitality is all about welcoming the guests in an unknown city while offering experience they can reminisce. While the entire operation is hinged on human performance and interaction, in a disrupted tech world the demand for efficiency is number of notches higher than what an online payment system or courteous front desk can offer. The next-generation integrated data-driven platforms are expected to resolve payment disparities in multi-modal systems, address time lag between front- and back-office capabilities while providing a no-risk, high-return solution that surrounds and expands the existing technologies. The tech solution can add to the capability and management of data flow and deliver both real-time business and customer intelligence that will give businesses a leading competitive edge.
Front Desk Glitz vs the Backend Challenges
According to Facts and Factors, the global hospitality market size was worth around $3953 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow to around $6716.3 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 10.24% between 2022 and 2028. In a post COVID scenario, both leisure travel and business travel has picked up at an immense pace. Along with that what has also changed is the way a customer checks in a hotel, orders his food, book a sauna or a meeting room and ultimately check out. The non-intrusive integrated technology used by most of upscale top and medium hotels, help the customers just to scan their details and complete the procedures, mini robots welcome them, food orders are accepted over virtual calls voice-activated and many more glitz that has added to the welcome bouquet. However, the backend calculations actually face trouble in recalibrating the data points and payment points of the entire supply chain of hotel management.
A case in point is integrated data management of the point of sales and the different technologies that are used to make payments now-a-days. While a few of the payment methods like cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards and electronic bank transfers were always there, the number of payment gateways has just multiplied with introduction of mobile payments. With Apple Pay, G-pay, Samsung Pay, Paytm, Amazon Pay and multiplying with every new app launched, it is a humongous task to settle the payments at the backend. While this is just an example of payments received, the scenario gets grimmer if we look at the payment recalibration of the entire hospitality chain -- from travel package booking through various websites to e-loyalty programs to customer checkout.
As the entire challenge has been created by multiple channels of payment technology, it is imperative that it will need superior tech solutions to unlock the back-end processes and prioritise them. Dedicated finance and commerce tool that will put an end to the mayhem of multiple and dated settlements and also show the pending payments along with the ledger mapping, not to speak about calibrating the multiple point of sale (POS) for a single customer.
When it comes to payments, loyalty and offers and the ultra-convenient methods adopted by increasingly tech-savvy guests have to be on point. An essential part of this is making any legacy systems work together in the background cohesively to provide a seamless service.
Reconciling Payments for Hotels
As one could very well understand from the challenge described, it is a virtual war-room at the backend where there are professionals trying to make sense of the outstanding dues against settlements from various sectors coming in. Truthfully, the hotel entertains the guests entirely free-- without any payment against them, as they are not settled. The Payment Management System (PMS) stands fragmented aligned with each of the payment channels which send and settles their part of the payment. The delay in payment from different channels like cards and mobile payments are another set of trouble that the PMS workforce negotiates. If the financial ledgers remain weak or mismatched over period of time, the guest service will be compromised, resulting in a dysfunctional and disconnected experience for the customer.
The need of the hour is a dynamic dashboard that charts out the payments being received against each guests by which means on one side and calibrates the payments getting settled from different sources against past entries. And this needs to happen through AI and blockchain intervention without involving human hands, so that basic errors can be eliminated. The system also needs to indicate what is the outstanding against each payment methods and expected dates of payment against them.
It would just get better if the AI driven technology can even send the bankers an automatic focused ledger notification for settling or apprising them of the dues. It is expected the system should be so operated that this mail is curated for each channels and not one single communication that is going to everyone.
The good news is – that as demands are increasing for an all-encompassing tech product that will manage the financial backend for hotels—many companies are actually working on a breakthrough or refining the products. Business and demand for an integrated solutions has charged up the tech companies to work without any Application Programming Interface (API) where the systems do not need to communicate between bank and client servers, making complex data transfer between these two systems increasing the cost of maintenance to secure the integration between the customer's and bank's systems.
Using AI over API, a Smart product will map every detail and show a clean dashboard to the account time while beeping off those entries which are overdue and needs to be followed up. AI will also show the payments that are pending from hotels side to the vendors or settling the loyalty programme dues. An efficient backend will revitalise and revolutionise the hospitality sector taking it to the next level.
About the author
Dr Ameet Patil
The author is the Founder & CEO of Ecobillz Private LimitedVisit the Author page >>
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