Whether guests are booking online, ordering poolside, tableside or at the tee, it’s the payment technology that enables them to buy things from virtually anywhere. However, this increasing flexibility intensifies the risks of fraudulent transactions. How do we continue to provide such flexible guest service without putting hospitality operations at risk?
As more flexible, mobile payment offerings come to market, enabling operators to provide guest service virtually anywhere on property, these solutions will also become smarter. Brands are modernizing their payments, and in doing so, they're taking steps to protect their businesses while creating competitive differentiation.
All four major credit card brands made headlines last year when signature requirements were made optional at the point of sale. Commerce has benefited with streamlined checkout processes. More recently, Mastercard announced that the company is now making the signature panel on cards optional for issuers effective this Spring, April 2019. Soon we will see Mastercard cards being issued without a signature panel. If operators are still requiring signatures however, they soon won't have anything to compare and authenticate the cardholder’s identity.
In the online space, Mastercard is also pushing the adoption of new security technologies to streamline checkout. This year, in partnership with payment processors and banks, the company will introduce one-time tokens to obviate the need for tedious input of cardholder information. With token services, guests can store their card credentials without the risk of exposing actual card account details. It also prevents service disruptions by automatically updating card credentials should a card expire.
To keep transactions running smoothly and securely, some brands are transitioning to payment alternatives like mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. NFC transactions are perceived by guests and operators as being more secure, and much more convenient than traditional card payment methods. With a simple tap of their phone or watch, the guest doesn’t need to take the extra time to dig out their physical card. This benefits the reputation of hospitality brands everywhere with a modern experience for guests.