25 Hotel Payment Options to Offer Guests More Flexibility

Bryan Michalis
Bryan Michalis
March 28, 2024
March 28, 2024
25 Hotel Payment Options to Offer Guests More Flexibility

Cashless travel is revolutionizing the hotel and travel industry. PwC reports that cashless payment transactions are estimated to increase by more than 80% to almost 1.9 trillion from 2020 to 2025. By 2030, they’re expected to triple. This shift is influencing hotel payment options, with some hotels transitioning to fully cashless systems.

If your hotel wants to transition towards digital payments, you have options. Plus, letting guests tap and swipe helps deliver more seamless guest experiences and greater revenue opportunities.

So, what hotel payment options are available to you? And what are the benefits of offering multiple options? We’ll discuss why modernizing your payment tech stack is a wise move.

How Would You Like to Pay? 25 Hotel Payment Options To Explore

Hotel Payment Options

Offering guests a wide range of payment options enables you to enhance the guest experience for all types of guests. Guests will have differing preferences based on factors like their country of origin, their age, security concerns, convenience, and plain personal preference.

How many of the below methods are you currently offering your guests? Here are 25 hotel payment options to consider:

Credit cards & debit cards

Credit and debit cards continue to reign as the top choice for payments in hotels globally, providing guests with a trusted and familiar means to handle their expenses during their stay. Their widespread acceptance positions them as the ultimate choice for travelers seeking seamless and secure transactions.

1. Card-present

Card-present credit card transactions require a guest to physically swipe or insert a credit card into a card reader at the hotel's point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Planet research found that credit/debit cards are the most popular hotel payment method globally at 72%.

2. Card-not-present

Card-not-present transactions require secure online payment gateways or integrate with third-party platforms for online bookings. While convenient, these transactions significantly increase a hotel's vulnerability to fraud and chargebacks, as they lack the physical verification of the cardholder's presence.

Canary's award-winning Digital Authorizations solution is a game-changer for hotels, effectively reducing fraud and chargeback risks by up to 90%. Learn how Pinnacle Hotels USA leveraged Canary Digital Authorizations to win a $14,000 hotel chargeback!

3. Contactless

Contactless payment allows guests to tap their credit card on a contactless-enabled terminal to make a payment quickly and securely. Contactless technology has never been so popular. Fifty-four percent of travelers said that they’d most like to see contactless check-in and checkout permanently adopted over the next three years.

Want to streamline check-in and screen for fraud at the same time? With Canary Mobile Check-In, guests securely submit their credit card and IDs, while Canary’s proprietary tech checks for fraud and verifies hotel guest information. Learn more about Mobile Check-In and advanced fraud.

4. Debit cards

Debit cards enable guests to make payments directly from their bank accounts. Transactions are processed electronically, deducting funds immediately from the guest's checking or savings account. Offering the convenience of immediate payment, debit cards serve as a straightforward and accessible option for guests to settle their hotel expenses.

Specialty credit and debit cards

Specialty credit cards are affiliated with particular card networks or issuers, providing distinctive benefits or rewards. Accepting specialty credit cards entails forming agreements with card networks and ensuring compatibility with current payment processing systems.

5. JCB

JCB (Japan Credit Bureau) is a credit card network based in Japan, but it's widely accepted internationally, especially in Asian countries.

6. Maestro

Maestro is a debit card service offered by Mastercard. It's commonly used in Europe and other regions for electronic payments.

7. UnionPay International

UnionPay International is a Chinese financial services corporation that issues credit and debit cards. It's one of the largest card networks globally and widely accepted in China and other countries.

8. Diners Club International

Diners Club International is a charge card company that issues credit cards. It was one of the first independent credit card companies and is accepted at millions of locations worldwide.

Localized payment methods

Localized payment methods are specific to regions, popular in certain countries. Offering them boosts a hotel's accessibility for international travelers, allowing payment in familiar ways. Integration requires understanding regional banking systems, compliance, and partnering with local processors or banks.

9. SEPA (Europe)

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a payment integration initiative of the European Union. It facilitates electronic payments in euros across participating European countries.

10. Interac (Canada)

Interac is a Canadian interbank network that enables electronic financial transactions, including debit card payments and money transfers.

11. OXXO (Mexico)

OXXO is a convenience store chain in Mexico that offers a cash payment option for online purchases. Customers receive a barcode to scan at an OXXO store to complete the payment.

12. iDEAL (Netherlands)

iDEAL is a Dutch online payment method that allows customers to pay for purchases directly from their bank accounts through online banking.

13. SOFORT (Germany)

SOFORT is a German online banking payment method that enables customers to make payments directly from their bank accounts in real-time.

14. PromptPay (Thailand)

PromptPay is a Thai mobile banking and e-wallet service that allows users to transfer funds using their mobile phone numbers.

Additional payment methods

From enabling smooth bank transfers to simplifying corporate billing, this list highlights a host of popular payment methods to consider at your hotel for guest convenience and satisfaction.

15. Bank transfers

Bank transfers involve transferring funds directly from the guest's bank account to the hotel's account. This method is often used for large transactions or for guests who prefer not to use credit cards.

16. Virtual credit cards (VCC)

Virtual credit cards are electronically generated card numbers linked to the guest's credit card account. They provide an extra layer of security for online transactions.

17. Vouchers

Hotels may accept vouchers or gift cards purchased by guests or provided by third-party organizations. These can be used to pay for all or a portion of the guest's stay.

18. Buy now, pay later (BNPL)

BNPL services enable guests to make purchases and pay for them later in installments. This option may be available for booking hotel stays, making it easier for guests to budget their expenses.

19. Cryptocurrencies

Some hotels accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin as payment for accommodations. Cryptocurrencies offer decentralized and secure payment options for tech-savvy guests.

20. Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are loaded with a specific amount of money and can be used for purchases until the balance is depleted.

21. Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

EFT, a method often used for large transactions, enables guests to transfer funds electronically from their bank account to the hotel's account.

22. Online payment gateways (Stripe, PayPal etc.)

Online payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, or Square facilitate secure online transactions for hotel reservations made through the hotel's website or third-party booking platforms.

23. Digital wallets (Paytm, Alipay, WeChat Pay etc.)

Digital wallets enable guests to store payment information securely and make quick and easy payments using their smartphones.

24. Corporate account billing

Hotels may offer corporate account billing for business travelers or corporate clients. This allows companies to be invoiced for their employees' stays and other expenses.

25. Loyalty points or rewards redemption

Guests enrolled in hotel loyalty programs may have the option to pay for their stays using accumulated loyalty points or rewards.

Infographic: History of Hotel Payment Methods

Should You Offer Flexible Payment Options?

The answer is a resounding “yes!” Offering guests a wide range of payment options enables you to meet the diverse preferences and needs of your guests.

Offering flexible payment options is all the more important for the younger generations. According to Ecommpay, 65% of Generation Z and 79% of Millennials are very likely or somewhat likely to abandon their purchase in the middle of an online payment if their preferred payment method isn’t available.

What You Need to Know Before Bringing on New Payment Methods

Before you double down on your shift from cents and dollar bills to cards and digital payments, it’s a good idea to pause, assess your current payment infrastructure and research the options available to you.

The sheer number of hotel payment options may seem overwhelming. No matter what route you take, it’s important to ensure your integrations are as seamless as possible, and most importantly, compliant with regulatory standards.

Let’s look at what you can do to successfully implement the right payment methods for your hotel:

  • Research and analysis: Conduct market research to understand guests' payment preferences.
  • Evaluate your infrastructure: Assess your hotel's payment processing systems, including point-of-sale, online booking and backend processing.
  • Compliance check: Ensure new payment methods meet industry regulations like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
  • Training staff: Educate employees on new payment methods and their benefits.
  • Customer communication: Clearly inform guests about new payment options on your website, emails and in the hotel.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with payment providers, banks and tech vendors.
  • Test and iterate: Introduce new payments gradually, gather guest feedback, and adjust as needed.

Payment Methods are Always Evolving

Staying up to date with what’s happening in the payments world is crucial. Knowing what payment methods are available to you and staying up to date with changing consumer demands will give you the best shot at providing the best guest experience possible.

Remember, though, that proper evaluation prior to implementation is crucial so that adding new payments also benefits your business.

Learn How Canary Can Help Your Properties Thrive

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