Safe and Secure Transactions are Critical in a Contactless World

Bryan Michalis
June 1, 2020

Credit card hackers are using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to target more online transactions and, because hotel businesses have traditionally been a hot target for hackers, it’s never been more important to ensure your guest data remains safe.

According to Yahoo! Finance, attempted debit and credit fraud transactions rose 35% in April from a year earlier.

While the hotel industry has stepped up its efforts to make data security a top strategic goal over the last few years, is it doing enough? When was the last time your company audited its own practices to ensure compliance?

If you haven’t, consider the cost of not doing so. Hotels are contractually obliged to comply with PCI guidelines as per merchant agreements, but many are dropping the ball on the simplest of security components. Fines for breaches that result from non-compliance can be severe, ranging from $5,000 to $500,000. What’s more, banks and processors have been successfully filing for compensation from hotels after breaches.

How do you avoid that dreaded call from your bank? Here are three things that you can add to your PCI compliance strategy that hoteliers often overlook.

1. Verify that partners are PCI compliant

While PCI compliance encompasses many parts of a hotel, much of it is covered by the property management system and networking vendor. Check with your technology vendors to make sure the solutions you have running at your property are up to par. Blind trust isn’t a virtue here. If your vendors aren’t compliant, you could be the one holding the bill should a breach take place.

Understand the difference between PCI Compliance levels and work with partners who are at least Level 1 compliant, meaning they participate in yearly on-site reviews by an internal auditor and a required network scan by an approved scanning vendor.

2. Ensure credit card information is secure

How does your company acquire and store credit card authorization forms? If your hotel is still using paper or PDF versions for third-party authorizations, sales contracts and other forms, you are not PCI compliant and your company is at risk.

A secure, digital solution can bring you into compliance and help to manage that risk. Ease of use for your customers is another benefit of such a system. No longer will they need to fill out paper forms, sign, scan, and email or fax back to you. Then, you won’t need to find ways to store these paper files that are then left vulnerable for anyone to see. Ask yourself: What’s more secure — a binder filled with credit card numbers and personal information locked away in a filing cabinet, or a password-protected system that only certain employees have access to?

3. Implement password policies — and make sure employees follow them

Many vulnerabilities happen simply because employees set weak passwords — the reason cited for 63% of all breaches, according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report. To set your company up for success, you need to execute a strong policy that requires employees to change their passwords after a few months. Then, multi-factor authentication adds another layer of protection. This system requires more than one method of authentication to verify someone’s identity for login purposes. Those could include fingerprints, facial recognition, codes and the like.

Of course, rules are meaningless unless they are followed. As a leader, it’s your job to be certain that policies are being followed as written. Consider conducting an audit throughout the year to ensure all procedures are enforced. A little time now can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.

Learn How Canary Can Help Your Properties Thrive

12 Causes of High Hotel Turnover Rates and What To Do About It

What can hotels do to decrease turnover rates and create a happier workforce? Here are 12 common problems and how to fix them:

Read More

11 Hotel Strategies to Attract Customers

Use the following eleven hotel strategies to attract more customers and strengthen your business in the long run.

Read More

How To Increase Food & Beverage Revenue in a Hotel

F&B service is an essential aspect of hotel operations. In this post, Canary's hotel industry veterans examine how to increase food and beverage revenue in a hotel.

Read More

Best Practices for Guest Service in the Hotel Industry

Great guest service is the cornerstone of a successful hotel business. Whether you’re facing guests, event planners, event attendees, or business travelers, the quality of your guest service could mean happier customers, better reviews, and more revenue.

Read More

Canary’s #1-Rated Digital Contracts & Payments Solutions Now Integrated With Amadeus Delphi

This spring, Amadeus Delphi customers can access the new Canary integration directly inside of the Delphi interface. With just one-click within Delphi, hoteliers can create and send contracts for e-signature and payment links for collecting deposits or installments. All documents and payment information are saved securely within relevant account records in Delphi.

Read More
Click “Accept All” to store basic cookies on your device that enhance site functionality. View our Privacy Policy for more information. You can also block all in the preference center.

Privacy Preference Center

By using this website, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation and analyze site usage. View our Privacy Policy for more information.