Improving Your Hotel Business: How Merchant Services Can Fill More Rooms
When the economy goes down, it can spell trouble for the hospitality
industry. Families that have to cut back on their finances are going to
trim down their vacation time. Businesses that send people out on the
road and around the country to conferences have to scale back as well.
Hotel businesses from the largest national chain to the smallest bed and
breakfast all end up feeling the strain. One way that your hotel
business can survive in these, or any, tough economic times is by
signing up for a merchant services account. Merchant accounts can do a
world of good for your hotel business by designing a program
specifically for businesses in the hospitality industry.
Paying at the Front Desk
The most common way that merchant accounts help just about every business is through credit card processing.
When you first sign up for your account you are going to have to make
sure that you have a business bank account. This is so that after your
merchant account provider has processed the credit card information, it
can be deposited into your account. Retail swipe terminals are one of
the most common ways that businesses of all stripes process credit
cards. You will definitely want one of these for your hotel business so
that people can just roll in the front door, ask for a room, and pay on
their credit card. The nice thing about retail swipe terminals is that
they carry some of the lowest credit card processing fees in the
business. This is because credit card fraud is far less common when
people deal with each other face-to-face. Because of the minimal risk,
merchant account providers charge a minimal fee. With a retail swipe
terminal, you can process debit cards just as easily as credit cards.
The only difference is that the money is taken directly out of your
customer’s checking account. On your end, everything works pretty much
Online reservations are another way a merchant account can help to
grow your hotel business. The plain fact is that more and more hotel
reservations are made online every year. Even if your hotel already has a
website, your customers may be turned off if they actually have to call
after looking up your information on the web. In today’s modern age,
people expect to be able to take care of everything in one fell swoop.
When they log onto your website and see that you have rooms available,
they want to be able to punch in their credit card information then and
there and not have to worry about it until they show up. A merchant
account provider can set it up so that once your potential guest has
booked his or her room, they can enter their credit card information
into a secure website and all of their information will be safely
transferred to your merchant account provider. Still, your account
provider knows how the hospitality industry works. They understand that
cancellations happen. That is why they will quickly and easily be able
to void transactions if necessary. You will just have to work out what
your cancellation policy is with your specific account provider. They
will be more than happy to abide by the rules of your establishment.
Virtual Terminal Solutions
People make hotel reservations in a lot of different ways and your
establishment should be able to accept them all. When someone calls in,
faxes, or e-mails you to reserve a room, you can still process their
credit card information. Your merchant account provider will help you
set up a virtual terminal that can be accessed through any computer that
is hooked up to the Internet. All you do is log onto the secure server,
punch in your customer’s credit or debit card information, and the
funds will be transferred over to you. One of the greatest conveniences
of these virtual terminals is that they can be accessed from anywhere.
If you run a campground and your house is a few miles away, you can
still take reservations over your cell phone and punch in the
information right on your home computer.
Odds are that your hotel offers a whole lot more than just a bed to
sleep in. Many hotels have bars and restaurants, spa treatments, room
service, and on down the line. Your merchant account provider will make
it seamlessly easy to add all of these things onto one bill and one
card. Your customers and your staff will be thankful for the ease of
processing. Don’t let all the hard work you put into your hotel
business go to waste because you missed the bus on a merchant services
account. There are plenty of options out there that can help hotels of
every shape and size grow and prosper in the future. Sign up for your
hospitality industry merchant account as soon as you can.