Through Peter Moore, CEO of It’s Lolly

The past two years have shown us that it is impossible to predict exactly how, when and where the payments landscape will evolve. We can make educated guesses by analyzing emerging technologies, consumer behavior and payment habits, but the world will throw its own challenges along the way, changing the path we see ahead or accelerating it beyond our control.

The pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate how we handle payments, so what have we learned in the past two years when it comes to hotel payment technology?

The road is never straight – QR comeback

The technological path is not straight. An excellent illustration of this is the return of QR codes. When they were generally introduced in 2010, QR codes were seemingly thrust upon us as an impractical “tool” that served no distinctly useful purpose, other than to make marketing or advertising appear “technological”. They pretty quickly disappeared from the mainstream. Then, as social distancing became an integral part of society, businesses had to rethink the transfer of information, and QR codes found their way into the tech landscape. Their reappearance has demonstrated the important role they can play in simplifying the payment process, with ‘scan to pay’ QR codes located in many hospitality venues. They have also proven useful in other ways, not only as a method to facilitate payment transfer, but also as a link to menus and for online ordering.

Some things will be left behind – money

The pace at which the payments landscape has transitioned to cashless has been irreversibly accelerated by the pandemic. Cash as a percentage of all payments fell from 56% in 2010 to 45% in 2015, then with a sharp drop to 17% in 2020.[1]

We’ve reached a tipping point where there’s no turning back, but moving forward we need to make sure we’re working with the right payment methods that benefit businesses and consumers.

The fastest route is fantastic… but we have to be careful – contactless and direct transfers

In October 2021, there were 1.3 billion contactless card transactions, 34.1% more than in October 2020 and 74.5% more than in October 2019.[2] Our appetite for fast and transparent transactions is not diminishing. However, as the limit for contactless cards in the UK has risen to £100, consumers are questioning whether this will allow overspending, and retailers regarding higher cost ‘leaves’ – customers leaving the store without realizing their payment has not been made.

Mobile banking, PIN on Glass/PIN transactions and direct transfers (bank to bank) are all emerging technologies that will reduce costs and facilitate fast payments. Still, hotel providers should be aware that it is likely that we will see card schemes and banks will start to introduce other fees for these to recoup their lost profits from reduced terminal sales. Cards.

It can be difficult to know where to go – biometric payments and cryptocurrency

Biometric payment will almost certainly revolutionize the payment landscape. However, we cannot yet know in what form biometrics will be most widely and effectively implemented in the hotel landscape. Iris, fingerprint, face, motion and voice are all big news in biometric payment technology. “Pay by selfie” or “smile to pay” services have been around for a while, particularly in China, but haven’t caught on in the UK or Europe, so we haven’t yet seen which of these these methods will progress.

Before Covid-19 hit, it looked like fingerprints might emerge as the primary biometric payment method, but the focus on minimizing touchpoints to reduce the spread of the virus has meant that the face and irises are increasingly common. Although it’s possible that the recent launch of Amazon’s palm/vein is the way to go.

Another uncertainty is whether cryptocurrencies come into play as a means of payment in our day-to-day lives? Could we pay for our morning coffee in crypto within the next few years… unlikely, but it’s hard to say never.

Keep moving forward, but there’s a lot to learn from how far you’ve come

To understand the future, we must look to the past. When it comes to technology, we need to understand how and why changes have happened, looking at consumer behavior, their reservations, and the factors that influenced their decision to adopt certain technologies. Generational adoption, especially in technology, is an ongoing iterative process.

POS as an independent process doesn’t really exist anymore, instead we have different solutions that combine seamlessly to take customers on a streamlined and personalized journey. Technology has made it easier for us to interact with customers, collect data and accept payments in the easiest way possible.

Using personal data for a better customer experience, while creating a seamless onboarding journey with smooth processes and transactions, is definitely the future of payments, but the focus should be on security and ensuring reliability. ‘responsible use of data.

  1. https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/SUMMARY-UK-Payment-Markets-2021-FINAL.pdf
  2. https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/data-and-research/data/cards/card-spending

About Roberto Frank

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