It’s just not “cool” to pay a hotel bill at the end of your stay — but it’s nothing to do with getting hit by the high bar bill (or being overcharged for bottled water.)
A new report has found that the process of paying when checking out leaves a lot to be desired. Guests feel anxious because now it’s twice as onerous compared to buying things in their everyday lives. There’s also the fact that everything needs to be paid for at the end, which means guests are left guessing how much they’ve actually spent.
The net result is more damaging to the hotel’s brand and reputation than you might think, travel technology company Amadeus has warned in a new psychological analysis. They risk losing entire markets, not just individual customers, while hotels could also miss out on the chance to persuade guests to buy more ancillaries by failing to adapt more modern payment technologies.
Guests experience heightened “anxiety” and “uncertainty” when paying at hotels, according to behavioural insights agency Innovationbubble, which Amadeus commissioned for the report. It interviewed hundreds of international leisure and business travelers from the U.S., UK and Brazil to uncover conscious and non-conscious perceptions.
The main problem is that travelers still typically pay for their stay at check-out using physical terminals, rather than at time of booking using modern digital systems. Hotels still mainly process payments at the desk based on their own local payment system, so the guest will never know for sure if their bank card will be accepted.
Innovationbubble said 40 percent of respondents recently experienced some kind of problem when paying at the hotel, with more than a third of respondents saying they couldn’t pay how they wanted during a recent stay. Some 66 percent said the hotel should have their payment method on file.