Making your guests comfortable with their payment choices
Although often overlooked, hospitality is the UK's fourth largest industry, representing 10 per cent of
the country's GDP 1. It's also been growing recently, as a fall in the value of the pound has made the
UK a more attractive destination for foreign holidaymakers.
As the UK has attracted more visitors, it's also been working harder to compete with other destinations around the world. The UK now brings in visitors from growing markets in the Middle East and China, with different interests and requirements than those that may have been visiting 20 or 30 years ago.
The hospitality industry has so far done a good job of adapting and catering to all of their customers. One thing that is vital is to provide the choice that customers are looking for. This could mean anything from the choice of assistance in different languages to different pillows being made available on request.
However, it should also extend to choice when it comes to making payments. Particularly for those wanting to pay with their debit or credit card, hotels and restaurants should ensure that they are offering their guests the ability to pay in a way that suits them best.
When it comes to card payments, guests usually have the option to pay in the local currency, or to opt for dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and pay in their home currency. While no one option will be right for everyone, many of your guests might prefer to use DCC as it allows them to pay in a currency that they are familiar with. DCC transactions also include the rate applied and any additional fees, so your guests avoid a shock when they check their bank statements at a later date. The price on the terminal will be what the transaction costs.
Crucially, the hospitality industry must make sure that it is properly communicating what these two different options mean for your guest. If done correctly, the cardholder can make an informed decision that suits their needs. A happy guest will very likely also become a repeat customer. And a repeat customer makes for a very happy business.