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TECHNOLOGY

AirPay & Oracle Hospitality partner to woo hotels with payment options
Saturday, 25 November, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
AirPay India’s only omni-channel payments company, has partnered with Oracle Hospitality network to provide payment solutions for all its hotel customers to spur digital transactions.

“The number of integrations that the information technology (IT) team of a hotel manages is commendable. But as technologies change, consumers adopt them faster than anyone else,” said Amit Kapoor, co-founder and chief executive officer, AirPay.

“Everyone wants to present an omni-channel option to consumers who are constantly searching on social media platforms via their tablets, mobile phones and computers. This provides an opportunity to engage the consumer there itself,” he added.

AirPay claims to be India’s only omni-channel SaaS payments platform to accept inbound payments from consumers [consumer-to-business (C2B)] and process outbound payments to pay vendors [business-to-business (B2B)].

“The product is not an app and is only a browser. We require 35 days to integrate with any partner. The solution offers a single point-of-sale (POS) terminal. The customer never leaves the hotel’s page for payment. It also has integrated channel managers such as Expedia and Booking.com, among others,” Kapoor added.

Travis Macauley, solutions manager, hotels, Oracle, said, “The Indian market is looking for updated solutions. The customer of today expects good technology in the business.”

“All of the chains in India - Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt, etc. - are in locations outside of Delhi and Mumbai,” he added.

“Goa is a huge resort area, and all of our customers are strategically located where people want to holiday. A better experience can happen through better technology,” Macauley said.

“We expect Internet devices to reach a count of 50 billion by 2020. There will also be an exponential increase in the number of mobile subscribers, as well as expectations in guest experience,” he added.

Some of the industry transformations include cloud services, personalised loyalty programmes, Internet of Things (IoT), such as in-room technology and presence on social media, and the reaction time to feedback and complaints.

Macauley also touched upon the millennials and their importance for hotels to identify and attract them, as 94 per cent of them prefer hotel confirmations and updates via e-mail.

They are more receptive to personalised messages and are impacted by online reviews.

Almost 64 per cent of milliennials have downloaded and used a hotel mobile app. In India, WhatsApp is gaining immense popularity.

“The IT department of a hotel tends to stockpile old hardware. About 25 per cent of the total expense is spent on innovation, while the remainder is spent on maintenance, integration, and doing routine tasks as per Forrester Research 2016,” Macauley said.

“Hotels are migrating to the cloud technology, because of its security and efficient back-up,” he added.

It is critical for hotels to move to cloud, because no server logistics are required, and hence, save on installation and travel expenses.

It allows hotels to copy template data from one property to another. It enables reduced on-premise hardware, leading to fewer installation days. Being on cloud offers scalability if hotels are looking at expanding or downsizing.

Oracle’s next-gen POS solution, called Simphony, is an integrated business suite that can be customised as per the hotel.

“Guests can order dinner as soon as they land in the city through a mobile application. Hoteliers can study the analytics and provide customised offers,” stated Jay Sherman, senior manager, sales consulting, hotel POS, Oracle Hospitality (Asia Pacific and Japan), Oracle.
 
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