Three Changes Made by Mobile Payment on Hotel Industry in 2017

Beijing | China

Please answer  a question question before reading the text: What is the last threshold preventing the mobile payment from entering the hospitality industry?

It may be hard for those engaged in mobile payment industry to answer this question, because the irresistible and almost omnipotent mobile payment has become an indispensable part in the life of the Chinese people.

Of all the mobile payment tools, WeChat Pay and Alipay dominate the market with their monopolistic advantages. According to the latest news released by the international media, the data of the third-party organization shows that the payments of nearly 3 trillion dollars were made using WeChat Pay and Alipay in China in 2017.

According to the forecast in this report, mobile payment will account for 12 percent of the total retail payment in China by 2020, with other forms of the Internet payment accounting for 16 percent, cash payment 30 percent, and credit card payment 41 percent.

Mobile payment has integrated itself into every aspect of the Chinese people’s daily life–catering, entertainment, traveling, receiving medical treatment, and handling administrative affairs. Then what changes will occur to the hotel industry as it will be inevitably impacted by the wave of mobile payment?

Hotels support mobile payment

As hotels are operated in an increasingly refined way under the fierce competition, managers of hotels are willing to deliver still better quality services for enhancing user experience. That’s why many hotels release more competitive products for different consumer groups, so as to meet the personalized requirements of these consumers and further improve their experiences of staying in hotels. Mobile payment is one of these service products.

While enhancing user experience, using WeChat Pay and Alipay brings many problems. For example, a user uses a credit card to pay the room rates when checking into a hotel, but has to take out his or her mobile phone time and time again to make payments for personalized consumption in different scenarios. Thus the user experience is severely affected. In addition, the costs of checking accounts will increase as different forms of payment (mobile payment and credit card etc) coexist in the hotel.

OTA mobile payment  rise significantly

According to statistics, the size of the online accommodation market reached 119.02 billion RMB Yuan in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 32.5 percent, accounting for 20.1 percent of the overall size of the online tourist market.

 (Size of the Online Accommodation Market in China from 2010 to 2019)

Mobile payment is also fully embraced by Online Travel Service (OTA) represented by Ctrip. Most of OTA are used to the fact that travelers use WeChat Pay or Alipay to pay room rates in advance. Users also develop the habit of making mobile payment in hotels and other tourism-related scenarios. However, a user has to adapt to traditional ways of operation when checking into a hotel, since he or she has to pay a sum of money as a deposit or swipe a credit card to obtain pre-authorization for later consumption in the hotel.

Save costs with low premium rate

Mobile payment tools like WeChat Pay and Alipay compare favorably with bankcard payment in terms of premium rate. A large hotel has to cover a huge amount of incomes and expenses each year. It can save itself a large sum of money in its operation if it can fully embrace mobile payment. Under the background of extensive use of mobile payment, many hotels cancel the bank card pre-authorization then allow users to use WeChat Pay or Alipay to make payment for their consumption. Although a hotel can save premium rate in doing so, such an operation is complex and cannot be used during the peak hours.

“Inn Pay” Made its Debut

At the 2017 China Hotel Operation Conference sponsored by Hoteln, Beijing Wiseasy Technology Co., Ltd. (“Wiseasy”) released a comprehensive cashier product for hotels. Named “Inn Pay”, the product accepts three forms of payment including WeChat, Alipay and credit card. It can also serve as a money-collecting product for hotels to conduct transactions and give pre-authorization. It is the only product with such a function in the hotel industry.

Upon its release, “Inn Pay” immediately attracted the attention and questions from hotel operators on the site of conference. For those who did not attend the 2017 China Hotel Operation Conference, Wiseasy and Hoteln opened a “Double 12” (December 12) experience channel for hotels to apply for experimental use. Any firm applying for the experimental use and successfully accessing transaction can receive a Wang POS as a bonus.