Enhance Hospitality Experiences with Identity Verification Solutions

A recent JD Power study showed that hotel guest satisfaction has plateaued as perks have become standard expectations. When picking and choosing exact specifications via an app is a better experience than getting to a hotel only to argue with a desk agent, it becomes clear why Millennials have such low engagement with the hospitality industry. It’s no wonder the hotel and rental car markets are being crowded by sharing economy businesses Airbnb and Uber.

As the hospitality industry shifts to accommodate customer preferences, influenced in part by the distinct priorities of the Millennial cohort, and more generally by all things digital—social media, smartphones, and apps for everything, the role identity verification becomes critical.

Scan-and-verify solutions such as desktop devices and mobile scanning apps that quickly capture and digitize all the information from a driver’s license, passport, or other identity card make for very customer friendly experiences. Accurate information is extremely valuable to big tech companies, but most hospitality companies aren’t taking advantage of even basic customer data.

The following are ways the hospitality industry can leverage customer data to promote a better experience and increase revenue:

Gain Customer Loyalty through Personalization

Millennials are hard to win over as brand ambassadors in the hospitality industry; a recent Gallup report found only 20% are fully engaged (sharing positive feelings or reviews for a brand) while 23% are actively disengaged (sharing poor reviews). Getting the right customer data is the key to increasing customer loyalty. Linking a scanned ID to a previous visit, amenities targeted toward their demographics, and keeping preferences on file for future visits can go a long way toward fostering brand loyalty.  

Create Opportunities to Upsell while Combatting Fraud

Disney’s Magic Bands are tracking devices that can tell employees to interact with a guest by name or event such as a birthday. Not every company has the computing power of Disney, but if you can seamlessly and reliably prove the validity of your guest’s identity and securely collect payment this creates a lot of opportunities to upsell experiences and products. Verifying identity and payment information against a database can also help reduce risk and fraud such as property damage or preventing false charges to a room.

Invest in a Seamless Experience

Looking ahead, biometric technology and identity verification will also help travel and hospitality companies build more seamless door-to-door systems, a traveler’s identity to their itinerary, baggage routing, transportation, and hotel arrangements are tracked so they can move seamlessly from point-to-point. This vision of travel is infinitely more appealing than slogging from one check-in desk to another, and starting over each time with data entry, payment, and paperwork. While these innovations may not become widely adopted for several years, companies that lay the groundwork now will be poised for competitive advantage.

By utilizing advanced identity capture and verification solutions, hotels, rental agencies, and tourist attractions can start delivering a relaxed, smooth-sailing experience as soon as customers walk in the door.

The Future is Here: Mobile Check-In & Digital Keyless Entry for Hotels are Reality

As technology continues to improve many routine processes, we all look forward to improvements that make life easier and experiences more enjoyable when it comes to traveling. Travelers for business and leisure alike dread the antiquated check-in process at hotels. While there have been small steps to improve this, it has remained a tedious, unpleasant experience that feels like a never ending series of questions with demands for ID’s, credit cards that ends in finally obtaining your key. Only to find later this key does not work, is demagnetized, or you come to misplace it.

Hotels today are making big efforts to move away from tasks like this, and provide more convenient processes for their guests. This is especially true in light of new competition from AirBNB, HomeAway and VRBO, which offer more travel options than ever before.

Mobile check-in and digital keyless entry are slowly beginning to transform how guests check-in and customer satisfaction ratings are climbing and expected to soar as this takes hold. Case in point, a recent JD Power study on hotel satisfaction found that while only 3% of guests take advantage of online or mobile check-in, check-in/check-out satisfaction is highest among these guests. And, those mobile check in/out adoption numbers are expected to spike in coming years.

Acuant recently partnered with OpenKey, the industry standard for universal mobile key technology, to provide mobile key access to hotel guests. With the OpenKey app, hotel employees can easily generate and manage mobile keys for their guests. All guests need to do is download the app onto their smartphones. Then they can use their mobile devices to check-in securely and access their rooms without having to visit the front desk. Independent hotels across the country have implemented OpenKey’s digital keyless entry solution with confidence in the security of the underlying Acuant technology.

Acuant’s ID verification capabilities allow guests to check-in securely through a mobile device, take away the paperwork and credential handling and make the check-in experience a seamless one. The OpenKey app notifies hotel employees when a guest has checked in and Acuant’s ID authentication guarantees that only verified guests will have access to their rooms, which allows for convenience without sacrificing security. Guests can also use their smartphones to access hotel amenities such as pools, spas and fitness centers, where a room key would be cumbersome.

By relying on better technology, hotel staff will spend less time at the front desk and more time creating personalized guest services. Guests will feel empowered and enjoy the freedom of self-service check-in and digital keys. No lines, no paperwork, no keys to lose- traveling just became a lot more pleasurable!