Travel in Europe could become much easier for mobile-equipped visitors. At the 2017 Travel Technology Europe event held in February, multiple tech startups blazing new trails in the travel industry showcased their wares in the show's Launchpad area.
Leading the charge, Ensygnia Ltd. introduced Onescan, a smartphone-based hotel check-in and payment system. The technology is part of Ensygnia's instant interactive platform designed to encourage user engagement when booking trips, ordering goods, registering for services, making payments or claiming rewards. Interactions can be triggered via email, text message, website, on-site signage ‒ virtually anything smartphones can receive.
Ensygnia Chief Executive Officer Richard Harris believes the value for hotels is not just the faster check-in, but also the instant interaction marketing and customer service that it enables both when guests are staying and when they are at home. "It delivers a huge increase in guest engagement," he said. "And of course, for guests, it will mean they can check in quicker, order smarter and pay easier."
Onescan's multipatented system is designed to not only eliminate guest check-in lines, but also provide opportunities to enhance the guest experience. Travelers who use the mobile app to book a room can, upon arrival, scan a code in the hotel reception area to check in for their stay. Scanned codes enable the system to retrieve and register the name of the guest, length of stay and room details, as well as add loyalty data or offer upgrade options, if available.
Each guest is able to view and confirm relevant hotel stay details directly on a smartphone screen. Onescan sends a copy of guest identification or passport information to the hotel check-in system and keeps the guest's designated payment method on file, eliminating the need to present a physical passport or credit card for identification or to make payments. The entire process can be completed in seconds, the company noted. Going a step further, an additional scan, key code or Bluetooth-enabled device can unlock the guest's hotel room door. Alternatively, self-service key-validation can be enabled using the hotel's existing infrastructure integrated with Onescan, the company said.
Throughout the hotel stay, Onescan can also enable guests to order additional services via smartphone, either through the hotel app or driven directly by visual calls to action displayed around the hotel. Such services might include room service, restaurant bookings, shopping, events, excursions, value-added services and other special offers available to guests.
When ready to check out, hotel guests can review their bills; split charges between personal and business expenses, if necessary; and pay using appropriate card details without having to leave the Onescan app, Ensygnia noted. Guest receipts are then sent automatically to the mobile app and by email to each guest. To gain additional feedback, hoteliers may also invite guests to complete a survey using the app.
Onescan employs bank grade security to safeguard users' personal and financial data. According to Ensygnia, personal data is encrypted and stored in a secure vault on the user's smartphone, and the interaction with the platform effectively activates permission for it to be accessed and used each time the process is triggered.
Other tech startups featured in the Launchpad included Flyto, whose service enables airline travelers to pay for flights in fixed monthly installments over an extended period, from two to six months, rather than having to pay everything upfront.
A new app from RoomAssistant allows guests direct access to hotel services from smartphone and tablet devices. The company provides configuration, implementation, and launch assistance, along with an application programming interface. At check-in, guests can choose to receive a welcome note containing app download information to tap into room service, hail a cab, upload a local map and receive other guest services.
Upgrade2 launched a sales conversion engine to help hotels deliver more services after reservations are made. With the app, guests can customize their stay with add-on services and experiences offered by each hotel.
Also in the spotlight was the travel itinerary app from Tineri, currently in beta mode, that allows tour operators and travel agents to provide clients with interactive itineraries displayed in summary, calendar and detailed formats. It can also link to deeper information and tips on things to see and do at each destination.
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