WEX Inc, in partnership with the Portland Research Group, recently conducted a research study which provides insights into hotel acceptance of virtual credit card payment in the travel vertical.
NB: This is an analysis by Deena Jones and edited by Mark Goettel, both senior product managers at WEX Inc.
The WEX Virtual Travel Supplier research study identified that (74%) of the respondent hotels currently accept virtual cards.
The 26% of hotel respondents who did not accept virtual cards cited the top reasons for not accepting virtual cards as the hotels’ property management systems.
Of the hotel respondents that do accept virtual cards three-quarters (75%) were satisfied with their hotels’ property management system in terms of virtual card processing and a few (25%) were dissatisfied.
The use of specific property management systems was similar among hotels that accept virtual cards and those that do not accept virtual cards.
Based on this research WEX has focused on identifying the common PMS virtual card challenges and provided some Best Practices in ultimately preventing issues for hoteliers.
Best practices for virtual card processing for hotel suppliers:
- If pre-authorization is done at any time on the card, this authorization codes needs to be used for the subsequent payment processing. Once a card has been pre-authorized you should not authorize again as this will result in a double authorization and will decline.
- For all Virtual Card payment reservations 2 folio’s should be setup at check-in. Folio A with virtual card number as payment method with the designated charges to be covered routed to this folio. Folio B with guest payment method for all other charges not covered on Folio A.
- If reservation is updated by the original source booking agent (OTA, Travel Agent) you should charge the virtual card per the as instructed on the updated reservation confirmation. The authorized usage amounts will have been updated to reflect the new amounts. If the reservation is updated without authorization of the source booking agent then the traveler is responsible for payment of the differences.
- If you accidentally charge the incorrect amount you can post additional payments not to exceed the original pre authorized amount. You can post a partial or full refund against the original virtual card payment however you cannot charge it again. You must contact the booking source (OTA, Travel Agent) if further changes are needed.
In addition to non-acceptance reasons the research focused on the VCC reservation identifiers for hotel acceptors.
This research would help WEX focus on the needs to standardize the identifier of VCC reservation and delivery the of the card number among all hotel suppliers acceptors.
With the recent growth of the use of VCC payments outside of the major OTA’s the identification for the hotel supplier of the VCC reservation needs be outside of the profile name (company/travel agent).
With the obvious being that a hotel will recognize a Expedia Travel and understand that the reservation is being paid with a VCC based on negotiated contract however a reservation with ABC Travel would not be recognized as VCC reservation based on profile name as no separate contracting is negotiated for this agency.
NB: This is an analysis by Deena Jones and edited by Mark Goettel, both senior product managers at WEX Inc. It appears here as part of Tnooz’s sponsored content initiative.
NB3:Travel credit card image via Shutterstock.
NB4: The study was put together by 256 hotel respondents including hotels of various sizes as well as independent hotels and chain affiliated properties.