Tap, Swipe, Delight: How Apple Wallet is Transforming the Hospitality Experience.
With the rapid evolution of technology, what upgrades are happening to improve the hospitality experience? Well, Apple, the tech giant keeps rolling out new features. From hotels to nightlife, read on to discover how Apple Wallet is transforming the hospitality experience.
- How does Apple Wallet work?
- Why it’s time for hospitality to embrace the Apple Wallet.
- How Apple Wallet is transforming the hospitality experience.
- Challenges and adoption barriers.
How does the Apple Wallet work?
Before we dive into the developments of Apple Wallet and how these are set to transform hospitality experiences, let’s first cover how it works.
The Apple Wallet app on iPhones and Apple Watches uses iCloud space. This allows it to conveniently organise digital “cards” from an array of different businesses.
The wallet uses NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to connect devices. It’s one of the safest communication systems, and to use it, businesses only need to have an NFC-enabled payments reader. This is how Apple Wallet connects your customers to their ever-growing list of features.
Why it’s time for hospitality to embrace the Apple Wallet.
With the evolution of technology, hospitality has come a long way and the Apple Wallet brings with it ease and innovation. Let’s see how it makes a difference.
Security is one of the most important considerations in hospitality. Apple Wallet's strong security features give you and your customers peace of mind. Only authorised users will be able to access the digital keys because they're encrypted and stored safely on the device. Apple Wallet also makes use of the Touch ID or Face ID biometric authentication features on the smartphone to confirm the user's identity before providing access.
Using digital cards (rather than physical ones) also lowers security breaches, such as key cloning or theft. Digital cards are linked specifically to each customer’s device, making duplicating practically impossible.
Using Apple Wallet boosts operational efficiency for hospitality businesses. Taking payments using physical cards or cash, or keeping track of paper tickets can slow down your operations. Digital wallets save valuable time and speed up processes.
With Apple Wallet's ongoing updates and enhancements, businesses can stay ahead of the technological curve and adapt to client's evolving needs. As Apple adds new features and functionalities to the Wallet app, you can easily incorporate them into your offers for an improved customer experience.
But what are the latest developments in the Wallet, and how do they specifically help the hospitality industry? Let’s take a look…
Unique features of Apple Wallet for the hospitality sector.
Apple Wallet is improving the hospitality experience due to its seamless features. Let's dive into what it offers:
Apple Wallet makes the reservations and booking process easier and speeds things up. Instead of entering your payment information one digit at a time, you can just hold down a button or hold your phone up for facial recognition, to make the purchase.
Avoiding issues and extra steps during the payment process, such as manually entering the CVV, expiration date and billing address, reduces the hassle and simplifies the checkout process.
It also simplifies the booking procedure, making it easier for visitors to confirm their bookings. Lastly, with Apple Wallet, customers can eliminate the need to keep important physical booking papers on them.
The check-in experience has also advanced with the introduction of the Apple Wallet. Visitors can now check in to hotels with their Wallet, in the same way as mobile boarding cards work for aeroplanes. Visitors can add reservations right from their mobile devices.
To check in, all you need to do is visit the front desk and they’ll have all the information readily available.
Digital room keys.
If customers book a stay through Apple Pay, the hotel will be able to generate virtual room keys that can be kept in a customer's e-wallet, until it's time to check-in. The key can be activated using the visitor's assigned room number. When guests check out late, stay longer than expected, or even get upgraded, hotel staff can digitally update the key. Hotels can even allow visitors access to facilities like the pool or gym.
Because they won't have to worry about misplacing their key card or keeping it with them at all times, it also helps to boost customer satisfaction.
Apple Wallet has been a huge driver in encouraging contactless payments in the hospitality industry. Gyms, restaurants, and hoteliers can offer their customers a totally contactless experience from booking to checking in, making in-hotel transactions, and even opening their rooms.
Guests are more likely to make purchases when it’s super simple for them to pay. This not only simplifies the booking process but also raises the likelihood of upgrades, upselling, and other opportunities.
How Apple Wallet is transforming the hospitality experience.
By providing the latest technological solutions, Apple Wallet has totally transformed the payments experience in the hospitality and entertainment industry.
1. For hoteliers and accommodation providers…
The biggest game-changer that the Apple Wallet offers to hoteliers and accommodation providers is the Digital Room Key. It allows hotel customers to receive their keys by email or SMS rather than having to download an app. This saves precious time and money, reducing:
- Check-in times.
- Printing & key replacements.
- Key malfunctions.
Perhaps the most wild feature of this service is that visitors won't need to open an app or even unlock their phone to get access to their room. Their closed (or even dead) phone will practically imitate an RFID keycard.
It takes the hassle out of carrying around physical keycards and consulting customer services. It can now all be controlled digitally.
More and more services are now allowing customers to make purchases through online transactions. Learn more about in-app and contactless payments here.
2. For bars and nightclubs…
This Autumn, Apple is adding digital ID information to its wallet. For bars and nightclubs, this means age verification will be much easier to handle. Armed with unmatched access to user data and a frankly huge consumer footprint, their advancements now rival (and even, perhaps, beat) a growing number of IDV tech stack firms.
So, how does it work?
To maintain security, Apple creates a verified licence credential on the backend. It keeps both the issuing date and the device "sign-in" evidence to keep authenticity. Another arrow in the tech giant’s quiver, Apple Wallet’s remarkable services are grounded in its most advanced technology. It’s often a cause of frustration when customers forget their ID - it potentially ruins their night and puts your establishment at risk. This new feature will work wonders to reduce dissatisfaction and potential confrontations while tackling the issue of underage drinking.
3. For gyms and wellness centres…
Say goodbye to the handling and maintenance of physical passes and membership cards; these can now be easily transferred to an Apple Wallet. This development has allowed industry titans, including David Lloyd Leisure, to become card-free. Reducing:
- Plastic consumption.
- Fraudulent entries, like card shares.
Not only does this have a huge impact on staff resources, it also has a great environmental impact - significantly reducing the use of plastic.
4. For travel and tourism…
When it comes to travel and tourism, one of the biggest concerns for customers is safety.
When travelling, we have to carry our most important documents and cards around, often in unfamiliar territories - which is a notorious way to be targeted for theft and fraud. With Apple Wallet’s features, this is already changing. With boarding documents, transport tickets, payment cards and (later down the line) ID becoming available within digital wallets, customer safety for travel and tourism businesses is so much more secure. And, it reduces the risk of lost documents, too. If you’re not already, you should start exploring digital passes for your travel company.
5. For entertainment and events…
A huge frustration for customers of entertainment and events is ticket management. As the traditional collect-on-arrival tickets dwindle in existence, there’s instead an industry expectation of tickets via email - that either need to be printed or downloaded. Apple has this sorted too.
Now your audience can simply tap a button and add their digital ticket to their Wallet. This system is being adopted by the larger West End productions and large-scale event companies already, but it’ll start becoming an expectation for all soon.
Challenges and adoption barriers.
While Apple Wallet's ever-increasing features provide significant benefits to the hospitality industry, it can also come with some challenges. Before you dive in and adopt a contactless experience, make sure that you’re aware of some of the challenges you may need to overcome.
Resistance from traditional systems.
Businesses using old access control procedures are sometimes reluctant to switch from traditional key card systems to the digital key features of Apple Wallet. While many businesses are pro digital, some will struggle to make the change. Make sure to highlight the benefits of this switch and give your team any necessary training.
Compatibility issues and infrastructure requirements.
The use of Apple Wallet requires updates to existing infrastructure and technologies. Not all hotels have the necessary hardware and software capabilities to integrate digital features seamlessly. Compatibility concerns with old management systems, as well as a lack of support from third-party providers can make it a hassle for hotel management.
While the new generation of travellers are more used to mobile-based solutions, other guests may be unfamiliar with using cell phones for keyless entry. To educate customers through the process and instil confidence in the new tech, hotels need to invest in clear and user-friendly training materials, on-site support, and customer care.
Apple Pay is doing transformative things for the hospitality industry. From swift digital ID checks to plastic-free membership access, the technology is now available to those ready to make the investment. But, as these technologies become more and more popular, the pressure to adopt them will too.
Don’t fall behind the competition - make the steps today, so you can ride the wave of benefits these latest developments promise.
Here at Judopay, we help businesses like yours stay ahead of the curve with their payments. Ensuring your guests have seamless experiences is our priority. Ready to get started? Get in touch.