“A world with little or no intermediaries where there is no need to build trust between people and transactions are completed in seconds. This is the promise of the Blockchain Technology.” –Tarik Dogru,
The Blockchain technology is gradually penetrating every sector of the economy and there are multiple reasons behind it. The Blockchain technology is a decentralized platform which allows recording transactions in a chronological manner. It also tracks assets through the distributed ledger system. The transactions, apart from sending and receiving money, include payments of services and products, making reservations, contractual agreements and a lot more. In simple words, almost everything that contains monetary value can be a part of this network. These records are safely kept under the protection of mathematical configurations or cryptographic keys.
How can Blockchain help the Hotel Industry?
Blockchain innovation has massive benefits to offer to the Hotel industry business. The most helpful thing is that all the information is decentralized and the database cannot tamper as it is online. This can be very advantageous when managing money.
Technology is usually not very advanced in the hospitality sector; integration of blockchain technology could improve service quality, guest satisfaction, and the number of sales. Apart from these benefits, the stakeholders of the business also benefit from its use. Following are the possible ways in which blockchain technology can be used in the hospitality industry.
The payments are done via blockchain technology which accelerates the payment process. It promises swift, secure and low-cost transactions. The encrypted distributed ledgers provide trusted real-time verification of transactions as there are no intermediaries (banks) involved.
Blockchain has dominated the internet in every way possible. It’s not been long when the Bitcasino came in to the story, and now many hotels with casinos have started implementing the blockchain tech. The games are not played with cash but with the cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
2. Tracking guests
Using one of the features of the blockchain tech, the blockchain-using hotels can easily trace the route of the guests. This allows the hotel to be prepared with the necessary things. It reduces the waiting-time of the guests and increases consumer satisfaction.
Looking at this topic from an alternate perspective, this seems like an invasion of privacy. But in its defence, the access to information is requested only by the system. Also, the guests can determine the extent of information they want to share. This makes the users liable for their own security. This is how the blockchain provides an integrated set of guest services without invading one’s privacy.
3. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a great way of attracting and binding your customers, making sure that they come back. Blockchain innovation improves the nature of loyalty programs by simplifying the procedure. It gets easier for the customers to get their points and redeem them. With this technology, prizes can be distributed through computerized tokens. Customers can exchange, sell or buy these tokens with others. These can be utilized anywhere, be it airlines, hotels or coffee shops, with embedded security advantages. Hotels these days are considering these programs more seriously than ever before. Altogether, the competitiveness of such loyalty programs increases along with better quality of service.
4. Digital ID
Digital ID provided by the blockchain technology is a great aid to the Hotel Industry. Every traveller is supposed to give an ID for checking in a hotel. By utilizing the blockchain web, the traveller gets to be a part of a common database. This way the possibilities of identity theft can be eradicated.
While travelling, a person has to go multiple identity verification and blockchain eases out the hustle. A digital ID is a great solution as all the important documents like birth certificates, driving licenses, social security numbers, and passports get stored in the blockchain platform. A fingerprint does all the wonders. A user can provide permission to access the information and validate their IDs. This system also ensures that your important personal information is not exposed in the world outside.
The IDs are similar to QR codes; they are cryptographically-secure and facilitate verification without reaching to the essential personal information. Also, Digital ID is also the perfect way of preventing loss or thefts of IDs and forgery as well. Since everything is digital, one doesn’t need to carry important personal IDs.
5. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts facilitate both minor and major transactions in the hotel industry. Hotels can streamline their businesses with smart contracts on blockchain platforms. Just like a legal contract, a smart contract can take place between two parties. In case of a hotel, the two transacting parties could be the hotel and travel agencies or the hotel and the guests. Every transaction is recorded in the blockchain and every time a transaction occurs, the payments based on their contractual terms are immediately processed. Along with the quick payments, blockchain also optimizes sales by promoting collaboration between hotels and travel agencies.
In the same vein, the agreements between guests and hotels can take place. Smart Contracts extended to the guests eliminates the check-in process. The digital IDs provided by the blockchain system help the crucial information gets stored with the authorized account for payments. It is also how guests are assigned their rooms.
The most distinguished aspect of these smart contracts is that IDs, as well as the critical payment information, is encrypted in cryptic codes. Therefore, all the critical information remains hidden and safe. The application of smart contracts is extending to almost every industry. It’s a great way of trade which protects against theft and escaping other contingent losses.
While the implementation of the blockchain technology is still an ongoing process, it’s obvious that it’s going to have a monumental impact in the hotel industry. If you’ve ever used airbnb or booked anything online, you know that the payment process is already outdated. Visa and Mastercard know that this tech belongs in the early 2000s and are trying to change it. Visa for example, created a “Visa Checkout”, so you don’t have to type your credit card details every time you want to book a room online. And yes, many sites already have the feature to remember the payment details, but still, how do you feel about giving your sensitive credit card info to a third party? Many third parties if you often use the online payments that is. Many ways for hackers to get into your bank accounts. And don’t be fooled, not every site (if any) conducts proper security checks, because it costs a lot to hire a good Cyber Security Analyst. Check for yourself how secure any of the websites you use is, just click on the the padlock icon next to the domain name. The 768-bit RSA SSL encryption has been hacked long time ago and many sites are still using the 1024-bit encryption. Did they hacked it already or not? We can only guess. For all that we know the 2048-bit encryption could be hacked. Just think for a second that all of this can easily be avoided with the implementation of the blockchain technology.