A Quick Guide to Payment Gateway Integration with Your Hotel PMS

Payment Gateway Integration

Keeping up with guest expectations in our fast-paced, high-tech world can be hard! Today’s guests want more personalized service yet more self-service options and although that might seem like an oxymoron, modern hospitality technology makes it all possible.

But while the technology supporting hoteliers in delivering a great guest experience evolves, there are fundamental guest expectations that don’t really change, like a clean room and a comfortable bed. As well, an efficient check-in process and secure payment options will always be key to guest satisfaction.

One way lodging operators can improve check-in and payment processes is by integrating their property management system (PMS) with a payment gateway. A payment gateway interface not only speeds up guest check-in, but it makes accepting card payments more secure—a win for both your business and your guests.

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a system that securely transmits card payment data from a website to the payment processing network. If your property wants to accept online payments, you need a payment gateway.

When a customer makes a payment with their credit or debit card, the payment gateway encrypts and securely sends the card and transaction data from the website to the payment processing network and then returns the response (approved or declined) back to the website, and authorizes the transfer of funds.

How Does a Payment Gateway Interface Work with Your Cloud PMS?

Integrating a payment gateway with a cloud PMS eliminates the need to manually process card payments on a physical terminal. Payments and authorizations can be completely automated and securely managed online, directly through your PMS.

Here’s an overview of how a payment gateway interface works with your PMS:

  1. The customer enters their credit card information on your website (through your online booking engine), or they insert their card into a credit card reader connected to your front desk computer or mobile device.
  2. The card and transaction data is sent directly from your website booking engine or card reader to the payment gateway.
  3. The payment gateway encrypts the credit card data and sends payment information to your payment processor via secure connection. Some gateways create a token —a placeholder— for the credit card information as an additional layer of security, ensuring your PMS never possesses guest credit card data.
  4. The payment processor transmits the encoded payment information to the rest of the payment network, including the credit card network, issuing bank (customer’s bank) and acquiring bank (your bank), to authorize the payment.
  5. Whether the transaction is approved or declined by the issuing bank, the payment processor sends the response back to the payment gateway, which automatically delivers it to your PMS, authorizing the transfer of funds when required.

All of this happens in approximately two or three seconds.                   

Take a look at our video for a visual, step-by-step explanation of how a payment gateway interface works with WebRezPro PMS:

WebRezPro Cloud PMS: Payment Processing Explained

Advantages of a Payment Gateway Interface

Integrating a payment gateway with your cloud PMS offers two important advantages:

>>Reduces the steps required to process card payments, speeding up the check-in/out process.

Payment gateway integration allows you to accept card payments directly through your PMS, removing the need for a standalone credit card terminal, eliminating manual keying errors by staff, and completely automating online payment acceptance.  

There’s no need to manually duplicate data across systems, speeding up the check-in process and simplifying the reconciliation process too.

>>Makes processing card payments more secure.

Payment gateways use security measures such as point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization to keep customers’ credit card data safe from hackers. When the PMS is integrated with a payment gateway, these measures protect hotel businesses too, by keeping guest credit card data out of the property management system and therefore reducing hotel liability in case of a system breach.

Unfortunately, online payment card theft is as common as stolen wallets. Consider working with an EMV-certified payment gateway to protect card-present transactions on site too.

There’s no reason not to connect your PMS with your payment gateway. Now’s the time to offer your guests a more secure booking experience and a speedier check-in, while protecting your business. WebRezPro PMS integrates with a number of leading payment gateways, including Shift4, Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal. Visit our website for a complete list of payment gateways we work with. The list is always growing, so if you’re interested in connecting to a payment gateway that isn’t yet included, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen.