One of the first questions we’re asked about our RezStream Cloud PMS is how to process credit cards within the system. To answer that, we need to take a step back and look at our payment gateway partner, Shift4.
Why’d we go with Shift4? Well, for starters they began their journey in the hospitality industry by working with major hotels and brands in Las Vegas and provided secure innovations for payment processing that drew in more hoteliers that now they serve more than 30% of the U.S. hospitality industry. Plus, they introduced tokenization as a secure payment method for hotels, are the largest independent payment gateway in the world, and have a 99.98% uptime so you can always process a payment which is why we trust Shift4 with our business and why you should trust their solutions we include in RezStream Cloud.
On our side, we wanted to make sure you remained PCI compliant when using RezStream Cloud and implemented measures to mitigate security breaches. Unfortunately, hacker activity does not seem to be slowing down as since January 2005, more than 245 million databases were breached and those databases carried sensitive and personal information. By 2007, attacks on credit card processors doubled from 2006 and about 55% of credit card fraud is done in the hospitality industry and in 2012 that number was still 54%. Fines for non-compliance can go up to $500,000, or your property can be subjected to increased card processing fees or lose the ability to process credit cards.
To ensure PCI compliance and to make it easier to process payments, we partnered with Shift4, a processor neutral operator, to help you process payments in RezStream Cloud.
Now, RezStream Cloud has two credit card processing options. The first is integrated processing.
Integrated credit card processing
Using the integrated approach allows you to save time by processing payments within the PMS. Since Shift4 is processor neutral, you can use any processor/merchant account to run your transactions. Integrated processing is by far the best option for processing credit card payments as it’s easy, efficient, and leaves little room for human error (unless your guest types in their card number wrong). We built RezStream Cloud to make managing your property simplified and integrated processing will save you time and your sanity by not having to perform more than 10 manual steps just to take a payment.
Watch this helpful video from Shift4 to understand the payment gateway:
Non-integrated credit card processing:
Non-integrated processing is another option of RezStream Cloud and was put in place for clients that have long contracts with payment processors or aren’t ready for too many technology changes at the property. Non-integrated is PCI compliant but adds additional steps to getting the credit card information and processing the actual payments.
This method involves using Shift4’s 4Word tokenization and doesn’t store any sensitive customer data in the PMS. What is tokenization? The definition provided by Shift4 shows that tokenization “replaces payment card data with a random, alphanumeric value – a token – that is meaningless to all but a select few. That way, if tokens were to ever get into the wrong hands, there would be no way for hackers to use them. Importantly, for tokens to be truly meaningless to hackers, they must be dynamic (with a new randomized token for each transaction processed), they cannot have a mathematical or one-to-one relationship with a card, and they must not be able to be decrypted. Tokenization is not encryption.”
You’ll process the transaction outside of the PMS via your existing terminal or processing methods. Like we noted above, there will be additional steps with this style of credit card processing and has a higher chance for human error or transposing numbers. The pros of this option include not incurring additional costs, no new contracts, and no additional equipment. You’ll have no change in swiping or keying in your guests’ credit card information.
Are you ready to learn more about RezStream Cloud and payment processing options that benefit your inn? Schedule your free demo for a live one-on-one demonstration of the Cloud-based reservation software!