As it’s said in crisis situations, it’s not a matter of if but when. When it comes to cybersecurity, all it takes is one breach to do lasting damage to your hotel. Imagine all the lost revenue from prospective travelers who are scared away from booking by this news; the inability to raise rates with your brand reputation being compromised; and the extra work required by your IT and accounting teams to mitigate the crisis.
While this challenge requires a thorough look at every hardware and software system for possible breaches, TransForm works to close the gap in a critical domain of cybersecurity – the protection of guests’ credit card information from third-party access.
What Are Card-Not-Present (CNP) Transactions?
TransForm is the hotel industry leader for securing card-not-present (CNP) transactions, which is when a guest opts to pass along their credit card information to the hotel when they are not physically at the property. These instances include completing a payment on a reservation, settling outstanding folio charges, or disbursing funds onto a master account.
Before ecommerce transactions came about, CNP transactions were usually done over the phone or via fax. More recently, guests began giving their card information to hotel personnel through email or text messages, also known as short message service or SMS, which includes third-party apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Signal, and Telegram.
With these communication mediums, there is a security risk because a staff member sees the credit card’s full information. There may also be unauthorized third parties able to access that exchange. Besides the cybersecurity considerations, it takes time for a hotel’s associates to gather this information, enter it, and complete the transaction – time you don’t have during a labor shortage.
How Does TransForm Secure Payments?
Guests decide the way that they converse with the hotel – you have no control over this. Whichever the medium, once it comes to the point where a credit card is required, TransForm can be used to send a private, customized hyperlink to the guest. Then, instead of giving their sensitive information directly to a staff member, the customer can use the link that takes them to a secure portal where they can plug in their credit card details on their own time from their own computer or phone.
Importantly, traditional CNP payments via phone, fax, email, or text are all treated by credit card processors as lodging transactions. This means that they may incur higher processing fees to the merchant since they’re deemed to be riskier for fraud.
The secure portal powered by TransForm ensures that all transactions are considered ecommerce transactions by credit card processors, are fully payment card industry (PCI) compliant, and improves your likelihood of winning a chargeback dispute with a customer.
We have so much to say on the matter that this will have to be continued next week! So, please stay tuned for the continuation of, “Data Security Protects a Hotel Brand’s Reputation and Revenues” in our next blog post.
If you’re already sold and would like to book a demo with our team to see TransForm in action, feel free to reach out to us at any time!
You can also learn more about b4 and TransForm here.