Transforming the Hotel Customer Journey with Remote Identity Verification
June 12, 2019
A 2016 survey conducted by Expedia that solicited input from 9,642 travelers across 19 countries revealed that consumers now consider their mobile phone to be their “most indispensable travel companion.” This should come as no surprise given the highly mobile-centric world in which we live.
Forget traveling without a phone––if it were up to most consumers, they’d plan their trip, book their travel, board their flights, and check into their accommodations through their smartphones without a sliver of human-to-human interface.
Consumer behavior has dictated a noticeable shift in companies leveraging mobile to engage people in more compelling ways, and while hoteliers have introduced new offerings to compete with industry disruptors, they’re still largely missing opportunities to improve guest experiences and generate brand loyalty through the use of innovative mobile technology.
In most places, hotel operators are legally required to know their guests, and the front desk check-in process (however antiquated it may seem by today’s standards) is what traditionally facilitated a hotel property’s compliance with these “Know Your Customer”-type regulations. If instead, hotel operators offered a holistic mobile guest experience – from booking to check-in – they’d be better positioned to demonstrate compliance with industry laws while also providing rich, personalized, and delightful user experiences.
Research shows that hotel check-in/check-out satisfaction is highest among guests who used their mobile devices, but only 3% of guests are actually taking advantage of it. New technologies have emerged to hasten the check-in process, with some even going a step further in enabling mobile devices to function as a room key. For applications like these, it wouldn’t just be a recommendation, rather, a necessity for hotels or rental property companies to integrate remote identity verification at the very early booking stages of the customer journey.
Here’s an example of what the hotel guest’s customer journey might look like with remote identity verification:
- Browse travel on mobile device
- Book travel on mobile device
- Scan driver’s license or ID card and credit card during booking process
- Auto-populate personal data from ID and credit card into an online reservation form using AI technology (Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Optical Character Recognition, etc.)
- Board plane using mobile ticket
- Scan ID and take selfie so facial recognition technology can verify identity
- Skip the front desk and check into the hotel via mobile device
- Use mobile device as a digital room key
- Enjoy vacation!
With remote digital identity verification, hotels and rental properties can obtain a higher level of assurance that the guest is who they say they are, and also provide them with a seamless, frictionless end-to-end mobile experience.
In addition to it being more efficient, secure, and considerate of customers’ growing digital expectations, remote identity verification automation has many added benefits like differentiating the hotel brand from competitors, and reducing operational costs typically associated with front-desk services.
With so many benefits, it’s likely that the hospitality industry will continue to incorporate more mobile guest experiences, which would almost certainly necessitate better remote identity verification solutions to keep up with the growing consumer demand for digital experiences.