TopicsCustomer stories Omnichannel experiences Expand globally Unified commerce Travel and hospitality
B&B HOTELS was founded in Brest, France, in 1990 and is Europe's second-largest budget hotel group. Their aim is to provide guests with the most competitive rates and comfortable stays at their various locations across Europe and Brazil. However, as they grew, they faced a challenge all too familiar for businesses in the travel and hospitality industry: expanding to new markets without compromising on guest experience. In the hospitality industry, maintaining a high-quality and consistent guest experience is paramount. When businesses expand to new markets, they often use different providers in different regions, making it difficult to deliver consistent experiences. B&B Hotels wanted to continuously enhance the experience and deliver on the promise of competitive rates and comfortable stays as they added more hotels in new locations. To support their growth ambitions, the hospitality group turned to Adyen for help. The partnership began in 2018 when they only had 300 hotels. Since then, Adyen has helped B&B HOTELS to accelerate their expansion at speed, with 97 new hotels opening up in 2022, all while creating exceptional guest experiences. We spoke to Vincent Deriot, CTO of Innovation, and Constance de Polignac, CMTO, at B&B HOTELS about how they worked together with Adyen to reach their goals and how centralizing payments played an essential part.
Enhancing the guest journey with a unified payments solution
Hospitality businesses often see payments as a disruption to the overall experience. Generally, guests expect a payment moment at some point during their hotel stay. But if they’ve already chosen their payment preferences at your hotel in Paris, why do they need to do the same thing again at your hotel in New York? If you’re delivering omnichannel services, but your backend systems aren’t connected, you’re missing out on valuable cross-channel insights. These insights are key to offering the consistent, flexible, and personalized experiences your guests want. Just like many other hospitality businesses, B&B HOTELS were using different payment systems in different countries, leading to a lack of cross-channel insights into their guests. This resulted in guests needing to provide the same information repeatedly every time they made a payment, causing friction and disrupting the overall experience. As they expanded into new markets, B&B HOTELS wanted to offer payment experiences with the same level of comfort as a stay at their hotels. To accomplish this, they first needed a payment partner that could connect all their systems in one platform.
By using Adyen's Unified Commerce solution, B&B HOTELS was able to centralize all their systems in one platform and get a unified understanding of their guests. Leveraging payment tokenization also allowed them to safely store guests' details by replacing sensitive data with non-sensitive tokens. This allowed them to identify their guests’ preferences, recognize them across channels and locations, and offer them personalized payment experiences. This was essential for B&B HOTELS, Vincent explains, "As a hospitality chain, we provide a standard of comfort. However, this on its own is not enough to keep customers coming back. When customers arrive at our hotels, they need a personalized experience and to feel like they're at home." Payment preferences also vary from country to country. Cash has long been preferred in Germany, whereas the debit card reigns supreme in France. By connecting their systems in one platform, B&B HOTELS could understand the preferred payment methods across regions better. Now, they offer various payment methods that they adapt to different markets, enhancing the payment experience for their guests.
Give guests innovative solutions with the latest technology
To enhance their setup even further, their next goal is to connect the mobile payment terminals used by hoteliers to the rest of the unified infrastructure. Thanks to tokenization, they will be able to track all payments from their guests, from bookings through online travel agencies to purchases made during their stay.
The innovation doesn’t stop there. For many guests, time waiting at a reception may hamper the overall quality of their stay. To solve this, B&B HOTELS is also trialing self-check-in terminals in some of their hotels to speed up the process. "These terminals help get guests into their rooms more quickly. Our customers can check in online and get their room number and door code before arriving. Guests who prefer not to check in online can instead use the self-check-in terminals and avoid queueing at reception. All this helps to streamline their arrival to the hotel as much as possible." explains Vincent Deriot.
Self-check-in also offers an advantage to hotel staff. Not having to carry out this task means they can dedicate more time to helping guests and improving the experience. The group's motto is: "enhance the experience throughout the whole stay''.
Aiming beyond global expansion
With a network of 700 hotels spanning across 15 countries, the group is now setting its sights on North America. Their strategic move to centralize payment systems in a single platform has prepared them to embrace the challenges of expanding into new markets without ever having to compromise on the customer journey. Their commitment to elevating the customer experience through personalized payment solutions and harnessing cutting-edge technology to meet market demands has not only fueled their growth ambitions but also expedited their global expansion. This is a true testament to their commitment to excellence.