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Oetker Collection: Crafting a masterpiece guest experience

What makes a masterpiece? Ask someone about Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and they could tell you its brilliance lies in the technique: skillful shading that marries space between tones and colors. Pose the question to a fan of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, and they might say that it’s all in the grand finale. Perspectives can differ, but masterpieces are alike in that they’re memorable, emotive, and uniquely impact their audience. The audience, in particular, plays an important role in a masterpiece – because before a grand work can be revered as one, it first has to be experienced.

March 10, 2023
 ·  5 minutes
Oetker Collection: Crafting a masterpiece guest experience

At Oetker Collection, ‘masterpiece’ and ‘experience’ go hand-in-hand. Each of their luxury hotels worldwide is seen as a work of art, aiming to deliver elegance and comfort at every step of the guest journey. Behind the scenes, technology contributes to that ambition: Adyen’s single platform unifies payments, secures guest data, and streamlines operations.

Adyen has been partnering with Oetker Collection since 2019 and its newest property, The Woodward Hotel in Geneva, since its opening in the fall of 2021.

Focusing on The Woodward, we spoke to Oetker Collection’s Sophie Beyrand, Head of Business Applications, and Christos Andreopoulos, Vice President of Information Systems & Technology, about what it takes to deliver a superior guest experience and how integrated payment systems are helping to deliver the results.

The challenge

Balancing innovation and elegance

Adding one new hotel every year, with ambitions to expand globally, Oetker Collection is set on delivering a consistent, secure, and seamless guest experience for each of their unique hotels worldwide.

The challenges they faced were too familiar to the hospitality industry: fragmented payments from working with multiple partners and third-party agencies, increasing security standards, and the integration of their payments into a new property management system (PMS).

For Oetker Collection, this meant balancing the need for efficiency and security with a personalized guest experience. Modernizing their payment technology was a crucial first step.

“It's not about staying ahead of the competition. It's more about us innovating... and finding a solution for future challenges. For us, we mustn't stay static. We have our eyes set on the future,” says Christos.

The solutions

From many players to one platform

Handling payments across multiple systems, agencies, and third parties is a common pain point for hospitality businesses. By centralizing these payments, operations can become connected and affordable. Oetker Collection saw the potential in unifying payments, which is why The Woodward, among Oetkers’ other hotels, runs on Adyen's unified payments technology.

Guests can expect a reliable and consistent payment experience at any of Oetker’s hotels. They can pay however they want, from any location, at any time. Oetker’s partnership with Adyen equips them to offer the most relevant payment methods for their guests, without the need for additional contracts or configuration.

With Oetker’s payments unified across channels, staff at The Woodward have also experienced the benefits of a single platform. They spend less time on reporting and more time on reviewing quality data insights on guest preferences so that they can better cater to those needs.

“A one-stop shop is important because you have one contact when support is required. Solving problems is faster and becomes easier."

Christos Andreopoulos

Equipping staff with the right tools

Adyen’s payments technology integrated with Oracle’s OPERA PMS provides all the tools that hotel staff need—including handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms, managing room inventory, accommodating in-house guest needs, and performing accounting and billing functions.

Sophie says a fast and supported integration with Oracle OPERA was critical to the success of The Woodward before its opening.

“To develop an interface with Oracle takes time. Both parties want to achieve something good. Adyen worked with Oracle on the development of the interface. The only thing left on our side was to use the system and adapt it to our market.”

OPERA PMS provides clearer communications through a hotel's entire operation. Telephone operators and front desk clerks can quickly locate guests at their own or at other properties. Guest satisfaction increases with timely and accurate messaging and locator services.

It centralizes all payments for the hotel, reduces staff overhead and provides employees with all the information they need to efficiently meet guest needs.

Improving security and the guest journey with tokenization

At The Woodward, a guest’s personal details are safeguarded from the minute they book to the moment they complete their stay.

With tokenization, replacing guests' sensitive data with unique identifiers called tokens means that they can buy drinks, purchase postcards, and book spa treatments without presenting their card, entering a code, or signing a bill. The Woodward can then only access these encrypted tokens through their PMS, reducing the risk of data breaches and fraud.

"We don't want [the guest] to spend time on the pain of how they’re going to do their payment. We have to make sure that this is done fast and seamlessly, so there’s more time for the guest to enjoy the hotel." says Christos.

While The Woodward was no stranger to prioritizing security prior, the improvement is significant, so much so that they've already implemented this technology in seven of their hotels.

With Oetker's plans for global expansion, protecting guest data across the different partner systems and countries that support their guest experience is crucial in maintaining compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Tokenization helps Oetker Collection reduce risk while staying compliant in countries and regions where regulations may differ.

"It's always important to keep innovating in the hotel industry. When you see something that will enhance the guest experience but also improves the security, then it's a win-win situation," says Sophie.

And the benefits of tokenization are twofold: the guest experience is enhanced while data is kept secure throughout the entire guest journey.

Innovating for a new era of guest experiences

Luxury hospitality is constantly evolving. Crafting the guest experience to drive return visits comes down to the little details. Much like standing before a masterpiece, it's about creating the 'wow' factor that guests will remember. As The Woodward shows, aided by the right financial technology solution, hotels can better face the challenges of keeping up with digital-savvy guests and better optimize the day-to-day running of their business.

"The payment industry has been through several developments in recent years. We believe Adyen is a strong partner for us. With this partnership, we are certain that together we can address the challenges the industry will face in the future."

Christos Andreopoulos

Partnering with Adyen

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