After a successful test phase this year, MEININGER Hotels wants to say goodbye to cash payments more and more in large parts of its hotels. Since June 1, guests should preferably pay cashless at most of the hotel group's locations.
From Copenhagen to the rest of Europe - at the Danish MEININGER location, payment has been exclusively electronic since its opening in 2017. Now, almost all 31 properties are following this example, after the cashless hotel experience was successfully tested in other selected properties this year. "The results were so good that we've now decided to fully embrace digital payment," said Thomas Hagemann, COO of MEININGER Hotels. For guests, the changeover means that preferably only bank and credit cards, as well as mobile payments with the smartphone, are possible.
The development follows a natural trend already clearly apparent at MEININGER Hotels before Corona and was accelerated by the pandemic: "Almost three-quarters of our guests are under 40. For this reason, cash payments have already declined sharply at our hotel in recent years. Due to contact avoidance and hygiene conditions during the pandemic, electronic cash has become more and more commonplace, even for non-digital natives," Hagemann explains. "That's benefiting our conversion now."
The decision to minimize cash payments was only a matter of time for the hotel chain. Paying by card or cell phone is easier, faster, and associated with lower transaction costs. "Last but not least, cash handling for our staff is also on the decline. This shortens the handover at shift change and the waiting time for guests at the front desk," says Hagemann. Electronic payments accounted for more than 80% of the hotel group's total revenue in the last fiscal year from April 2021 to March 2022. Digital payments are expected to account for at least 90% this fiscal year.
Cash will continue to be accepted at some locations, including Belgium, France, and Italy, due to legal requirements.