New Credit Card Automation System Makes Tracking Simpler For Hotels

DALLAS? A joint project involving Paymentech, Global Card Services and Checkmate Electronics has resulted in an automated chargeback and retrieval request management system for the lodging industry which promises to take the hassle out of credit card disputes. Ask any hotelier and they will quickly acknowledge that yes, credit cards are the dominant payment method? one which provides great convenience and efficiency. But when it comes to processing retrieval requests and chargeback disputes, it?s a necessary evil which simply comes with the territory. With the GCS Resolution? product, the headaches and expenditures that go along with credit card disputes can be minimized. Traditionally, hotels and resorts were forced to file and store all supporting documentation of credit card transactions to protect themselves in the event a transaction was disputed by a cardholder. This meant additional work, additional personnel and subsequently, additional costs for a hotel property. The Resolution? product automates these proceedings, and thus removes the hotel from the process? freeing up employees to concentrate on more important concerns like servicing the customer. Dallas-based Paymentech, a payment processor for hospitality merchants, and Orlando, FL-based GCS, a credit card-related service company joined their expertise with widely-recognized point-of-sale solution provider Checkmate Electronics in developing the product, which is already well seated in many hotels and casinos around the country. For example, Paymentech recently signed with the Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, which is currently under construction. The property?s MIS Director Steve Vollmer realized early on that, especially in an operation the size of the Venetian, efficiency is tantamount to the smooth operation of all systems and ultimately the profitability of the hotel. ?Venetian is committed to utilizing the latest in card services technology, so we are very interested in Resolution,? Vollmer said. ?Responding to chargebacks is a hassle. The property must look up a credit card transaction and then send a copy of the receipt. Resolution allows Paymentech and GCS to automatically handle the retrieval.? According to Rodney Bell, senior director of public relations and Gary Staub, group executive of business development for Paymentech, the statistics tell the tale of just how costly and overwhelming these disputes can be. Paymentech statistics indicate that 51% of all credit card retrieval requests are ignored because properties cannot find signed credit card receipts. This often results in a chargeback that costs the properties the amount of the disputed transaction. In fact, many properties will not even make the effort to retrieve the documents supporting the transaction if the disputed amount is less than $60. For many hotels, this number reflects a point where the cost of the procedure, in terms of time and resources, would be higher than the transaction in question. The property would then simply lose the revenue being disputed by the cardholder. These numbers can quickly add up and cost a property thousands of dollars. Paymentech estimates that on average, the annual costs associated with chargeback and retrieval requests involve about $24,000 for extra back-office staff, $1,200 for space to hold filing cabinets to catalog the supporting documentation and an eye-popping $100,000 a year in chargeback costs. The company said that on average, hotels will spend roughly $125,000 annually coping with credit card disputes? money which any hotelier will tell you they?d rather being spending on more productive efforts. Resolution? provides a system which enables Paymentech to electronically respond to chargeback and retrieval requests on behalf of the hotel or resort. The system, which can either stand-alone or tie in with the Property Management System (PMS), makes an electronic record of the credit card and stores all future transactions whi

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