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Bitcoin: The Newest Way to Pay for Hotel Rooms

May 10, 2014 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Will your property accept Bitcoin as an alternative method of payment? Our answer is Œyes¹, because if you don¹t, you could be losing out on a valuable revenue stream ­ all the customers who want to pay solely with Bitcoins.

Once you¹ve decided to accept Bitcoins, you must ensure that your online booking engine is Bitcoin compatible. REVPAR GURU has recently partnered with BitPay to release GuestLeader, the world¹s first and only Bitcoin compatible booking engine.

With this revolutionary technology, hotels of any size have the ability to accept payment in Bitcoins (and by doing so, attract a new and emerging customer), without having a great deal of technical knowledge. Using REVPAR GURU¹s GuestLeader booking engine, guests can select Bitcoins as their selected method of payment during checkout and the currency will be automatically converted to cash and deposited into the hotel¹s bank account.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin, an open source, peer-to-peer payment system and form of digital currency, is rapidly becoming a viable payment option for tech-savvy CHR_TTR_Banner UK_March14(300x250px)travelers. With no risk of credit card fraud and low transaction fees, Bitcoin is attracting early adopters ­ both on the consumer and the hotel side.

Now that Bitcoin is more frequently accepted as payment, it is very possible to travel worldwide using nothing but this payment method­ and one couple did just that in July 2013. Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham wanted to see if it was possible to survive only using Bitcoin virtual currency. After proving that it was possible to live on Bitcoin at home in Provo, Utah, they have successfully traveled across the United States, Europe and Asia ­ using only Bitcoins to pay for their lodging and airfare.[1]

Since Bitcoin is a technology that has the potential to become highly popular in the near future, it is extremely important for hoteliers to be aware of what it is, who is using it and the benefits of this up-and-coming payment method.

How It Works
With Bitcoin, currency ­ also referred to as ŒBitcoins¹ ­ is quickly (and easily) transferred from individual-to-individual or from consumer-to-merchant. Users can send and receive Bitcoins using conventional wallet software (such as Blockchain or Coinbase) on a personal computer, mobile device or application. Bitcoins can be obtained by mining or in exchange for products, services or other currencies. In recent months, the virtual currency has been making news as its value continues to increase and as it is being rapidly adopted by many mainstream businesses ­ including some in the travel industry.

One of the best things about Bitcoins is how user-friendly they are, even for those with less technological know-how. The process is simple: once you have installed a Bitcoin wallet onto either your computer or mobile device, a Bitcoin address will be generated for you. Your address will be disclosed so that others can either send or receive currency safely. The process is very convenient and user-friendly because it is similar to email. Once a payment is received, Bitcoin payment processors immediately convert Bitcoins into the hotel¹s local currency during the transaction – meaning the hotel does not have to worry about currency exchange.

Another benefit ­ Bitcoin transaction fees are extremely low compared to conventional methods of transferring money. Accepting credit cards will generally cost 3% to 5% of the transfer amount, which is more expensive than a Bitcoin transaction (which is generally 1% or less). Furthermore, many banks hold transactions/deposits for up to 10 business days before the funds are available, whereas Bitcoin transactions are typically confirmed within an hour[2] ­ and typically for 1/3 of the price that a bank would charge for the same transaction!

Another benefit is the fact that there are no charge-backs allowed on Bitcoin transactions, which means a hotel doesn¹t have to worry about guests cancelling transactions through their credit card company after the fact because they were dissatisfied.

Because of these significant benefits, an increasing amount of hotels worldwide have started to accept Bitcoin digital currency payments including[3]:

  • The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel ­ Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino ­ Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • Clevelander Hotel ­ Miami Beach, FL, USA
  • Hotel Residence Gallery ­ Abruzzo, Italy
  • Hotel Coppede Roma ­ Rome, Italy
  • Prodeo Hotel + Lounge ­ Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Hotel San Martin ­ Mendoza, Argentina
  • Bandholm Hotel ­ Bandholm, Denmark
  • Pedro¹s Inn ­ San Pedro, Belize
  • Hotel van Walsum ­ Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • La Magnolia Hotel Sorrento ­ Sorrento, Italy
  • Mariners Inn ­ Cambria, California

Additionally, hotels such as Hyatt and Marriott Hotel are indirectly accepting Bitcoins, as eGifter and Gyft.com accepts Bitcoins as payment for gift cards for these brands. eGifter has been accepting Bitcoins since August.[4]

Bitcoin is here to stayŠ

Thousands of industry-leading companies such as, TigerDirect-CompUSA, Virgin Galactic, Overstock and Zynga (to name a few) are now accepting Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin ATMs are also opening up worldwide making it even more accessible as a form of currency.

In recent years, some consumers are trending away from banks because of the issues many experienced during our recent recession. Bitcoin is beginning to give banks a run for their moneyŠliterally.

So why not give it a try? Contact REVPAR GURU at sales@revparguru.com to find out more about the Bitcoin compatible booking engine or to start accepting the digital currency today.

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