- Complicated, manual process for maintaining PCI-compliance
- Inefficient process for sending and collecting credit card authorization forms
- Lack of proper tool to validate credit card information to minimize potential fraud
The team at Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites San Diego – Bayside was looking to provide a more seamless and secure guest experience around their credit card authorization form process. Prior to using Sertifi, they were using Hightail to handle authorization forms. While Hightail enabled them to send and store credit card authorization forms, the Hilton Bayside Campus team was looking for a solution that took both guest security and PCI compliance a step further.
The Hilton Bayside Campus teams’ process for sending out authorization forms consisted of filling out the form, scanning, and sending it to the guest via email. Then, the guest would print, sign, and fax it back to the team. Afterward, the Hilton team would scan the documents into Hightail to make it secure. And finally, they’d shred the fax to minimize the exposure of guests’ information. Campus Director of Finance, Ryan Turnello of Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites San Diego – Bayside says, “There were a lot of extra steps and unnecessary work to keep things secure before moving to Sertifi.” The team was sending between 20-30 credit card authorization forms a month, so there was a loss of productivity when taking these extra steps to ensure they were protecting their guests’ data and reducing PCI scope.
From a security perspective, they needed a tool that could instantly verify the credit card number. With the hotel sending out dozens of credit card authorization forms each month, they needed a tool that would validate the credit card instantly to help minimize any potential fraud.
One challenge that the Front Desk team faced with Hightail was the inability to easily search for a specific credit card authorization form. When a guest is standing in front of you waiting for you to retrieve a form, it’s distracting for the Front Desk employee and inconvenient for the customer.
Additionally, not everyone could have access to Hightail. With only certain people having access to the solution, that, in turn, made it challenging for guests to obtain a credit card authorization form because they’d have to speak to multiple staff members. What should be a one-person task required several staff members to be involved.
To improve the guest experience at their hotel, the Hilton Bayside Campus team implemented Sertifi eAuthorize for digitizing credit card authorization forms.
With Sertifi, credit card authorization forms are sent and received through a secure, easy-to-use portal. Guests can fill out the forms from a custom-branded email by simply using their mobile device or tablet. Once a guest submits their form, the card data is instantly verified with CVV and AVS and tokenized for future billing needs. “The two deciding factors for Sertifi eAuthorize were the credit card verification and having the second set of security where a pin number is sent to your email,” says Ryan.
Additionally, Sertifi eAuthorize enables Front Desk, Finance, and Sales teams to navigate and retrieve authorization forms in a more efficient way. Staff members can search by Reference and Group Number in the Document Library.
Sertifi has been a win for multiple teams at the Hilton Bayside Campus as well as for their guests.
Since implementing Sertifi, the Finance and Sales teams can now electronically send and collect credit card authorization forms in an easy-to-use portal that keeps information more secure and eliminates the administrative tasks that the teams used to perform to protect their guests’ sensitive information. Ryan says, “It’s been more user-friendly. Being able to process everything through a website is a real benefit to our guests rather than having to print and sign authorization forms. It’s created time-savings and ease of use for our customers, and that has greatly increased the turnaround time. It would take about a week, and now it’s only a couple of days!”
For the Front Desk staff, they’re saving time in that they can perform the entire authorization process digitally. They simply go into the portal and send out the form with a pre-populated template. Additionally, more Front Desk staff have access to Sertifi eAuthorize, so they can easily send a credit card authorization form, rather than relying on another team member. Ryan adds, “Guests are happier because they don’t have to speak to three different people to get a credit card authorization form.”
The team at the Hilton Bayside Campus reports that they’ve also reduced 90% of their paper usage associated with credit card authorization forms. Staff members with the appropriate user permissions can retrieve tokenized credit card numbers and type them directly into their property management system.
Faxing forms has also significantly declined since moving to Sertifi. Ryan shares, “Prior to using Sertifi eAuthorize, we were using fax about 20% of the time. Now, that number has dropped to about 5%. About 95% of our transient and group authorizations forms come through the Sertifi system.”