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#RetailEXPO: Connecting payments across channels provides big opportunity

Leisure companies are making moves to tie-together their payments across their various channels enabling them to give a much richer experience to their customers

Jayson Canady, director of global payments at Hyatt, said at RetailEXPO in London: “Just now hospitality is embracing payments as part of the overall guest experience. Omnichannel payments means connecting restaurants, spas, parking and the reception desk that each currently has different Points-of-Sale (POS). How to we maximise each but also connect them.”

Much work on this front is being undertaken by George Vaughan, head of technology at Ascot Racecourse, who previously worked at Twickenham Stadium which he converted to a cashless environment.

He revealed that Ascot is working exclusively with Apple to create the first digital ticket for a racecourse as well as being in talks with Alipay and WeChat in China about payment developments: “We have a global audience and have to offer as many opportunities for payment as possible.”

In addition, Vaughan said the racecourse is also talking to Amazon about installing Alexa solutions into its private boxes for ordering and paying. “It’s like Netflix, Spotify and Uber where there is a seamless experience and payment is forgotten about,” he explained.

Connecting these different payment solutions together is part of the IT overhaul he is currently undertaking at Ascot with payments a key element, which was evident in the recent move that brought all the POS operations in-house. “It is not with [foodservice company] Sodexo anymore and so we can now look at loyalty and other offerings to customers. Horse racing is primarily a lifestyle experience so food, payments and the overall environment is therefore very important.”

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