Wyndham Enables Digital Tipping Powered by Béné
For those hotel guests who may have wished to directly tip staff members at a certain property but didn’t have any cash on hand, Wyndham — which not only operates a number of hotels under its own brand name but also counts Days Inn, La Quinta, Super 8, and other chains under its umbrella — has announced the launch of a digital payment solution powered by Béné. A new mobile tipping feature will be made available to hotel franchisees in the United States and Canada.
Once a property employs the Béné platform, guests will be able to scan a QR code in order to send team members digital tips. Available payment options include credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Guests will also be subject to a transaction fee so that the full amount of their tip can go toward the employee.
Notably, these QR codes are specific to single employees. Collected tips will then either be deposited directly into worker bank accounts on a daily basis or will be placed into a property’s account to be disturbed via payroll. As Wyndham notes in their press release, the only costs franchisees will incur in launching this feature are basic marketing materials.
Announcing the new feature, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts chief information officer Scott Strickland said, “The pandemic dramatically accelerated guest demand for digital payment solutions and that trend will only continue in the coming years. Having previously empowered our franchisees to accept digital, contactless payment for stays at their hotels, the next logical step was to find a solution that allows guests to recognize housekeepers, wait staff, and other frontline team members in a similar fashion. This platform does exactly that and at virtually no cost to franchisees.”
Wyndham’s digital tipping feature is the latest effort on the part of the hotel brand to leverage technologies in order to simplify the guest experience. For example, the company is among many hotel chains that now offer mobile check-in and check-out in their app. Additionally, earlier this year, the company debuted a Road Trip Planner that can help travelers choose and book overnight stop locations along their route.
On the one hand, the ability for hotel guests to tip employees digitally rather than worry about having cash could be a welcomed addition and will almost assuredly increase the number of tips rolling in. At the same time, there are those who argue that these efforts to increase tips are largely done in place of raising employee wages. Therefore, it’s hard to say whether or not this feature will truly be a win for workers in the long run — but, in the short term, it will be interesting to see how this new option is received.