Can you tell us more about the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz?

Daniel J Müller: One of our key points of distinction is that we do not belong to a hotel group. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz consists of four different hotels in five styles with a combined total of 273 rooms and seven restaurants. Additionally, we opened a family spa in Bad Ragaz on 1 May, which further follows the three-generation principle of the hotel, whereby we welcome grandparents, parents and children. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is distinguished by the Ragaz thermal water, which has been used for health treatments within the spa for over 175 years. The thermal water, which remains at a comfortable 36.5°C, fills all the pools at the resort, and is actively used by our doctors and therapists for patients and guests, and is also available to our visitors as drinking water at our restaurants. More than half of our guests are from Switzerland, followed by visitors from Germany, the UK, Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East.

What are the most important aspects for you about a payment service provider?

It is very important for us that the payment service provider can consult and support us holistically within the payment process: from the integration of the point-of-sale (POS) terminals, the actual payment by the customer, up to the automated booking in the accounting operations.

Which payment solution has been used in your resort?

We are currently using more than 45 mobile and integrated POS terminals, which operate throughout the whole resort, including card acceptance for all international payment cards. Additionally, we have an online shop for hotel reservations, restaurant bookings, gift voucher sales and reservations for treatments.

Why did you choose SIX Payment Services?

SIX Payment Services, with its experience and expertise in the hospitality sector, is able to support us throughout the entire payment process and provides us with the latest state-of-the-art software and hardware, which ensures that we are always up to date with the latest developments in payments.

What role does the ‘payment’ function play?

Payment as such is becoming more complex within the hotel. Our aim is to make sure that our guests can concentrate on enjoying their stay and spend as little time as possible on the payment process. As a hotel with a diverse range of facilities, we must be able to offer our customers, both national and international, their preferred payment method, and ensure that the payment function is as seamless as possible. Some guests prefer to pay during checkout at reception, while others want to pay in advance from their room via a smartphone or a tablet. Around 50% of our turnover is paid via credit cards. As a hotel, we appreciate the so-called pre-authorisation function, which is the option of booking and blocking an amount on the guest’s credit card on arrival.

How important is dynamic currency conversion (DCC) to you?

DCC is an easy way to offer our guests the choice to pay in their home currency, which is greatly appreciated by guests from abroad. DCC is not only appealing to our guests, but we also benefit from every transaction.

How important are online reservations and online payments?

Online processes are becoming increasingly important to us and are being used by our guests more frequently. Online capabilities mean that it is state of the art to book and pay for the fitness course online – directly and conveniently from your hotel bed or from home.

What are the biggest payment challenges and how has SIX Payment Services helped you?

The seamless technical integration of the payment solution into our broad company’s system landscape is always going to be a challenge. However, SIX Payment Services, with its competence and experience in the market, is able to advise us and ensures that the increasing payment card industry requirements are met.