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Focus on pre-pay not pay at your table!

23/05/2016 11:47 | Updated 23 May 2016

Two years ago, after 15 months development, Collins, arguably the first booking and enquiry management software developed solely for the bar and casual dining sector, was launched in the UK. Eight hundred clients later - including huge national chains such as Fuller's and Youngs, the best independent places such as Callooh Callay, Nightjar, Purl, and everything in between - Collins has disrupted the UK hospitality industry.

At DesignMyNight, when we create products for the hospitality industry, we really do our research and see what is genuinely needed. Whilst mega-funded startups started to battle over the "pay at your table" market fifteen months ago (a very early stage idea for the front-end consumer), we decided to look at payments around pre-orders and deposits.

A massive 92% of our Collins clients told us that they had taken some form of pre-payment from a customer in the previous 12 months. Was there a user friendly, efficient, PCI compliant system out there to help them? No. Did they have it integrated into their booking system? Most definitely not. Many venues relied on running down to the bar and having to take card details over the phone, keying these into their PDQ machines, then scanning receipts and saving this on file.

This insight led us down the path of Collins Pay, which allows our clients to take payments over email or over the phone, in a PCI compliant system which is directly linked to the booking in Collins. The system can do many other wonders: it chases customers to get the payment in before the booking, it automatically sends receipts and it manages pre-order items by itself. Collins Pay also allows venues to take payment or authenticate a card at the point of real-time booking, for example when they are taking a deposit or ordering a set menu/package. The introduction of this type of fintech directly into the booking and pre-ordering process not only provides the venue's customers with a much enhanced, safer, online process but hugely improves a venue's efficiency too and automatically makes their operation a PCI compliant one.

A year after the launch, we have processed over £2 million gross transactions through Collins Pay and we are expecting over 100% year on year growth. By focusing on a space where transactions were already happening in vast quantities, but analysing how it could be done better for our clients and their customers whilst integrating this directly into their current booking flows, Collins Pay stands alone in this space.

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