The hotel industry is known for being very cautious when adopting new technologies and, as a result, they still rely on fax machines to accept reservations containing payment card information from bookers and guests. As you might imagine, this is hardly the safest method, but it’s still much safer than email.
However, in some crucial cases, hotels’ reluctance to adopt new technologies works to their advantage. By keeping the fax an active part of their business, they can streamline their accounts reconciliation process whilst also addressing Qualified Security Assessors’ (QSA) requirements for PCI DSS compliance, all because of virtual cards. This single-use solution (setting specific currency amounts, specific payee and limiting card validity) enables hotels or third-party suppliers (bookers, travel agents) to send secure “real” card data, with a visual image of the card at the front desk – whilst keeping their customers’ payment card information safe and sound.
Thus, faxes do have their place, especially since the demand for virtual card validity continues to grow rapidly.
Don’t get me wrong. Faxes can be a pain; for some reason, just like a lost sock, they still go missing, like Mark Dubrow mentioned. But here’s where easily implemented, secure cloud solutions can come to the rescue, which even the most technology-shy hotel would welcome:
- These solutions receive incoming faxes into a PCI DSS Level 1 inbox, securing content and streamlining the process of managing, storing and deleting faxes when they are no longer needed.
- No more missing faxes. And a painless way to be compliant with QSA’s virtual card security requirements.
That’s why, despite the push toward more and more digital payment solutions, hotels are ahead of the technology game. So, hold on to that fax machine; it’ll come in very handy.
About the author
Geoff Milton is the Security Strategist for Interfax Communications and its sister companies, PCI Booking and ShieldQ. He has over 30 years’ experience in international new business development, project management and business consulting, working with numerous start-ups across the UK, Middle East and Asia.