If 3C Payment isn’t a household name, it’s certainly a trusted one in the hospitality business. The global payment service provider and Oracle Platinum partner has built its reputation among hoteliers by securing payments with tokenization, a process used for data encryption.
And while payment, thus far, has been tokenization’s primary application, 3C realizes such usage is providing just a glimpse of the technology’s full potential.
“There are many other benefits” said Paul Musgrave, Global Sales Director at 3C Payment. “It really expands what you can do around reporting, for example. You can use that token and link it to a loyalty program, and you can start reporting on what your loyal customers are doing – whether they’ve gone to the spa or played some golf. And because our systems are using a common token, we can report those transactions and interactions back to the hotelier, and they could use that data to drive their loyalty offers.”
The possibilities, as they say, are endless. Which explains why exploring them is now one of 3C’s primary missions. In today’s digital marketplace, the concept of payment is ever-evolving and broadening. In fact, there is so much demand for digital innovations, the Luxembourg-based company recently launched a subsidiary dedicated exclusively to their development: 3C Digital.
The new enterprise reflects 3C’s growth and continuing adaptability to emerging opportunities. Founded 30 years ago, 3C Payment – which also has offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Dubai – has worked closely with Oracle (and MICROS before it) for nearly half of its existence. Its biggest market segment is hospitality, specifically hotels and food and beverage.
“We cover all the major 4-star, 5-star hotel chains within Europe, the Middle East and now further afield,” Musgrave said. “… We’re also now expanding in Canada and further countries in the Middle East and North Africa.”
On the food and beverage side, 3C’s clients include Starbucks, Caffè Nero and Pret. The company’s pay-at-counter and pay-at-table solutions are fully integrated into Oracle point-of-sale systems, assuring transaction speed, resilience and security; the latter meets the highest industry standards with the use of point-to-point encryption. Such solutions are 3C’s enduring foundation; 3C Digital represents its future.
“It’s all about where we go next,” Musgrave said. “3C Digital was really started to help our existing merchants as their path moved toward doing digital effectively.”
For hoteliers, security remains a foremost priority, and 3C and Oracle are working closely together to address the many facets of payment that are unique to the hotel sector.
“The nice thing about the new Oracle interface (OPI) is that it supports tokens in a much better way,” Musgrave said. “Within the hospitality industry there are lots of channels to consider before payments and card data come into a hotel – it could be online travel agents, it could be call centers, it could be global distribution systems. All that card data needs to be tokenised as soon as it reaches the customer site. Oracle routes this data to 3C to tokenise, and the token is stored in Oracle Hotel Property Management Systems. Tokenising this data significantly reduces the scope of PCI Security as the card data is no longer stored within the Customers environment.”
Increasingly, hoteliers and merchants are needing to “solve the data requirements for the functionality of trade,” Musgrave said. And what’s often required is a consistent payment journey and a consistent transfer of data.”
“What 3C does well is move that data and, obviously, handle payment data,” he added. “So, by bringing those pieces together, we believe we can offer some very innovative services.”
3C Digital is exploring other concepts, too. Of interest for hoteliers – especially those seeking to enhance their restaurant operations – might be “ordering ahead” capabilities and enabling guests at a restaurant or coffee shop to place a second order without leaving their table. Or they might be interested in what 3C calls “frictionless walkout” – giving guests the power to manage their checks from start to finish.
“The consumer would open the check and have complete control of the dining experience,” Musgrave said.
In other words, 3C plans to continue delivering – through innovation and reliability – what matters most to its clients: creating exceptional experiences for their guests.