I've blogged about why hotels should consider using a hotel kiosk in my previous blog. In this article, I'm going to talk about hotel kiosk software. Assuming you're able to source for the kiosk hardware on Alibaba, the next item you will need after getting the hardware is the software that runs on it.
What you will need to consider while choosing your hotel kiosk software? First, the compatibility with your kiosk; second, the integration with your hotel PMS. It's hard to find a hotel kiosk software that is fully compatible with both your kiosk hardware and your hotel PMS, that is why most of the kiosk solutions sell in a bundle (both kiosk hardware and kiosk software and very often along with hotel PMS). In this article, we will find out what you will need to know before choosing your kiosk app and also discover what additional features you may want to consider.
Find out more about your kiosk hardware before sourcing for the hotel kiosk software
- Operating system. Some of the kiosk software run on Android while some run on Windows. We recommend Windows because it has more hardware compatibility (e.g. hotel door lock system, payment terminal, etc). For now, much of the hardware that I know does not provide Android SDK.
- Screen resolution and orientation (vertical or horizontal) of your touch panel. This is important because some of the kiosk software is not designed to adapt to different screen orientations.
- Hardware compatibility. Make sure it's compatible with the door lock system, credit card terminal, receipt printer, passport scanner, MyKAD reader, social card reader, room key dispenser, etc. Ask and test if you're not sure.
- Integration with your existing hotel PMS. The kiosk software will need to work with your hotel PMS and channel manager to sync booking reservations and also to sync guest check-ins/outs. Do consider replacing your existing hotel PMS provider if they don't support API integration.
- Features. Make sure that you're looking a hotel kiosk software but not advertising kiosk software, or information directory kiosk software, they are different.
Features You Need in Your Hotel Kiosk Software
On top of the vital features like check-in, check-out, and walk-in reservation, you will need to consider if the kiosk software has the following capabilities:
- Stay modification. Support extension of stay and modification of stay.
- Vending capability. Some kiosk comes with the vending capability to sell merchandise, you will need software that has the vending capability to use it. For example, Softinn offers 2 in 1 solution which has both vending and self-service capabilities.
- Concierge service. Providing the upselling capability to sell other products like theme park tickets, airport transfers, etc.
- Ability to issue multiple room keys. Some guests prefer to have more than one room key for their stay.
- Transaction posting. Make sure payment and transactions get posted to your hotel PMS (guest folio).
- Fallback service. In the event of hardware failure, will the kiosk provide fallback services like emergency contact numbers and notifications to the maintenance department?