Digital Contract Signing: The Smart Way for Hotels to Do Business

Bryan Michalis
Bryan Michalis
Updated
February 13, 2024
/
Published
November 28, 2023
Digital Contract Signing: The Smart Way for Hotels to Do Business

Everything from travel planning and communication to booking and paying for trips went digital years ago.

So why do many hotels still use paper contracts even though they’re time-consuming, not user-friendly and frankly, outdated?

Paper contracts are risky, too, because they’re not payment card industry (PCI)-compliant. This opens your hotel up to payment disputes and dreaded chargebacks.

But there’s a simple, effective way to address this: implement digital contract signing for hotels.

It’s quick to set up, easy to use and it brings many benefits for your clients and staff.

What Is Digital Contract Signing?

Digital contract signing operates similarly to signing a physical contract, but it involves a digital format and electronic signatures. This signing process involves a PDF document that the client signs electronically, saves and sends the contract back to you. There are also digital contract solutions like DocuSign or, if you prefer a hospitality-focused tool, there’s Canary Digital Contracts. Whichever option you use, a digitally signed document is legally binding and guarantees that both sides agree to the terms and conditions.

How Does Digital Contract Signing Work?

It’s a straightforward process for both your team and your clients. Just follow these three steps.

     
  • Step 1: Create your digital contract
       
    Ideally, you’ll use an online solution like Canary Digital Contracts for this. It makes drawing up new contracts quick and easy with pre-set content elements and the option to use templates. A digital contract tool will also help you organize your documents and track their status (i.e. viewed, unsigned, signed, etc.).
  •  
  • Step 2: Share the contract with your client
       
    Send a unique link to your client through their email addresses to give them access to their digital contract. They can use this link to share the digital document with their team, so all stakeholders can review and approve it.
  •  
  • Step 3: Get the digital signature
       
    Digital contract signing is easy and your clients can do it from anywhere. That includes their computer at the office, their laptop at home or their smartphone while on the road. You get a notification once they sign and both parties receive a copy for their records.

Infographic: Benefits of Digital Contact Signing n Hospitality

What Are the Top Benefits of Digital Contract Signing in Hospitality?

Switching to signing the contracts digitally has many advantages, both for your team and your clients. Let’s go over the top five.

1. Improved Guest Experience

With digital contracts, your guests no longer have to print, sign, fax or scan and email contracts back to you. Instead, they can handle the process electronically from start to finish. As long as they have the access link and an internet connection, they can do this from anywhere and on any device.

This saves your clients immense amounts of time and creates a smoother, more positive overall experience. And since they’ll appreciate the ease of working with you, you’ll be more likely to get repeat business and referrals.

2. Streamlined Operations

Your team can put together a new contract quickly in a user-friendly platform like Canary Digital Contracts. It’s easy to edit documents as well if clients change their request, e.g. add extra services or reduce the room count.

And of course your staff also benefits from not having to handle hard copies anymore. First, digital contracts and related communication are easy to store, organize and retrieve when needed. Second, employees save time on manually entering data from hand-filled contracts and authorization forms (e.g. credit card and billing information).

Lastly, digital contract solutions can integrate with other systems, e.g. event sales solutions. This further streamlines everything from billing and collecting deposits to processing installments or full payments.

3. Sensitive Data Protection

Keeping your client’s sensitive information safe is critical. Relying on paper forms stored in binders is not a secure approach. This method puts payment details at risk and gives bad actors easy access. This approach also isn’t PCI-compliant anymore which makes you liable in case of a data breach.

Use a secure, PCI-compliant digital contract signing solution to cover these bases. It encrypts and stores all relevant data, so you can rest assured that sensitive information is completely safe.

Apart from giving you peace of mind, this also eliminates the risk of hefty non-compliance penalties from payment providers. Finally, your clients will feel more comfortable working with you when they know you’re treating their data with care.

4. Fraud and Chargeback Prevention

Digital contract signing and authorizations protect you and your clients from fraud with the help of payment information verification. If a card looks suspicious, the system immediately flags it and blocks the transaction.

Apart from avoiding charging a wrong or stolen card, this also reduces your risk of facing chargebacks and disputes. If they do occur, you’re in a strong position to face them because digital contracts are PCI-compliant, legally binding documents.

Learn how Canary helped Pinnacle Hotels USA win a $14,000 hotel chargeback against AMEX.

5. Reduced Paper Usage

No longer needing printed copies for clients or yourself reduces paper use. That saves costs and it’s another step towards going greener and reducing your hotel’s environmental footprint. While that’s great on its own, it can also be important if you’re trying to earn sustainability certifications. Many of them require you to go paperless and doing away with hard copies will help you get there.

Time to Go Digital!

Imagine a world where everyone can avoid the headache of having to print, sign, fax or scan and email contracts. Instead, all paperwork can be completed in a few clicks. That’s digital contract signing in a nutshell. It’s faster, safer and easier for both clients and staff.

It lets your clients get back to their day more quickly. And your team has more time for the important work - ensuring your guests and clients have a fantastic experience.

Learn How Canary Can Help Your Properties Thrive

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