EU’s new digital ID: A game changer for hotels | By Pedro Torres – Hospitality Net

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What the new regulation brings for the hospitality industry

In a significant move for secure online interactions, the European Union just approved a new framework for a European digital identity (eID) this past March. This development underscores the growing importance of digital identity, which encompasses secure online representations of who we are. Digital identity is key to accessing services, verifying information, and navigating the ever-expanding digital landscape.

The hospitality industry has always relied on manual guest identification for security and regulatory purposes. Traditionally, this has involved time-consuming check-in procedures, physical document verification, and the potential for human error. These methods can be inconvenient for guests and inefficient for staff.

While hoteliers pride themselves on providing exceptional comfort and service, they haven’t always been at the forefront of technological innovation. This might seem surprising in today’s tech-driven world, but I understand there are a few reasons behind this hesitation.

This cautious approach to technology is often explained by the tight budgets and margins. Technology can be expensive and there’s a fear that a new system might not deliver the promised benefits. However, this wait-and-see attitude leaves hoteliers vulnerable to being outpaced by market disruptors who are quicker to embrace innovation. We saw this play out with Booking.com, which solved a long-standing challenge with access to room inventory, or even with Airbnb’s disruption of the traditional hospitality market, and it’s likely to become even more common.

The upcoming eIDAS II regulation will be a game-changer for all businesses – hotels included. It mandates the adoption of the EUDI Wallet by all member states by 2024/2025. This means that, by then, every EU citizen will have a single, secure digital identity recognized by both public authorities and private service providers throughout the entire European Union.

What the EU digital wallet brings to hoteliers

The rise of digital identity in hospitality can be viewed from two lenses, in my opinion: a pressing need to adapt or a golden opportunity to gain a competitive edge. Hoteliers who take the initiative to implement digital identity solutions within their Property Management Systems (PMS) stand to reap significant benefits.

eIDAS regulation sets the stage for the hospitality industry to leverage the power of digital identity, creating a more streamlined, secure, and guest-centric experience. Imagine empowering your guests to bypass the front desk entirely! Digital identity solutions enable dramatically more secure and convenient self-service identity verification options, allowing them to check in and out seamlessly through their smartphones or dedicated kiosks. This not only frees up valuable staff time but also significantly reduces waiting times, a major pain point for guests.

Automating guest identity verification tasks takes the repetitive burden off staff shoulders, which unlocks their potential to focus on what they do best: building genuine connections and providing personalized service. Guests benefit from this shift too, with staff readily available to address their needs and create a more memorable experience. Moreover, digital identity eliminates the risk of errors in manual data entry, leading to a smoother guest journey and a more efficient PMS.

The EU’s eIDAS II regulation presents a pivotal moment for the hospitality industry. Embracing digital identity solutions isn’t just about keeping pace; it’s a chance to revolutionize the guest experience. Hoteliers who seize this opportunity will unlock a future of streamlined operations, enhanced security, and happier guests, all while gaining a significant competitive edge. The future of hospitality is digital, and those who embrace it will be best positioned to thrive.

Pedro Torres
CEO and co-founder
Youverse

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