The Jakarta Post
ZEN Rooms has recently introduced pay-at-hotel feature, allowing travelers to book an accommodation without a credit card. (Shutterstock/File)
Three-fourths of Southeast Asia’s population do not own a bank account, according to data revealed by ZEN Rooms, an accommodation-booking platform supported by Berlin-based tech company Rocket Internet.
The unbanked population causes low credit card penetration, resulting in 74 percent of transactions in Southeast Asia involving cash. The issue impacts the hospitality industry as credit cards are needed to secure hotel bookings, though payment itself only happens during check-in.
To cater to the unbanked population, ZEN Rooms has recently introduced pay-at-hotel feature, allowing travelers to book an accommodation without a credit card. However, a valid phone number is required to secure the booking made via ZEN Rooms' website.
The new booking method is currently available for over 500 ZEN Rooms locations and planned to be rolled out in 1,000 ZEN locations in the next three months.
The pay-at-hotel feature is said to complement other payment methods currently available, such as credit card payment and bank transfer.
“We are glad to finally announce this pay-at-hotel feature. Since introducing it in our Q1 pilot, we saw 100 percent increase in booking rate, above expectations, and only confirmed our view that this can transform hospitality industry in a similar way cash-on-delivery revolutionized e-commerce in the past few years,” said ZEN Rooms co-CEO Nathan Boublil in a press release. (kes)