Budget hotel franchise Zen Rooms is introducing transformational pay-at-hotel, credit card-free feature, becoming the first chain in Southeast Asia to allow 100-percent card-free bookings and enable anyone to book affordable hospitality, irrespective of card ownership.
This is because 73 percent of population in Southeast Asia (438 million people) is unbanked, with most transactions paid in cash.
The feature was successfully tested in the first quarter this year and subsequently rolled out to over 500 Zen Rooms locations, across 50 cities in Southeast Asia.
Zen Rooms which was launched in 2015 by Rocket Internet has shaken the hospitality industry in the region by providing a more affordable, disruptive alternative to traditional hotel chains.
The company is now announcing the release of a groundbreaking feature allowing anyone, irrespective of card ownership to book an affordable room and travel safely.
Credit card penetration remains very low in the region, with 74 percent of transactions still paid in cash. The hospitality industry is particularly concerned, as a credit card is usually needed to secure a booking, even if the payment itself only happens at check-in.
Zen Rooms said by introducing its pay-at-hotel feature, it becomes the first budget hotel chain in Southeast Asia to disrupt the status quo.
The only thing required to confirm a booking on www.zenrooms.com is a valid phone number. The feature is currently available for over 500 Zen Rooms locations and is being rolled out to 1,000 ZEN locations in the next three months. The pay-at-hotel option will complement other payment methods available at the moment, such as credit card payment and bank transfer.
“We are really glad to finally announce this pay-at-hotel feature. This of course removes a significant barrier to travel in SEA. We founded Zen in 2015 to change hospitality in the region for the better with a full customer-centric approach and this is one important step forward to allowing more people travel across the region, in line with our motto and mission Travel More, Pay Less! Since introducing the feature in our first-quarter pilot, we saw a 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-chief executive Nathan Boublil.
Founded in 2015 in Jakarta, Zen Rooms has since become the fastest growing budget accommodation franchise in South East Asia. It specializes in providing top value-for-money accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, apartments) by guaranteeing all the key essentials needed for a comfortable stay and affordable rates starting at $10.