The Sheraton Lake Como is a luxury four-star hotel with breath-taking views over Lake Como in northern Italy. As a part of the Marriott franchise, the hotel has been an Elavon customer since February 2019.
“Our business is in Italy yet 90% of our revenue comes from international clients, so we prefer to work with a global player like Elavon,” says Elena De Santis, Sheraton Lake Como.
The hotel’s enviable position overlooking the shores of Lake Como aren’t its only attraction. Amidst its selection of pool-side eateries and casual dining options, the hotel boasts a Michelin-star restaurant offering a modern twist on traditional Italian food. There are also two bars, spa facilities and meeting rooms catering for the Sheraton’s business travellers.
The Sheraton Lake Como processes around 10,000 transactions per year, 70% of which are card based. This percentage is increasing year on year with the growing convenience of card payments and guests having the option now to pay in their home currency, using Dynamic Currency Conversion.
The Sheraton Lake Como was looking for a payments provider which could transform its business by offering additional card processing services and features to specifically meet the needs of its international customer base.
“It was a payments strategy decision,” says Elena De Santis, Director of Finance at the Sheraton. “We wanted to work with a top, global player so Marriott introduced us to Elavon, its preferred European payments processor, and we took advantage of that opportunity.”
As a franchisee of the Marriott group, the hotel also benefited from Marriott’s existing relationship with Elavon, allowing it to secure the best possible commercial deal, security and stability and an on-boarding experience which understood the complexities of a multi-national franchise.
“We had access to a dedicated Elavon relationship manager, and we could take advantage of the global economics negotiating with Marriott,” says Andrea Caniggia, Financial Controller at the Sheraton. “We trusted that if there were any issues, Marriott and Elavon’s partnership could support us.”
As well as providing core acquiring and an online gateway, Elavon set up the hotel with Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), which allows customers to pay in their home currency rather than the local currency. The Sheraton Lake Como benefits from a revenue share on the exchange rate, introducing another steady income stream for the business. The hotel can accept more than 80 different currencies through DCC from Elavon, and allows customers from any nation, whether travelling for tourism or business, to enjoy the choice of how they want to pay.
“DCC is very important to us and our relationship with Elavon,” says Elena. “DCC covers all the different home currencies our clients want to pay in, and Elavon covers the exchange risk.”
“It’s a very important piece of business for us. We are a luxury hotel; it’s another service, another option for our clients.”
The hotel’s finance team also relies on ElavonConnect, our cloud-based reporting tool that gives real-time insights from anywhere. It’s this functionality that led the Sheraton to choose Elavon as its payments provider for its newest hotel Passalacqua in Moltrasio, further along the shoreline of Lake Como.
“We wanted to have the same acquirer for reporting reasons, and we have a good relationship with Elavon,” says Andrea.
As well as leaning on Marriott’s existing relationship with Elavon, Elena says Elavon’s partnership with FreedomPay was an attractive proposition when considering its payments in the Passalacqua.
Elavon has been partnering in Europe on a first-class hospitality solution with FreedomPay.
The solution doesn’t require businesses to replace their current infrastructure. Instead, it uses APIs and application toolkits to knit together data from existing Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, apps and web systems, CRM and ERP platforms. As a result, hospitality companies can provide seamless payments processing and simplified reporting without the cost or disruption of moving to a new system.
“We prefer Elavon because it’s global, and Elavon works with FreedomPay, which is one of the most advanced commerce platforms for payments, which local providers cannot offer,” says Elena. “Our business is in Italy but 90% of our revenue comes from international clients so we prefer to work with a global player like Elavon.”
Andrea agrees the partnership held sway.
“With the new hotel, we’re experiencing the partnership between Elavon and FreedomPay for the first time, and we are very excited about this. We have high expectations for this, too.”
If you’d like to explore what Elavon can do for your hotel or franchise, talk to us.