“Mind the gap” is an often-used phrase in the UK for approaching a situation with caution. Without a secure way of accepting payment data from booking engines and channel managers, a hotel management system has a gap in functionality that creates more work for hospitality staff. Manually extracting payment data from these channels is a security risk as staff are exposed to payment card information (PCI). In addition, accepting raw payment information forces an organization to undergo expensive PCI compliance audits and security processes which complicate business processes.
This was the conundrum that Bristol, UK-based Avon Data Systems faced as they redesigned their highly-regarded hotel management software suite for cloud deployment. Major clients were insisting that the Avon Data property management system (PMS) module, Hotel Executive, be able to securely accept payment card data along with the reservation information, but keep the actual payment data from being stored in the systems to avoid PCI compliance issues. Mind the gap indeed.