Hospace Conference 2021

16:10 - Digital ID: Know Your Guest
Mike Blake, Andrew Metcalfe and Barry Thomas
Moderator: David Sjolander


David Sjolander, Mike Blake, Andrew Metcalfe and Barry Thomas — Digital ID

  • Think about Digital ID as a single wallet.

  • It addresses the two fundamental challenges facing the industry:

    • How to best merchandise our products to the customer

    • Who is that customer?

  • We’ve spent decades trying to improve knowledge of the guest.

    • This has evolved over the years.

    • With digital ID, the guest can have their own data and share it with you when they want to. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

    • If a business is willing to provide extra service in exchange for data then guests will be willing to give it up.

  • If data sharing is in the customers hands, what does that mean for your current system?

    • You won't have access to the same lakes of data to interpret and use.

  • The problem is getting the data from the customer to the hotel

    • This is key going forwards however another challenge is if there will be adoption from people.

    • There are still people in Europe that remember people needing to see your papers so there is a real fear.

    • If big brands like Apple and Google adopt this technology then it could really take off — so they will be pivotal

  • We need to be ready for when business starts to come back to normal — with the right technology in place. To really drive innovation you need complete control over your platform.

  • If self sovereign identity does take off, it's important to have the technology in place to deal with that.

  • There are tremendous benefits to keeping an individual's data in one place which can be issued as and when it’s needed.

    • This is a lot more challenging for smaller businesses who don't have access to the same sized marketing database.

  • Having access to data upfront, you open the door to people being able to self-serve the majority of their stay — this was particularly useful during the pandemic.

  • It’s easier to apply this technology to other industries and the fragmentation of the hospitality industry makes cross compatibility more complicated.

  • People still want experiences and to be able to differentiate this for your guests — data is the number one asset and how you use this data is key. It's all about how you drive experiences around the guests and people need to be willing to provide this data in exchange for a more bespoke experience.

    • Tech companies can help hotels deliver these personalised experiences to guests.

  • Simply knowing if a guest is male or female in itself can be really insightful and acts as a starting point for personalisation.

  • If you choose to share your information via a decentralised identity this will allow hotels to offer experiences unique to you.

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