The number of people who pay for their reservations at hotels online, using their credit cards, is growing with each year. It is estimated that almost 150 million travelers use the internet to pay for their accommodation. The number is only expected to grow, with more than 50% of American tourists preferring this way of paying for their accommodation and more.
The problem is that hotels are prime target for hackers and other criminals who work with credit cards. A study conducted by Trustwave’s SpiderLabs has shown that out of 218 data breaches from 24 different countries, 38% occurred on hotels, with 98% of that number resulting in stolen credit card information.
The good news is that most premier credit card companies such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover have certain requirements for hotels who wish to work with holders of their cards. Namely, as part of their merchant agreements, the websites of the hotels that work with their card holders need to employ something called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is much more secure and strict when it comes to exchange of data that pertains to people’s credit cards.
Moreover, this new standard is applied to all credit card transactions between the card holder and the said hotels, including room service charges, spa treatment and so on.
As a traveler, you should always make sure that the hotel you are staying in employs this standard, along with the latest in cyber security systems that will ensure your credit card details are not stolen.