Tours & Travel

Pesapal moves to digitise Ugandan hotels to boost tourism

Pesapal is a payment gateway enabling customers to use their credit cards, banks and mobile networks to settle hotel bookings and related services from one portal.

Pesapal is a payment gateway enabling customers to use their credit cards, banks and mobile networks to settle hotel bookings and related services from one portal.

KAMPALA —Payment solutions provider, Pesapal has joined Oracle, a global IT giant, to digitize and market Uganda’s tourism facilities.

The development announced on Thursday October 20, during an event was held at Serena under the theme ‘Adapt and Thrive’ to discuss ways that the industry can harness technology to grow.

Pesapal, which has over 4,000 hotels from Uganda, Kenya and across Africa on its Reserveport platform, has integrated with Oracle Hospitality Solution allowing tourists to locate, book and pay for reservations for any hotel in Uganda.

Pesapal country manager Emmy Rono, said achieving Oracle validation for Ugandan facilities gives tourists a one-stop platform to plan their journeys—and in the process save on costs usually consumed by travel operators, agents and other people involved in searching for required partner hotels.

She explained that digital payments have the potential to transform the economy.

“Thirteen years ago, we started in the hospitality sector because we saw a digital gap, especially in travel. We listen to our customers and then come up with solutions that enable them to receive payments or digitalize their systems. We have grown over the years to offer services to businesses in other sectors such as retail and e-commerce,” she said.

“We started with online payment systems that we offered to tour operators. We built our Reserveport – our online booking engine – that is integrated into payments; VISA, Mastercard, and mobile money solutions to facilitate consumers to go cashless. We also have POS machines which we have distributed across retail sectors – fuel, hotels, restaurants, and tour operators to make sure the customers that need to make payment through machines can do that. We have both the online and offline customers covered within our products,” she added.

Mr. Bradford Ochieng, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), would jump-start the hospitality sector which suffered a thread of disasters in the recent past.

“Pesapal has been in the market for quite a while now. Within the tourism industry, hotels and restaurants make up a big portion of the business in terms of income generation, revenue, and employment. Also, it greatly influences customers’ experiences from booking, payments, and other service delivery. It’s our pleasure that we have a regional local company pioneering this. As a government and UTB, this is what we encourage as it benefits everyone,” he said.

Pesapal is a payment gateway enabling customers to use their credit cards, banks and mobile networks to settle hotel bookings and related services from one portal.

Uganda has witnessed growth in electronic payments.

In a report released by the Bank of Uganda, electronic fund transfers grew by 13.73 per cent signaling a shift to new technology-based payments.

Businesses, shoppers, visitors, or tourists can make multicurrency transactions (UGX, USD etc.), from any scheme (Visa, Mastercard, American Express etc.) – either online, in a 3-D Secure environment, or in-store, using the Pesapal POS machine, seamlessly, officials said, describing the service as secure from online fraud.

Reserveport integration to Oracle Hospitality Solution provides realtime availability and pricing of hotel rooms and services sold in one marketplace that online travel agents, among them Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com use to place orders for their clients.

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