We are pleased to announce that roomMaster has been named once again #1 Property Management Software in the FrontRunners quadrant for Hotel Management software.
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EMV, also known as "chip-and-pin" or "chip-and-signature", is a fraud deterrent for credit cards. The magnetic stripe on cards is slowly being replaced by a chip which makes the cards much harder to duplicate, thus decreasing card-present fraud. This means your magnetic stripe readers attached to your front desk computers will be replaced by external EMV devices that can read a chip card.
On October 1, 2015, the credit card brands (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are implementing "liability shift". This means all liability from fraudulent transactions originating from a counterfeit card is assigned to the merchant if the merchant does not have EMV-capable credit card readers.
EMV is not a strict requirement, but the liability shift makes the transition to EMV a smart business decision for many InnQuest clients.
With that being said, a hotel's risk of having transactions made by a counterfeit card are extremely low, since card fraudsters don't typically use a counterfeit card and then stay around for a night or a week waiting to be caught!
EMV is 30-year-old technology which is designed to protect the card brands (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover) and merchants from counterfeit cards. EMV determines the card being used is legitimate. Outside the USA, card holders are protected by using a PIN instead of the traditional signature; however, PINs are not being implemented in the USA market at this time.
InnQuest Software is working closely with Shift4 so roomMaster and iQ-POS can easily handle EMV credit card transactions. This requires programming changes by InnQuest and certification by Shift4.
InnQuest and Shift4 are not requiring clients to update to EMV, and Visa/MasterCard/American Express/Discover interchange rates are not being increased for merchants who do not move to EMV, nor are their any fines being levied by the card brands for not moving to EMV.
Processing a chip card requires a special reader that has been certified by your merchant service provider's network as well as by Shift4. Instead of swiping a credit card through a mag-stripe reader, the card holder will insert the card into a slot on an EMV reader. The card holder will still need to sign a paper or electronic credit card receipt.
We will be offering EMV readers for purchase to our clients. These are readers that have been certified by Shift4 and the various credit card processing networks for handling credit card transactions with EMV cards. The reader will have signature capture that integrates with Shift4's Dollars on the Net, so you won't necessarily need hard copies of receipts anymore.
Nothing will change for deposit transactions being processed by roomMaster.net and
iQ-WorldLink since those are card-not-present transactions and EMV does not apply to those type of transactions.
There are four main benefits: protection against liability for counterfeit cards, increased protection against data breaches and malware, the ability to accept contactless payments such as ApplePay, and increased guest confidence in your business.
Liability shift has been described above. The increased protection with EMV comes from the implementation of point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization, which protect credit card data in your network against malware.
The EMV terminal that will be sold by InnQuest includes support for contactless payments, such as ApplePay and AndroidPay, so you can accept those types of payments as well.
As EMV becomes prevalent, cardholders will begin to associate "dipping" a credit card with a more secure form of payment than the traditional "swipe", and therefore will see businesses who don't support EMV as less secure.
Contact Shift4 to ensure that your Processor is EMV certified. Not all are.
We handle all of the installation support for all customers who go through direct OTN billing with us.
There are several steps you can take now that will let you hit the ground running when EMV support is available in roomMaster and iQ-POS:
Additionally, if you are using a cloud-based server or a server that is not on property, we will have to move the UTG (Shift4 software) to a local workstation within your local network during the EMV installation, per Shift4's requirements. We will need access to both your server (to remove the existing UTG installation) and access to a workstation to install the new UTG. This one workstation's firewall will have to be reconfigured to allow particular ports to be opened. Full details will be provided when we schedule your installation appointment.
Cause: roomMaster is running on at least one other PC, or Windows is reporting that the roomMaster files are in use.
Solution: Have all other PCs close roomMaster, then try again. If the error message persists, review these steps and try the audit/rebuild after each one:
Comments: Windows may leave files open even if all users have closed roomMaster. Rebooting the server always corrects this.
Note that EPI does NOT have to be closed to perform the Dayend Close.
If you have any questions about rebooting your server, you must contact your computer technician and not InnQuest Software.
Cause: A PC froze or was shutdown while roomMaster was working with the room.
Solution: Close roomMaster on all workstations but one. Next, select Setup > Rebuild Forecast. Check the room status again.
If the status is still incorrect, select Setup > Configuration > File Maintenance > Verify Database Files.
roomMaster does not allow you to check-in a guest on any day other than the current audit date. This is for security and fraud prevention reasons.
Cause: roomMaster goes into Stopped mode during the night audit and when rebuilding the forecast. This tells EPI to queue all phone call postings until the audit is completed.
Solution: Select Night Audit > Restart roomMaster.
Cause: Somebody has changed the computer date/time or time zone.
Solution: Double-click on the clock on the Windows task bar and correct the time.
Room and tax is posted every night through the Night Audit > Auto Post Transactions menu choice. You must post room and tax before the dayend close is completed. You can select this option as many times as needed, because roomMaster will not repost room and tax to a folio if the folio already has a room and tax posting for the current audit date.
Room and tax is not automatically posted when you check-in a guest unless you have configured an “AutoPost at CheckIn” entry (Setup > Configuration > Guest Ledger > AutoPost at CheckIn).
You can view the total amount of room and tax for a guest’s stay by pressing F11 on their reservation, folio, or folio properties screen.
Cause: It probably isn’t wrong because roomMaster’s availability is very accurate. Instead, you probably have made the common mistake of not considering everything that affects availability – out of service rooms, groups, etc.
Solution: Click on the Availability button (or press F4) and then select Breakdown. The Availability Breakdown window will show all of the in-house, reserved, out of service, and group block rooms for any room type on a specified date. This window is the best tool for understanding why your forecast and availability don’t appear to be what you think they should be.
Comments: Out of service/unavailable rooms, as well as group rooms, are the most common oversights when clients attempt to manually calculate availability.
Also, check that a reservation is not assigned a room type, but a room number of another type is assigned. You can do this by running the Assigned Rooms Report and look for any reservation which has a room type different than assigned room number. These are highlighted with an asterisk.
Finally, you can use Setup > Rebuild Forecast. If the same figures appear on the availability screen, you may want to run Setup > Configuration > File Maintenance > Verify Database Files.
Cause: You assumed a guest was not going to appear and so you canceled their reservation as a “no show” and created the no-show folio.
Solution: If you have not completed the night audit, click on the Inhouse button, go to the Checked Out Folios tab, open the folio, select Recheckin, and then select a room number.
If the audit has already been completed, go to Back Office > Guest History Detail, select Recheckin, and then select a room number.
Cause: Not all rooms on a reservation have been checked. “Pending” is the status between Reserved and Checked-In.
Solution: Check-in the remaining rooms on the reservation. Reservations for two or more rooms have to be checked in each time for the number of rooms selected. If the guest does not need the additional rooms in a pending reservation, simply open the reservation and select Cancel Reservation to cancel the remaining rooms on the reservation.
Comments: Multiple-room reservations are intended for situations where guests in the party check-in at different times. You have an opportunity to change the individual names during the check-in process.
Cause: A computer may have locked-up while checking in a guest, or while moving a guest to another room.
Solution: Select Setup > Configuration > File Maintenance > Verify Database Files.
Cause: The system (live) environment is set to “ Training”, or the training environment is set as the default environment.
Solution: Select File > Multi-Environment > Rename Environment, change the Environment Type to "Normal", and then select Ok.
Cause: A Reservation Rule has been configured to “Show comment” but no comment text has been added.
Solution: Select Back Office > Reservation Rules Setup. Find a Reservation Rule that applies to the dates of the reservation you have been creating. Double-click on the rule and check the General tab for a blank Display Comment field and a checkmark in Show Comment when making reservation. Either clear the checkbox or enter text.
Preparing for a major storm can be very hectic. In addition to protecting your property and guests, you will also need to prepare your computer hardware and software system(s).
Here are some basic Hurricane Preparation Tips to assist you if your hotel is threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane:
We are located in Tampa, Florida. If any changes are made to our Technical Support hours due to storms, updates will be indicated on the home page of our website.
Cause: You have entered an invalid shift/drawer/initials combination.
Solution: Select Front Desk > Shift Reports and enter the correct shift/drawer/initials. You may also enter 0 for shift and drawer to get all data for the day.
You may also select the Journal button and scroll to the bottom – transactions you most recently posted will be found there. Double-click (expand) any of these transactions to see the shift and drawer used for your postings.
Finally, select Front Desk > Shift Reports again and use the shift/drawer found in the last step.
Comments: The shift report is a summary of all journal transactions for the specified combination of shift, drawer, and user initials. If there is something which appears to be incorrect on your shift report, go to the Journal and filter on the desired account code. Any of the transactions can be traced back to a reservation or folio.