Pay at the Hotel PR

ZEN Rooms brings cash-on-delivery concept to Accommodation. Becomes the 1st budget hotel franchise in SEA to allow 100% credit-card-free bookings

Singapore, April 28th


  • Leading budget hotel franchise ZEN Rooms is introducing transformational Pay-at-hotel, credit card free feature.
  • ZEN is the 1st budget hospitality franchise is SEA to allow 100% card-free bookings and enable anyone to book affordable hospitality, irrespective of card ownership.
  • Feature is to truly democratize travel and transform accommodation booking the way Cash-On-Delivery revolutionized e-commerce in recent years.
  • 73% of population in Southeast Asia (438 million people) is unbanked, with most transactions paid in cash (KPMG, 2016).
  • The feature was successfully tested in Q1 2017 and subsequently rolled out to over 500 ZEN Rooms locations, across 50 cities in Southeast Asia.

Since launching in 2015, ZEN Rooms, the leading budget accommodation company in SEA backed by Rocket Internet, has shaken the hospitality industry in the region by providing a more affordable, disruptive alternative to traditional hotel chains. The company is now announcing the release of a new, groundbreaking feature allowing anyone, irrespective of card ownership to book an affordable room and travel safely.

Indeed, close to 3/4th of the population in Southeast Asia are still unbanked today (i.e. 438 million people). Thus, credit card penetration is also very low, with 74% of transactions still paid in cash. Then, why are credit cards still required for the majority of online transactions? The hospitality industry is particularly concerned, as a credit card is usually needed to secure a booking, even if the payment itself only happens at check-in.

By introducing its Pay-at-hotel feature, ZEN Rooms becomes the first budget hotel chain in SEA to disrupt the status quo and allow 100% credit-card-free bookings. The only thing required to confirm a booking on is a valid phone number. The feature is currently available for over 500 ZEN Rooms locations and is being rolled out to 1,000 ZEN locations in the next 3 months. The pay-at-hotel option will complement other payment methods available at the moment, such as credit card payment and bank transfer.

“We are really glad to finally announce this pay-at-hotel feature. This of course removes a significant barrier to travel in SEA. We founded ZEN in 2015 to change hospitality in the region for the better with a full customer-centric approach and this is one important step forward to allowing more people travel across the region, in line with our motto and mission Travel More, Pay Less! Since introducing the feature in our Q1 pilot, we saw a 100% increase in booking rate, above expectations, and only confirmed our view that this can transform hospitality industry in a similar way cash-on-delivery revolutionized e-commerce in the past few years” - comments co-CEO of ZEN Rooms, Nathan Boublil.

About ZEN Rooms

Founded in 2015 in Jakarta, ZEN Rooms has since become the fastest growing budget accommodation franchise in South East Asia. ZEN specializes in providing top value-for-money accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, apartments) by guaranteeing all the key essentials needed for a comfortable stay and unbeatable rates (starting at only US$10). Every ZEN Rooms guest is guaranteed cleanliness, free fast Wi-Fi, comfortable double bed, working AC, a hot shower and 24/7 customer support. ZEN Rooms are now available in 7 countries in South-East Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong). ZEN Rooms is backed by German conglomerate Rocket Internet, telecom group Ooredoo and SBI Investments Korea.

KPMG study on unbanked population:

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