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Customer Spotlight: Sidehide's One-Click Bookings and Speedy Check-In

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Sidehide, one of Impala’s first customers, has been busy making waves in the travel industry. The innovative app delivers an unbeatable booking and check-in experience with its various features making the entire process as smooth as possible.

Through the Sidehide app, travellers can quickly search and find one-click hotel bookings at incredible rates. These rates can be as much as 30-50% lower than the standard. To declutter the booking process, Sidehide selects only the hotels and room types with the best deals available, instead of providing long lists of options to scroll through and get confused by.

The seamless experience extends beyond booking. Sidehide has partnered with Onfido, a company recognised as the global leaders in AI-based identity verification and authentication, to create their ‘Speedy Check-in’ feature. Travellers verify their identity by uploading a government-issued ID and a selfie. Afterwards, they can check-in through the app to any participating hotel. So that just leaves picking up the keys at reception and getting straight into holiday or business mode.

Sidehide also offers secret deals with select hotels, revolutionizing the last-minute booking game. On the day of check-in, guests can find heavily discounted room prices. However, the name of the hotel is only revealed after the booking has been made. This allows hotels to sell any remaining rooms at short notice without risking rate parity with other online travel agents. So hotels are filling otherwise empty rooms, and customers are getting better deals. Everyone’s happy.

In the wake of COVID-19, Sidehide is at the forefront of reigniting travel again and have announced that they will soon be integrating immunity passports. Using a QR code, customers will be able to quickly and safely verify identity and immunity status with hotels and authorities. Furthermore, by bypassing reception desks with their ‘Speedy Check-in’, they’re reducing contact points. This will allow spontaneity and security as travel resumes, which will be key to getting the industry back into its stride.

After joining the Impala platform, Sidehide was able to get their first hotel booking within days;

Integrating the Impala Hotel Booking API was effortless. From starting integration to processing our first bookings, it took me just two days. Their interactive documentation is excellent and we got great support from their team.

— Igor Kuzmenko, Chief Technology Officer, Sidehide

Impala's booking platform allowed Sidehide to start selling thousands of hotel rooms immediately without having to go through the time-consuming task of contacting them all individually and setting up contracts. What's more, contrary to working with bedbanks or affiliate programs of major OTAs, Impala enables Sidehide to establish direct relationships with the hotels and enrol them in some of their more advanced and innovative features, like secret deals and ‘Speedy Check-in’.

As a travel tech company, it could be argued that Sidehide came into being at the wrong time - just as the travel industry shut down in the face of a global pandemic. But in truth, it may have been the perfect time. They have shown a remarkable ability to deliver exactly what is needed to make travel appealing and feasible; from simplifying last-minute bookings to integrating immunity passports. By partnering with Impala early on, they were able to connect to hotels and grow quickly with minimal cost and effort. We’re excited to see what they come up with next.

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