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How is money accounted at the Front Desk?. Hotels and Money. Hotels provide a number of financial services to guests. These services include: Cash Paid Outs Foreign Currency Exchange ATMs. Cash Paid Outs.

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Hotels and Money

Hotels provide a number of financial services to guests

  • These services include:
  • Cash Paid Outs
  • Foreign Currency Exchange
  • ATMs
cash paid outs
Cash Paid Outs

Cash paid outs are the exclusive rights to Front Office clerks. These paid-outs are made to guests and they are small loans. These loans are tracked in the guest folio. These are typically rare, and usually only for guests that are known to hotel management.

The idea is that the hotel gives money to a guest to pay for taxi fare or entertainment. In the age of electronic banking, such as ATMs and Credit Cards, Cash Paid-Outs are increasingly rare.

foreign currency exchange
Foreign Currency Exchange

Hotel guests travelling from another country will need to use foreign currency exchange services during their stay in Canada. Most Canadian retailers and businesses only accept Canadian and American currency. For travellers from other countries, hotels can provide currency exchange services to their guests.

Currency exchange restricted to “major” currencies. These services can be profitable for hotel, but there can also be risks involved. Some Canadian hotels may refer customers to specialized money changers, such as Money Mart.

In general, credit card and ATM usage has reduced currency exchange world-wide

atm machines
ATM Machines

ATM machines provide increased convenience to guests, as well as the hotel. Many hotels have ATMs in their lobbies. When guests take money out of the machine, a high percentage of that money is spent inside the hotel. Hotels can increase their own sales by making more money available to their guests.


International travellers, look for ATM machines that will work for your cards. Because ATMs are linked globally, there are certain brands you can use anywhere in the world. For people using MasterCards, look for the Cirrus brand. For VISA users, look for VISA Plus ATMs.

how do hotels protect their money
How do hotels protect their money?

With so much money flowing through the hotel, it is important for the Front Desk clerk to know about safe money handling procedures.

Luckily, more guests pay with credit card and debit card than with cash, but because cash is handled, it is important to know how to detect counterfeit currency.

Canadian currency has a number of security features. Let’s review them.

how much does counterfeit money cost
How much does counterfeit money cost?

About $10 million in counterfeit bills are passed in Canada each year.

In 2005:

There were 168,103 illegal $20 bills discovered.

There were 28,940 illegal $50 bills discovered.

There were 29,008 illegal $100 bills discovered.

There were 164,982 illegal $10 bills discovered.

There were 13,202 illegal $5 bills discovered.

credit card fraud
Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is another area to watch out for. There are several different criminal uses of credit cards.

Counterfeit credit cards: criminal use technology that allows them to skim the magnetic strip on another person’s card, copy that information to a fake card, and then pass the “cloned” card to a Front Office clerk. This makes up 37% of credit card fraud.

Cards obtained by criminals who have made false applications: Some criminals make false credit card applications under a fake name. They then use these “fake” cards on hotels. They represent about 4% of credit card fraud, although the number has been growing.

Cards lost or stolen: lost or stolen cards are used by someone else. This type of theft makes up 23% of credit card fraud.


Following the law in Canada is essential to your on-going freedom in society. There are some people that break the law, such as through counterfeiting money. The Canadian legal system prevents theft by making laws and establishing penalties, such as jail sentencing and fines.

As a Front Desk clerk, even as the quantity of cash circulating in hotels declines the need for proper cash handling practices is increasing. Cashiers must remain alert of cash and credit card fraud. Hotel front desk clerks are favourite targets for counterfeit currency and fraudulent credit cards.