Previously, payments for hosts on Booking.com worked differently for vacation rental hosts than on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. With the recent introduction of Payments by Booking.com however, Booking.com has made it easier, faster, and safer for hosts listing on their platform to receive payments for stays.
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Hosts using Booking.com can choose to be paid directly by the guest, eliminating Booking.com’s role in processing the payment.
Hosts who choose to be paid directly can allow their guests to pay by cash, card, or other online payment methods such as PayPal, Alipay, and WeChat Pay. In this case, however, they will have to pay Booking.com their fee for each reservation.
Direct cash payments in particular can be tricky as guests can not turn up to their booking and not be penalized monetarily. When using direct payments, hosts and guests may also have compatibility issues in terms of their preferred payment methods. Some guests can even cancel their card payment after checking out, claiming it to be fraudulent, leaving hosts at risk of chargebacks.
However, there is a way to make direct payments work for you, eliminating the risks and gaining all the benefits such as not having to wait for payouts. Using a proven property management system like Hostaway allows you to ensure you get paid, fully and accurately, on your terms; take security deposits; and get guests to sign rental agreements to ensure a favorable experience for both hosts and guests. Cancellations are also quick and straightforward, done with just one click!
Before the launch of Payments by Booking.com, hosts on the platform choosing to have Booking.com facilitate their payments were paid by virtual credit card (VCC), or in some cases, bank transfers.
With this option, guests provide Booking.com with their online payment information. The platform then charges the guest at the time the reservation becomes non-refundable, as per the chosen cancellation policy.
If the host does not qualify for this - for example if they have an outstanding VCC older than 60 days, have not paid their invoices on time over the last 12 months, or have been on the platform for less than 6 months - they are considered to be an added financial liability and only allowed to charge the VCC later (i.e. one day after check-in, or in the case of US properties, they can charge at check-in).
VCCs also don’t allow hosts to charge additional fees, as they are loaded with a pre-determined amount of money by Booking.com. Thus hosts will have to obtain payment details from guests separately to collect any additional fees for services that were not part of the original costing.
For VCCs to work for hosts, their point of sale (POS) machines must be set up to charge cards remotely and registered as an official accommodation provider. Payment providers will charge the host’s bank about 3% for each transaction.
Payments by Booking.com is a more accessible, more reliable, and more secure process of payment that is facilitated by Booking.com according to their reservation policy.
What are the Benefits of Using Payments by Booking.com for Hosts?
Solving a number of issues from the above methods, there are a number of reasons hosts should consider using Payments by Booking.com.
Hosts get paid when the guest pays online. No more waiting!
Hosts receive guaranteed payouts by bank transfers for all their reservations (as per your reservation policy). No more fraudulent bookings and chargebacks
Prevent high cancellation rates by collecting payment guarantees
Save time by eliminating common operational tasks regarding payments
Save on common costs associated with payment transactions
Note: Starting in 2024, Booking.com will apply a charge on payments facilitated through this process to cover their costs or payment processing.
How does Payments by Booking.com work?
Payments by Booking.com is now available to hosts based around the world. .
To see if you’re eligible, hosts must check their Extranet to find out if they are eligible (see below), and then activate the option
Hosts must complete a Know Your Partner (KYP) process to ensure compliance
Hosts can choose to opt in for one or more properties on the platform
Once activated, it will apply to all new reservations.
When guests make a booking through Payments by Booking.com they can see a clear summary of the payment including payment amount, payment method, and payment schedule. This goes a long way in ensuring there is no misunderstanding on the part of the guest regarding what they have been charged and avoiding a negative guest experience.
Guests can modify and cancel their reservation directly through their Booking.com account without having to reach out to the host and having to wait to hear back.
Guests will see Booking.com on their credit card statements so they can easily identify the transaction.
Payments by Booking.com provides a wide range of payment options giving guests a wide choice and eliminating the chance they will not book due to lack of payment method match.
How to Find Out if You are Eligible or to Opt In to Payments by Booking.com?
Log into the Booking.com Extranet
If the Getting paid option appears in the drop-down menu, Payments by Booking.com is already activated. (You can click on it to learn more.)
If you see the Payments by Booking.com, you are eligible for the service but it hasn’t been activated as yet. To activate it, select the option and click Yes, sign me up now! at the bottom of the page
If neither of the options appears in the drop-down menu, your property is still not eligible for this service
What are the Online Guest Payment Options Supported by Payments by Booking.com?
Credit, debit, and prepaid cards:
Global payment methods:
Payments by Booking.com is certainly a huge improvement on its existing payment options. That said, property managers with long-term goals should also consider using a modern PMS like Hostaway where you can take advantage of all the benefits of direct payments including not having to wait to be paid for your bookings while enjoying the advantages of Hostaway automations including collecting security deposits, having guests sign rental agreements, and canceling bookings with just one click.
Hostaway is the leading, all-in-one vacation rental software and property management system for property managers. It helps you grow your vacation rental business by automating and streamlining every aspect of your business across multiple booking channels, integrates with a wide range of tools, and offers award-winning customer support.