When it comes to the travel and hospitality industry, one thing that most hotels, OTAs, and vacation rental management companies agree about is that there’s no shortage of competition. Thus, similar to other industry sectors, the only way to gain popularity in this industry is to offer unique services and outstanding guest experiences.
One of the OTAs that provide a wonderful experience for users is Booking.com. This vacation rental listing platform offers travelers a wide array of services, which can be accessed from an easy-to-use user interface. In fact, the features and services that Booking.com makes available today have turned this platform into one of the most popular short-term rental sites, with an average of nearly 400 million visitors per month. Thus, by simply using this site, the properties you manage can enjoy massive exposure and make a lot of money.
If you aren’t using this platform yet, you’re probably eager to start listing the vacation rentals that your company oversees on it. But before you take the plunge, be sure to review all the features it offers. To help, we’ve decided to present a feature that Booking.com has reintroduced recently; namely, online payments.
Although this feature is currently only available to hotels and condo-hotels, we have reasons to believe that everyone in the industry, including individual hosts and vacation rental management companies, will have access to it in the near future.
Online Payments through Booking.com: The Pros
Although the payment methods that a vacation rental management company selects for its properties may seem insignificant, they can have a major impact on the long-term performance of each property.
When booking a vacation rental through Booking.com, guests can pay you directly via credit or debit cards. Alternatively, you can use a variety of payment apps and tools, such as Ascent Payment Solutions, Zen Payments, Lynnbrook Group, and Stripe, which can be integrated with different PMS solutions, like JANIIS. This way, you’ll be able to receive full or partial payouts and issue invoices for all the reservations from the lodging management software that you use.
Another payment method the platform offers is “online payments”. While this option isn’t available to everyone, it provides a great alternative to the traditional payment systems that most vacation rental listing sites make available nowadays. With the help of this method, a traveler will be able to pay for a reservation using internationally recognized eWallets, such as ApplePay, PayPal, WeChat Pay, Alipay, Sofort, and iDeal, bank-to-bank payments, also referred to as ACH payments, and other payment methods that traditional payment processors don’t accept yet. When a guest chooses to pay online through Booking.com, the money will be sent via bank transfer or virtual credit card (VCC), according to the policies chosen for each property.
Since some of the alternative methods of payment mentioned above have become the preferred choice for many people nowadays, online payments through Booking.com offer travelers more flexibility about how they wish to pay when they book a hotel room or suite at a condo-hotel. Moreover, the platform offers different deposit options and even allows them to pay later. For instance, a traveler can choose to pay the full amount or just a portion when booking a piece of property, but the total amount should match the amount listed on the booking confirmation.
Besides providing more flexibility, which could convince more guests to book the properties that are listed on this platform, Booking.com guarantees the payment on VCCs for all reservations and cancellations, according to the policies chosen for each property. Since Booking.com undertakes all the risks when a traveler chooses to pay online through them, issues like invalid CCs, online fraud, and chargebacks might become a thing of the past for your business. Therefore, a vacation rental property management company like yours could spend less time on administrative tasks, such as checking payment information, dealing with fraudulent online bookings, and disputing chargebacks. According to Booking.com, making available more payment options that many people trust and use on a regular basis could also lead to lower cancellation rates.
Online Payments through Booking.com: The Cons
One of the problems associated with the online payments processed via VCCs is that each card needs to be activated before you can charge it. Booking.com will send you an email along with the activation date for each card. After the VCC has been activated, you must ensure that the guest’s bill is charged for. As soon as the payment has been processed, the VCC becomes invalid. Currently, the expiration date for all VCCs is 12 months from the check-out date. In the case of non-refundable reservations, you can charge the VCC as soon as you receive it.
Additionally, using online payments through Booking.com involves paying a fee for every transaction. The fees that you’ll need to pay may depend on the payment method you choose (VCC or bank transfer) and the location of each property.
Because vacation rental listing platforms attract millions of visitors each day, their role is increasing day by day. But while these sites can help you reach your target audience, you also need a comprehensive lodging management software solution, like JANIIS, which is specifically integrated with different technologies to help you streamline all of your vacation rental management operations. To learn more about our PMS solution, feel free to schedule a personal demo today!