What Are the Advantages of Accepting Credit and Debit Cards?
May 3rd, 2021
Accepting Credit Cards: Benefits for Vacation Rental and Lodging Managers
While most vacation rental and other lodging providers do accept credit and debit cards as part of their overall business model, there are still a good number of managers who do not and even some who do accept these payments, who do not truly understand the benefits of doing so.
To get everyone on the same page, first let us define Payment Processing:
Payment Processing refers to your ability to accept payments from clients and when necessary, refund said payments as well as the ability to make payments to others such as homeowners and vendors. Generally, when Ascent uses the term Payment Processing, we refer to your ability to your ability to accept credit/debit cards and the process in which those monies are deposited in the merchants account. It also encompasses the ability to accept/send monies through ACH/E-check.
The fully electronic dataflow of payment processing helps in reducing physical cash hold, makes bookkeeping simpler and opens up your source of funding in a quick and efficient manner. With payments integrated into your software solution, the process becomes seamless, efficient, and secure.
Offering your clients, the ability to pay monies owed to you electronically, offers many advantages to both your company and your clients:
Convenience: Accepting credit/debit cards is a quick and easy way for you to get paid and for your clients to be assured they have completed the process needed to secure your services. Your clients do not need to take extra steps to mail in funds hoping they do not miss a deadline, wait for a bill or confirmation to come via mail hence eliminating anxiety, follow up phone calls and even perhaps vacationers deciding not to follow through on the rental.
Increased Purchasing Power: Giving your clients the ability to pay via credit card in many cases can increase their purchasing power allowing them to book a bigger or more expensive property than if they had to pay via cash/check but also could allow them to purchase add-ons or upgrades such as linen rentals, bike rentals, etc. at time of booking. Of course, in some cases, vacationers may need to use a credit card to make the booking as they plan to pay the trip off over time.
Earlier Booking Window: Vacationers who know they can pay via credit card can book earlier knowing they can pay the bill over an extended period with their provider. This could ease the burden of having open weeks on properties longer than desired.
Immediate Payment: Credit/Debit Card payments are generally made within 24-48 hours of a rental manager processing a batch. These deposits are made six days a week (no deposits are made on Sundays or banking holidays) directly into your bank account. This alleviates having to wait for a check to arrive (or in some cases not arrive which puts a property off market for no reason for a period of time) and then be deposited by your accounting team.
Better Reporting: Since payments to you are quick and you can confirm reservations with the credit/debit card approval, you can better forecast and report on bookings and arrivals. No longer will bookings be unconfirmed while awaiting checks leaving some question to the validity of the reservation.
Ease of Refunds: From time to time, vacation rental managers are forced to refund guests or even give credits to guests. If they guest paid via credit/debit card you can easily refund them on the same card through your software. This will eliminate time and effort as well as check and mailing costs. With Net Billing, you will even receive a refund on the cost incurred on the original purchase.
Online Travel Agents/Portals (OTAs): In today’s vacation rental industry, your competition is not only the rental manager down the street but across the state, country even the globe. Everyone is competing for a limited number of travel dollars. Many consumers research and book their next vacation on OTA’s like VRBO.com. If you would like to market your property on these types of sites in many cases, they will require you to accept credit cards as their bookings need to be immediately confirmed.
As you can see, there are definite benefits and advantages to accepting credit/debit cards are part of your overall payments solution. The Ascent team is committed to helping you find the best solutions, at the lowest cost with our dedicated support every step of the way. Whether you are new to credit card processing or want to investigate switching from your current processor, we are here to help. Please either fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.