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From your feedback | Invalid Credit Cards

Thanks for all your feedback on invalid credit cards here in the Forum.
 
We shared your feedback with our product teams, and as a result they have made some changes. 
 
Considering that 46% of customers whose credit cards failed end up staying, our product teams were tasked with finding solutions that didn't mean blocking reservations but could make the process easier. 
 
Here’s an overview of what has changed: 
  1. Shorter time frames: Guests now have 24 hours – and just one attempt – to update their credit card details. If a guest doesn’t update their details within this time, or provides invalid details once again, you can cancel the booking straight away.
  2. Last-minute bookings: those made with invalid credit card details can now be cancelled from 3pm onwards on the day of arrival.
  3. A quick and easy process: To report an invalid card, you now only need to enter the last four digits. Guests are then notified via email, SMS and the Booking.com app to encourage immediate action.
  4. A clear overview: We’ve also improved the reservations tab in your extranet. The previous ‘invalid credit card’ status has been split into two: ‘pending credit card’ and ‘ready to cancel’.
  5. Communication: you’ll receive a daily email digest of reservations with updated or pending credit card details. It’s a clear overview, at the very first glance.
Want more info? You’ll find an updated how-to guide on reporting invalid credit card details here in Partner Help. 
 
 
Still have questions? Comment below and we will share them with our Product Team. 
83 Replies

1
Relax2

What is this new policy where we have to wait an hour to cancel same day invalid CCs? That is ridiculous and we got 0 heads up about this change. If this holds up we will no longer look to do business with Booking.com

There have been many guests who take advantage of Booking policies to hold a room they dont intend on purchasing especially when it is busy in cities like LA.

1 year ago
1
Info

I want to comment about booking.com 'confirming' bookings without completing all the information required on our Little Hotelier page.

I find it frustrating that booking.com send me a booking which THEY confirm without giving me the guest's email/phone number - which we ask for.

Their resolution is we can go into booking.com and find the information. NO Booking.com - you are earning commission for providing us with the booking - the least you can do is provide us with all the information we require and not expect us to go hunting for it.

I don't agree that they can confirm a booking without us, the property actually accepting it. For me accepting it is seeing I have all the information!!!!!

1 year ago
1
Daan Henning

I have been working with Booking.com for over two years now. Initially I experienced a lot of problems, mainly invalid Credit cards and No-Shows/Cancellations. Most of these were guests fooling around till I changed certain settings on my page to the following criteria;

1. Guests can only book if they supply a physical address and contact details,

2. All rooms were set as Non-refundable deposit,

3. I updated our payment policy to a 50% deposit + a further 20% immediately after reservation and balance 14 days prior to check-in. I'm not sure but think this was under the flexible cancellation policy. Since then I have changed it to NR.

4. We also only list about 60% of our rooms on Booking.com to kerb No-Shows/Cancellations or any double bookings

Since then our conversion rate increased dramatically, however the invalid cc and no shows is still sort of a headache.

I just cant understand Booking.com unwillingness to meet owners in addressing the invalid card issue. My suggestion would be that Booking.com makes it;

1. A prerequisite that all guest reservations 36 hrs prior to check-in be handled with their virtual card system (The VCC is working fine for me), AND paid out to the hotel 24 hrs before check-in. (That way they carry the loss if a No-Show, WHY NOT give them some responsibility?) OR

2. Give owners the facility to cancel immediately a reservation that has a time frame of 36 hrs and less before check-in if the ccard is invalid. (Guests can get the option to re-book with a valid cc )

We have opted for Booking.com "Risk-Free Reservations" and to date have not seen any benefits. Perhaps another topic we can debate under a separate heading.

I must give Booking.com credit for the fact that the majority of our on-line reservations is via them, so in certain areas they do perform well!! But, boy-oh-boy, when it comes to invalid credit cards..... Booking.com FAILED THE TEST!

What am I doing about invalid ccards? I message(via extranet) the guest advising them of invalid cc and inform them the reservation has been cancelled with immediate effect. I also follow this up with a call or text message. Only after I have done it will I follow the Booking.com procedure.

@ Office, I think your method of different rates/alternate booking site is an excellent idea and I will investigate it.

Lets hope Booking.com wake up and do something about our concerns.

You all have a lovely and blessed day!

Daan

1 year ago
1
Shoalshook

Yesterday I had a booking for 5 nights from a person in Switzerland. This morning that was cancelled. A few hours later I had another booking from Switzerland, for the same 5 nights, but a different person (name).

I assume that these are people just messing us about. Is there anyway of checking that either one or both are genuine? Or should that be down to booking.com to check out these people first?

I can't be doing with all this hassle - I have a life - no time for wasters.

1 year ago
5
David

Hi Shoalshook Try doing a pre authorisation for the first nights room rate on the credit card they submitted.

1 year ago
1
Myvacationrental Net

Your "solution" ties up my calendar whether they've paid or not and since i use other services like airbnb, vrbo, etc. It ties up those calendars too and so, in short, I'm not syncing with booking.com calendar.

I had a last minute guest show up at my property within an hour of creating a booking. They couldn't pay and didn't cancel and so, my calendar is booked on a monday without payment, this doesn't cost me one day. It can cost me the whole week.

Two things...

1) do not share the address until they've paid in full

2) do not tie my calendar until they've paid in full

1 year ago
3
Waikoninihomestead

I am new to booking.com. I had been asking for payment in cash when the guest stays which has worked well for most. As I have lost a huge amount with no shows and cancellations I have set up with my bank a facility so that I can charge guests with card not present. When I get the booking I charge the guest for the first nights accommodation (most only stay one night) then if the card is invalid there is plenty of time to sort that (24hrs) if not sorted the booking is cancelled. So far this is working for me. Yes, I agree that it would be so much easier if booking.com managed payment as airbnb does. I am surprised that booking.com is really not bothered with "no shows".

1 year ago
1
Nest Apartment…

Can someone help me please? I am new on Booking and I am trying to get as much as possible reviews for the first season - it is a mountain apartment. I was contacted by 2 guests who stayed in my apartment that they were not able to leave a comment and review for apartment. Both cases were booked on Booking.com. Did anyone had such experience and what is the way to solve it? Sorry that I am writing in different topic but this is the first one unlocked so I can leave my comment (question). Many thanks in advance!!!

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

Simples, ring BOOKING.COM and request that Guests with booking reservations numbered (have booking numbers to hand and guest names) are sent a NEW REVIEW LINK

.Booking .com will send them to your Guests, this is an instant thing so expect a response from your Guest in a day or 2.

I tried requesting this by Email within the extranet platform but it does not work, this like other issues, best phone for express service.

Have a good day

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales UK

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

I would LOVE to see Booking.com use a Credit Card BIN Check in the background to identify CANADIAN VISA/MASTERCARD DEBIT numbers and not accept them at the point of booking. The PMS system our hotel chain uses can NOT process CANADIAN Visa and Mastercard DEBIT transactions and as a result when a guest no-shows we are unable to capture payment for the no show, but still owe booking.com a commission.

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

JONATHAN GOODWIN

That statement as to your paying commission on a booking "NO SHOW" is incorrect, assuming here that Booking.com operates the same the World over.

Simply report as a "NO SHOW" after your close out time or early the next morning

To check, Go to your "Reservations" Page on the Booking.com Platform and it will show as Zero Commission, make take a minute or two to load.

Let me know if yours is different, I am assuming you are trading in the USA

Regards

Keith Spence Owner UK

ApartmentsWales.com

1 year ago
2
Salidainn

Mr. Spence

Actually, BC changed their policy recently, about 6 mos. ago. Now,, when a guest is reported as a

"No Show", BC asked if the property charged a 1 night Penalty. If you check yes, then BC charges a commission on that 1 night.

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

JONATHAN GOODWIN

Hi, I have just read your original post again and the answer is yes, I am and was aware of the new amendment to Cancellations for NR Bookings. But that aside you clearly state the following :-

I quote "and as a result when a guest no-shows we are unable to capture payment for the no show, but still owe booking.com a commission."

This tells me that you DID NOT MANAGE To make a payment, in ALL Cases Booking.com DOES NOT CHARGE Hoteliers, Provided you notify them of this, this maybe best in your case by telephone to explain your present situation.

They, Booking.com have integrity and like you or I they are simply trying to make a Business Profit, but what they are not trying to do and these are my insights, they are not trying to screw Hoteliers by Charging Commission where No Shows have not made a payment.

Also bear in mind that to check this is true they simply have to ring the Guest and ask them if a deduction has been made from their Card.

Regards

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales.com

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

I think that my comment was taken out of context.

Simply: In our system, when a Canadian Mastercard or Visa Debit card is processed it results in a "Transaction Error" in our PMS. We are completely unable to take payment.

All I am referencing is that it would be nice if Booking.com could incorporate a simple BIN check in their reservation process and reject any Canadian Visa/Mastercard debit cards ESPECIALLY the RBC Virtual Visa Debit as that can only be used online for online purchases and not at the hotel. A BIN check runs the first eight digits of a card number through a database that returns values that associate it with: What country, which type of card, which bank issued the card, whether or not it is a prepaid card, whether or not it is a debit card. You can see this by going to www.binlist.net

However, please do not misconstrue my comments and infer that I am accusing Booking.com of "Screwing Hoteliers" as our banking system in Canada is different than that of other countries and unlike the USA and Australia (from my work experience) where Visa/MC Debit are actual credit cards and can be used within our system, it just is not possible to do in Canada as the Interac Debit network is completely separate than the network which supports VS?MC/AX/JCB/ ... ETC

As Visa/MC Debit is relatively new to Canada, this is a problem with all OTA's where payment is processed by the property. When bookings are made, and paid, online such as Expedia Room Only bookings where Expedia in the USA processes the payment (this works with Canadian VS/MC Debit) it places properties in a position where when a No Show occurs, we cannot capture payment for the No Show and lose revenue and guests are (slowly) realizing this and it is actually hurting the hotel's ADR and REVPAR as it is becoming more and more common.

It is not the principal of whether or not a commission is charged, it is the principal that, in my opinion, I feel OTA 3rd party sites should assist us in recognizing these invalid methods of payment.

We cannot simply process the transaction through a pin pad and terminal as the card number will require a PIN to process and we are not permitted by company policy to record the CVV number from the cards for any reason whatsoever.

Despite including in our propertie's policies listed on Booking.com that Canadian VS/MC Debit cards are not accepted as a method of guarantee, Booking.com has no way presently of stopping bookers from using them as despite the cards having a valid credit card number, the actual transaction within Canada is processed via the Interac network, and only when those cards are used INTERNATIONALLY do they process like a Credit Card.

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

And yes, I am clear now that no-shows do not get charged a commission.

However on sold out nights where we could have sold rooms to guests during days of high demand, it is frustrating to have no-shows on canadian VS/MC Debit cards because we lost the noshow revenue as well as any walk in or same day res revenue because it was booked with an invalid card

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

Great Response Jonathan Goodwin,

I take onboard your plight, which seems somewhat unique to say the least.

Not sure if a telephone call to the Guest as soon as the booking arrives would work for you, we adopted this method prior to us being able to handle Amex Cards and worked quite well, most Guests I found are reasonable and do not want their booking cancelled out through lack of payment.

Fingers crossed Visa/Mastercard take over your Country soon and bring you into 2018

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales.com

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

Unfortunately it is not a PMS problem, it is purely the way our Banking system is set up in Canada. No hotel in our portfolio is able to authorize a Visa/MC Debit in Canada.

Unfortunately we do not authorize the card until arrival, or on days where we are at 95% occupancy or above. Until we receive our PMS update that automatically cancels 1.00 authorizations once approved we try not to arbitrarily authorize a guests card as the auth will stay on file for 7 - 10 business days, and in the event of a prepaid credit card the funds can be held for up to 90 days or more. With 204 rooms it isnt as easy to check every card upon receipt of booking as our property receives all booking.com bookings automatically so we dont always have a chance to check them.

Our banking system is quite good, although I do miss being able to directly transfer funds into someone elses bank account (you CAN do this here, but only if they are a client of the same bank chain) OR via Interac Email Money Transfer. In Australia you can transfer to anyone at any bank so long as you have the account details.

However, in order to manage this (to call each guest) we need to first unmask the credit card number then run the BIN through the BINCHECK website to determine the card type so as to avoid unnecessarily authorizing a guests card.

1 year ago
1
Deirdretours

I have been using Booking.com for just 2 months. So far, over 50% of bookings are no shows/cancels etc. Half the time the phone numbers and names are fake, the credit cards invalid and I cannot cancel without calling BC-- It is then a crap shoot. Some agents look at the obvious fake names (example: Deitrick Deitrick listed as full name), inop phone numbers and invalid cc and cancel. Others babble on on about how the guest must "agree" to the cancellation.

Woke up this morning to another last minute, obviously fake booking that will tie up my apartment until 3pm.

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

Well it sounds like you have been through the mill Deirdretours, what Country are you located within, I ask because we are in Wales and whilst we do not accept same day bookings, we have never experienced anything like what you have been saying.

Not that I doubt for a minute that you have been experiencing all these problems, but why?

I am sure that if this was the case for the majority we would just walk away and find another outlet like Trivargo,Tripadvisor, Airbnb, Expedia, Hotel.com and a million other OTA's

Regards

Keith Spence 0wner

ApartmentsWales.com

1 year ago
1
Daan Henning

@ Mr Spence

The only reason why I want Booking.com handle the finances, or actually the deposit is that they can immediately cancel the reservation if its fraudulent CC details.
I refuse to pay any % for this as I already pay a very high % commission for the little they do.
It would appear Booking.com wants the best of both worlds without any risk to them. That stinks man...😷😵
We all know that loss in turn-over can cause lots of frustrations and if Booking.com dont wake up with regard to this issue of No-Shows and Invalid CC they will eventually loose out big time. You can never ride the crest of a wave forever.
Thank God, our reservation via Booking.com represent only about 7.4% over last 6 months turnover. If I had to rely solely on Booking.com for my turnover I would have closed my business.
What may work for me,may not work for others, but since I made the changes as previously stated my cancellations/No-Shows dropped by more than 50%
Im strongly of the opinion that a 50% deposit with a NR is the best option. If a guest is serious about making a reservation at your guesthouse that should not be a problem.
STOP WORRYING ABOUT COMPETITION AND THAT YOU MAY LOOSE BUSINESS because other guesthouse ask less deposit and no NR
And you know what....I have time and time again guest returning irrespective of my policies.
Many more factors affect the satisfaction of a guest than a deposit or NR policies, starting right at receiving/welcoming a guest and hundreds more things.
Guys...I agree with all above said, lets not allow OTAs to dictate. take charge of your business and run it the way you see fit.
You all have a lovely and blessed weekend
Daan
1 year ago
1
Relax

To Deidretours I am in Australia / rural and am amazed at how many bookings and then cacellations we get.

thanks

Phillippa

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

HI Deidretours,

Sounds like time to make 2 rate catagories, one set at 100% full rate and the other at 80% for N.R. Rates

a) 100% free cancellation up to 2wks before arrival, no pre aurthorisation needed

b) 80% Non Refundable bookings, you take payment immediately using a virtual terminal online, with the likes of WorldFirst.com who charge 3% + 16 AUD pm fee

We actually do not take any bookings other than Non Refundable, preferring to get to sleep at night knowing that we are going to be paid no matter what.

Regards

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales UK

1 year ago
1
Daan Henning

Hahaha....I see posts now get moderated and pending approval.

I must have hit the sweet-spot.

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

Daan Henning

Might be a country thing, this moderation and pending approval thing or are you parting in your tweets some choice swear words?

I found my New Posts are checked, but my response such as this is instant.

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales.com

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

I will say, our biggest problem here is prostitutes. They only ever book through Booking.com

1 year ago
3
Mr Spence

Hi Jonathan Goodwin, snap,

We had a spate of prostitutes, but quickly figured out that the problem was not helped by us being a bit green and trying to encourage bookings by us dropping our prices, so much so that must have thought what the hell, it's cheap and a lot warmer than being out here.

Now Prices are higher and we just get a much classier agency worker (:

Keith Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales.com UK

1 year ago
1
Jonathan Goodwin

HAHA!

I worked at a hotel in Toronto where we sold our rooms on Saturday nights for $99 and we saw a lot of that. My new hotel is in a sometimes "seedy" area of town and the old clientele were frequently "Nightwalkers" so we have a fine print that a Canadian Debit Visa/MC is not accepted as guarantee.... yet we ALWAYS have problems.

So my issue is compounded further than previously discussed.... and thats why I want Booking.Com to incorporate a BIN check to reject Debit Cards in Canada.

1 year ago
2
Nassine

Well Said @Daan Henning , I'm hopeful for this change you mentioned to come soon from Booking.com "The only way Booking.com can assist us is in adopting a system where guests pay the deposit directly to them at time of reservation. All other booking sites use this system and is the safest way for hotel.I remain hopeful that the Booking.com team will find a solution to this. "

1 year ago
2
Salidainn

Be very careful what you wish for . I have never heard of an OTA taking a deposit, but who knows, maybe some off the wall OTA does. I have 99% solved my Invalid CC Problem.

1. I changed my Free Cancellation period to 2 days before checkin.

From May 25 - SEPT 30 OUR FREE cancellation period is 7 days before checkin.

2 When I get a new reservation, if the reservation is for a night further out than the free cancelation period, I pre-authorize the CC for $1.00. Just to make sure it is valid.

3. Once the Free Cancellation period has ended or for new reservations for the same day or for a day for which there is no free cancellation period left, I pre-authorize the card for the full amount.

4 If I get an Invalid CC, I find out immediately. I place a call to the guest, leave a message if necessary and depending on when the reservation is for, I give them a max. of 24 hours to call me with a new card. If the reservation is for the same day, I call the guest and give them 1 hour to call me back with a new card. If I don't hear from them, I cancel the reservation unless I have a lot of that room type left. The only time I will cancel the reservation is if I have none of the room type left.

If for example, I have 3 of that type left. Someone books one for the same day, I find out the CC is invalid. I will call or email the guest. I will then hold that reservation until 2 of my remaining 3 book, then I will call the invalid CC reservation one final time. If no answer, I cancel the reservation and leave a message that I have done so. I tell the guest, if they receive my message, to call with a valid CC and if the room is still available, I will rebook it for them at that time.

Mike

1 year ago
2
Nassine

@salidainn 🙏thanks

1 year ago
3
Stay

There should not be any grace period to update invalid credit cards. One should be able to cancel the booking immediately as guests who use credit cards that don't have enough funds in their account know very well that their card won't go through and they are just holding rooms while they search for better deals or until they are sure they will arrive. We should not have to waste so much time and risk loosing out on more trustworthy guests.

9 days ago
3
Mr Spence

In a perfect world, but unfortunately we are not in such a place.

In fairness to Booking.com in the last 3yrs it has moved stance many times on Card Failed to Pay and now the system is pretty much in balance for both  the Host and the Guest IMO.

Not everyone is out to get us, using stolen cards, incorrectly stated cards, there are a lot of geniune issues that can mean the difference of a booking or no booking and sometimes all it takes is just that little extra patience.

Funny but when I first read your post I thought you sounded just like me, when I first started the Business.

Best of luck

Mr Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales

 

8 days ago
3
Mr Spence

Boy, has this topic hit a nerve, or what!?!

My Personal TOP TIP, is to send every NEW GUEST an SMS Direct to their Phone, everyone reads their text messages (:

"Dear Kate, thanks for booking a NON REFUNDABLE Booking with us; We shall process your booking shortly. Please send me your Email Address"

99% of the time this works a treat and allows you additional info to enter into your Online Merchant Payment System ie the Email Address.

We never accept bookings without a PHONE or a Full POST ADDRESS, I am a firm believer in that it is our Ball and we play by our Rules. Not happy then please take your business eleswhere [ just don't tell them this (: ]

I am sure as eggs are eggs that there are a lot of people who only on occassion view their Email and then you have the Spam Mail problem, So when you write - Do Ask For a Response Email.

Booking.com Email system is a means of last resort for us, we have had issues using it and Booking.com interpreting what they believe they are reading and acting in-appropriately on the Guests behalf.

Mr Spence Owner

ApartmentsWales

9 days ago