Use our data-driven guide to capture late-season demand.


Online Payments - and pre-arrival deposits

Hi -  Online payments seem promising - particuarly with the Euro SCA changes coming.

However, as setup by, the online payments is incompatible with polices that allows you to set.

For example - booking allows a policy of collecting a damage deposit one week before arrival.  This is IMPOSSIBLE with online does not provider you the ability to bill the VCC before the arrival date...and the amount on the VCC is for the rental cannot include the damage deposit.

And if you have ONLINE payments does not share the customers credit-card info.  So, you cannot "require a valid credit card for booking" and use "online payments"..


Seems a bit more work is required to make these offerings usable...(at least to me)

Profile picture for user i
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

I've posted about damage deposits before .... I've had long running disputes with BDC over this ....


I view damage deposits as essential as they help protect owners and future guests. If guests do cause damage, the deposit may not cover the costs of the damage, but it can help, if we choose to claim on the deposit. We also have to remember that if we do claim, guests can dispute the claims or write bad reviews - good reviews are worth far more than a few quid claim on a damage deposit.


The most important thing is that when a guest has paid a damage deposit, they tend to take more care of the property because they want their money back. That's great, because if they look after the place, it's available for the next guest. If they trash the place, we might have to cancel bookings at the last minute (on the day of arrival) - that is totally unfair on us and future guests.


The simple solution is for owners to use Payments by and for BDC to authorise cards for an additional £75 or £100 at the time of booking, just the same as AirBnB / TripAdvisor etc. But don't want to do this because, in their words, they do not trust property owners.


Yes, that's right - do not trust owners, like we are a bunch of criminals.


I have 3 properties listed on BDC. 2 have settings that say the damage deposit can be paid by bank transfer (direct to my account), the other says it will be collected in cash on arrival and refunded in cash on departure. We can't do that as we have self catering properties accessed via key safe - we rarely meet our guests and we cannot wait at properties for hours for them to travel possibly hundreds of miles with a ferry crossing that might be delayed, and cannot expect guests to wait outside a property for us to arrive after the guests have had a long journey.


After lengthy discussions with BDC, they allowed me to set an automatic email reply, which is sent immediately after a booking, asking guests to pay the damage deposit by bank transfer. They allowed this for all 3 properties. This didn't work as guests generally don't read the messages sent to their inboxes.


We also had a separate problem with guests printing the booking confirmation and arriving without the access codes to the property, because they hadn't read the messages in their inboxes.


To resolve both "reading messages" problems and to get a damage deposit from the guest, BDC said to add information to Property > View your descriptions > "The Fine Print". This is visible on the booking confirmation which they tend to print out. Our "Fine Print" includes the wording " Please note that a refundable damage deposit of GBP 100 is required. Guests should check their inbox for payment information."


This now partially works and we get some damage deposits paid - we have to chase for others. BDC have also said that if a guest does not pay the damage deposit, we should contact BDC to report non-payment and they will contact the guest. Of course, knowing how useless BDC support is, they will take one look at the policies, deny all responsibility and almost certainly refuse to do anything.


We do now have a separate bank account for damage deposits by bank transfer - this will make it much easier to track who has paid their deposit and to track all refunds.


As a tip, if you go down the road of automatic emails with bank details for damage deposits, remember to ask guests to provide their bank details too. We spend a vast amount of time chasing guests to send their bank details for their refunds ......

Bart Elewaut 8 months ago

Hi, I did the request for the adjustment of the FINE PRINT. 

May I ask how your property obtained the following option: One has settings that say the damage deposit can be paid by bank transfer (direct to my account). 


My property now can only accept cash and I cannot change this. (Already had one stress-discussion and possibly a not so perfect review to come. ) I want also a bank transfer or paypal transfer, and after inspection I pay back immediatly.

Thanks for the response!