Managing guest-related tasks
Learn how to manage guest-related tasks, such as payments, cancellations, and policies, with confidence and ease.
This section explains the payment options on our platform, along with essential policies that give you control over your listing. We'll also talk about guest cancellations and no-shows, and give tips to reduce their impact. By following our advice, you can manage guest-related tasks with confidence and ease.
Choosing a guest payment method
When your guests book a stay at your property, you have the option of offering them different payment methods, such as paying online, paying directly at your property, or both. How you get paid by your guests depends on the payment options and policies you set up during the registration process which can be found in the Finance tab of your extranet.
Payments by Booking.com
Depending on the location of your property, you may be eligible for Payments by Booking.com. With Payments by Booking.com, we can facilitate your guests’ payments for you. You’ll receive guaranteed payouts by bank transfer for all your reservations (depending on your property’s reservation policy).
Bank transfer payout timing is dependent on your property's location. Please note that payouts may be temporarily blocked until your property’s location is verified and you’ve provided all tax-related details.
Additional benefits of Payments by Booking.com
As a global platform, Booking.com caters to guests from various countries. By utilising Booking.com's payment options, you can enjoy additional benefits, including:
- More ways for your guests to pay: To make it easier for guests from any country to book your property, we partner with payment providers worldwide.
- Fewer cancellations: Guests who choose to pay online at the time of booking are less likely to cancel compared to those who choose to pay at the property.
- Fraud and card protection: We securely facilitate all aspects of the payment process on your behalf, including invalid credit cards, chargebacks, and fraudulent bookings.
Managing guest payments on your own
If you would prefer to handle guest payments yourself or are not eligible yet for Payments by Booking.com, you will be responsible for handling all aspects of the payment process including any fees.
- If you accept credit cards, you can either charge your guest before arrival or upon arrival/departure, depending on their reservation policy.
- If you don’t accept credit cards, your guest can pay upon arrival or departure in your local currency. If you want to charge a prepayment or damage deposit, you’ll need to contact the guest to decide on a payment deadline and arrange it yourself.
Managing cancellations and no-shows
When a guest cancels their booking, your cancellation policy will determine whether or not they need to pay a cancellation fee. While offering free cancellation options can attract more guests, it's also important to minimise the impact of cancellations and no-shows on your business.
If you decide to waive the fee for a guest who doesn't show up for their booking, we kindly ask that you mark the reservation as a no-show within 48 hours after the planned check-out date. This simple step will help ensure that you won't be charged commission for the booking.
Best practices around cancellations and no-shows
To minimise the impact of cancellations and no-shows on your business, there are a number of policies and practices you can implement. Here are some best practices recommended by Booking.com:
- Let us find a replacement guest: We can make your unbooked units more attractive by offering guests additional free cancellation options with our Smart Flex Reservations programme. If they cancel, we'll find a replacement guest for you or compensate you for the cancellation cost for the remaining unbookable nights.
- Review your policies and rates: Consider tightening up your cancellation policies during time periods when the most cancellations occur. Alternatively, offer an attractive rate to find new guests at the last minute.
- Diversify rate plans: Set up diverse Rate Plans in the extranet with a mix of Early-Booker, Non-Refundable and Flexible options. By offering more choice to potential guests you can get more bookings and reduce cancellations while still securing revenue from Non-Refundable rates.
- Resell your units: The earlier a cancelled unit is made available again, the more likely it will sell. Consider turning on auto-replenishment for your units, as that will make them automatically available to be booked following cancellations.
- Be responsive: Install the Pulse app for on-the-go messaging and set up messaging templates to address commonly asked questions. Guests who have questions after booking and receive timely responses are less likely to cancel and book somewhere else.
Deposit and prepayment policies
To help you strike a balance between protecting your interests and staying flexible for your guests, you can choose to set up deposit and prepayment policies. These policies let guests know if they need to make any payments before their stay and when they will be charged.
Unexpected situations may arise that prevent a guest from being able to follow through with their booking, so offering flexibility in these cases can contribute to a more positive guest experience and lead to better reviews.
How to report guest misconduct
In the unlikely event you have a poor experience with a guest, we’re here to help. You can report any incidents to Booking.com via the extranet or the Pulse app through the Report guest misconduct feature.
Reports can only be submitted if the guest misconduct matches one of the scenarios provided on the report tool, and you can do this any time from check-in to seven days after check-out.
Before you continue…
Before we move on to the next step, we want to assure you that the security of your revenue and property is our top priority.
- With our Payments by Booking.com service, we facilitate guest payments according to your preferred policy, providing you with fraud protection, fewer cancellations and guaranteed payouts.
- We also offer a variety of options and products to help you minimise the risk and impact of cancellations while making your property more attractive to potential guests. For example if you are already using Payments by Booking.com you get immediate access to Smart Flex Reservations.
Booking.com offers different payment methods for guests, including online payments, virtual credit cards, and cash payments. Online payments are the most common and secure method where guests pay through Booking.com and the property receives the funds.
Payments by Booking.com is a solution that facilitates all guest payments for you according to your preferred policy. Depending on your property’s payment settings, you’ll receive payouts by bank transfer for all your reservations made on our platform. Note: your eligibility for Payments by Booking.com depends on several factors, such as your property location.
If you are not using Payments by Booking.com, or if you are located outside of EEA*, to access a guest's credit card details on the extranet, follow these steps: log in, go to Reservations, select the guest's name or reservation number, click View credit card details.
If you are using Payments by Booking.com in EEA*, you won't need to validate credit cards yourself and you will automatically benefit from our new card validation and fee collection solution.
* This is the list countries where mediation is provided by Booking.com: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Once a guest makes a booking, it cannot be rejected. Guests may be able to cancel through a link in their confirmation email or their Booking account, depending on policies.
To set cancellation policies for a property on Booking.com, log in to the extranet and go to the Property tab, and under the Policies section edit “Cancellation and prepayment policies”. Choose a policy from the options provided or create a custom one, and make sure to review and save the changes before they take effect.
To cancel a Booking.com reservation free of charge after a guest request, log in to the extranet, select the reservation in your Reservations tab, click "Request to cancel reservation", choose a reason, and click send. Wait for the guest to accept, and once they do, you and the guest will receive a cancellation email. In case a cancellation fee applies, guests have to manage their reservation directly via the booking confirmation or their Booking.com account.
Booking.com charges commission for confirmed stays. However, commission is not charged if you waive the cancellation fee for partially refundable and non-refundable bookings, the guest doesn't arrive and the no-show fee is waived, or the guest’s credit card is invalid.
Booking.com offers two damage policy options for hosts: a deposit collected directly by the partner, and a damage program facilitated by Booking.com, which manages the payment process and contacts guests about damages.
If a guest behaves inappropriately or engages in misconduct during their stay at your property, you should report it immediately to Booking.com's customer service team.