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@Natalia. You're very right, however the only 'no charge' method is cash. I also believe Paypal refund the charge back when you refund the money? Bank transfer also incurs funds and is lengthy...
And as you said damages are usually discovered during cleaning not at check-out! I find this thing very time consuming and a big shortcoming of Booking.com. Airbnb works wonders.
I am in a similar situation in that I do not have the facility to charge credit cards because I do not have the machine and I have set up booking.com payments. My plan was to charge damage deposit via paypal however don't you think it turns off guests to ask them for an extra 200 Euro upfront (even though refundable)? It would be so much easier if booking.com takes care of charging this money just like airbnb does. I don't want to take the risk of not charging any money at all and I would like to know what other similar hosts are doing.
No I think credit card means you have EPOS machine, meaning you have the facility to charge credit cards. I have the same situation but I don't have the EPOS machine and I am not comfortable with charging damage deposit via Paypal because I'm sure it will turn the guests off and I never came across it when making bookings myself. I would like to know how other hosts in the same situation are dealing with it?