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Cost savings and earlier activation dates for virtual credit cards

Updated 5 months ago | 3.5 min read
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As a result of Covid-19 and to protect the interests of our partners and their guests, we changed the activation date of all outstanding and future virtual credit cards (VCCs) to one day after check-in. We’re now in the process of reversing this change for certain eligible partners. We’ve also switched to a new virtual card type, which has cut processing costs by 25%.


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Earlier activation dates for VCCs

VCCs are one of the payment options we offer partners to streamline the booking process for their guests. If guests choose to pay online, they can do so using their preferred payment method, then we load that payment onto a VCC that partners can later charge like a regular credit card. Each VCC has a specific activation date and can only be used once.

To help you mitigate the unpredictability caused by the pandemic, we temporarily changed the activation date for all VCCs to one day after check-in. This change was intended to help reduce the high and last-minute workload associated with cancellations and refunds due to VCCs.

We’re now in the process of reversing this change for eligible partners with an established payment track record. To be eligible, you must:

  • Have processed monthly invoices in a timely manner for the last 12 months, according to payment due dates
  • Have no unpaid or written-off invoices from the past 12 months
  • Have no outstanding VCCs past the 60- to 90-day deadline when a guest refund is required
  • Have six months of partnership with Booking.com, including validated guest stays and reviews.

If you meet all these criteria, you’ll start to receive VCCs with earlier activation dates from week six of the following quarter. Your VCCs will then have the following activation dates:

  • Non-refundable reservations can be charged using the VCC on the day a reservation is made.
  • Partially refundable reservations can be charged using the VCC once a reservation becomes 90% non-refundable.
  • All other reservations can be charged using the VCC on the guest’s check-in date.

We review eligibility every quarter. If you no longer meet the criteria, we’ll go back to issuing VCCs with an activation date set to one day after check-in.


Reduced processing costs

To provide you with this payout method, we partner with VCC issuers that charge a certain processing fee. We recently switched to a new VCC issuer with a 25% cheaper processing fee. Depending on your agreement with your payments service provider, you should see a reduction in the fees you pay for the VCCs you get from us. Visit the Extranet to learn more about this.

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