The WebReserv booking system now supports staggered payments. This allows you to require a deposit at the time of reservation and an additional amount prior to arrival. In order to use this feature, you need to be set up for automatic payment processing using one of the recommend merchant account providers.
To configure your product(s) for staggered payments, go to Setup – Products & Reservation Rules – Product – Tax/Deposit. Select Custom/Staggered as the deposit type and enter the payment amounts or percentages.
Once you have activated staggered payments, the system will automatically charge the customer card the specified number of days in advance if the reservation is confirmed. The system will not charge automatically if the reservation is pending or cancelled.
The WebReserv booking system now receives IPN (Payment Notifications) from PayPal. This makes it easier to keep track of reservations that have been paid and reservations that have not been paid.
When a PayPal reservation is made, it will be marked with the status Awaiting Payment.
This status indicates that the system has not yet received a payment notification from PayPal. As soon as the payment notification is received, the status will automatically changed to Pending or Confirmed, depending on the setup.
It can happen that a customer does not complete the payment process with PayPal. The WebReserv booking system will automatically cancel the reservation after the expiration time. The default expiration time is 15 minutes after the reservation as made. You can adjust the expiration time or turn off the automatic expiration under Setup – Business Information – Payments.
Note that PayPal may send a Pending payment notification. A pending payment notification indicates that the payment is pending, but not yet completed. The WebReserv booking system will treat a pending payment notification as if a payment was received, i.e. the reservation status will change to Pending or Confirmed.
We are pleased to announce the release of the Quickbooks Merchant Services (QBMS) payment gateway. The QBMS payment gateway makes it possible to use Quickbooks Merchant Services directly with WebReserv.com.
This is great news for businesses that already use Quickbooks for accounting as it is now possible to use a single merchant account for both WebReserv reservations and credit card charges made through Quickbooks.
The QBMS payment gateway can be used by all businesses that have a WebReserv Gold or WebReserv Enterprise account.
If you do not have a merchant account with Quickbooks already, we have a great offer for you: Sign up for Quickbooks Merchant Services and get it for free. That’s right – no setup fee, no application fee and no service fees for the first two months. Take advantage of this great offer, by calling Quickbooks Merchant Services at 1-800-601-3751 and mention Web Reservation Systems, Inc. to take advantage of this offer.
WebReserv now supports credit card processing through the following payment gateways and merchant account providers:
National Merchant Alliance
Quickbooks Merchant Services
Official Payments (municipalities, state and federal)
As always, you can automate credit card processing through WebReserv with all merchant accounts that are compatible with Chase Paymentech.
With online bookings you have several different methods for receiving payments from your customers. Which method applies to you depends on several factors, including the volume of bookings and the value of each booking.
Many businesses require a credit card to reserve a product or service. The reason is simple; credit cards allow the business to receive the payment right away. In most cases, the booking process is automated and will not even allow a booking to take place unless the customer provides a valid credit card.
Since credit card payments can be automated, businesses with many bookings tend to prefer this payment type. Another benefit of credit card payments is that many online booking systems keep the credit card on file. By keeping the credit card on file, the business can charge remaining outstanding deposits to the same card.
In order to process credit card payments, you must set up a merchant account for your business. The merchant account functions as a connection between the credit card companies and your bank account. Many banks provide this service, but specialized merchant account providers (also called ISO’s) may offer better terms and are typically more familiar with online payments and credit card terminals.
The one drawback with credit card payments is the cost. It is common to pay $25-$30 per month just for having the merchant account, whether you use it or not. In addition to the monthly fee for the merchant account, you will be paying a transaction fee for each transaction. The transaction fee may either be a percentage of the amount or a percentage of the amount plus a fixed fee per transaction, typically $0.30.
The transaction percentage, often called the discount rate, depends on the merchant account provider, your industry and your sales volume among other factors. It is common to have transaction fees around 2.5% – 3.5% of the total sale.
It can be worthwhile to shop around between different merchant account providers to find the best option (low transaction cost and monthly fee). However, bear in mind that you also want to use a merchant account provider or bank that understands your business and online transactions. You also want to make sure that your merchant account is compatible with your online booking system.
PayPal was invented to create a method for people and business to transfer funds electronically without having to go through the hassle and cost of creating a merchant account. It quickly became the preferred payment mechanism for companies like eBay. Although PayPal has gained some traction outside of eBay, it is still more common for most business to accept credit card transactions over PayPal transactions.
In order to accept PayPal transactions, you have to create a PayPal account. It’s free and can be done in just a few minutes. With PayPal you can accept payments from other PayPal users. You can also upgrade to a business account and accept credit card payments from non-PayPal users. In this case, PayPal essentially becomes the merchant account for you.
PayPal charges a small fee for PayPal-to-PayPal account transfers and a larger fee for credit card payments through PayPal. For business with high volume of credit card transactions, it is worth comparing Merchant Account and PayPal rates.
There are some drawbacks of PayPal compared to credit card payments. Most importantly, PayPal payments go to a PayPal account and you will have to transfer the funds to your own bank account. While the funds are transferred around the PayPal system, and until the funds are transferred to your bank account, PayPal earns the interest, you don’t.
With PayPal you don’t have a credit card on file. This is an issue in cases where the business needs to charge outstanding deposits to the same card. With a credit card/merchant account, you can charge the balance due, but with PayPal you’ll have to ask the customer to initiate the funds transfer.
The use of checks (or cash) for deposit payment is declining for many businesses. There are two reasons for this; the use of checks delay the payment processing and introduces manual labor in the process. First you have to wait for the check to arrive in the mail. Secondly, you have to bring the check to the bank and sometimes you have to wait for the check to clear depending on the amount and the state in which the check is drawn.
In total, you should expect 10-15 days processing time for checks. The booking must be held during this time. This is important to take into considering, especially for bookings in the near future.
For example, say that a booking is made for your vacation rental one month from today. You receive the check in the mail and give it to the bank but unfortunately the check bounces. You cancel the booking. Now you only have 15 days left to rent out that same time that was held for this booking, and it will often be difficult to book another customer in such as short timeframe.
Tip: You can reduce the clearing time by requiring your customers to send a cashiers check.
Charging a deposit
You should require an initial payment, the deposit, at the time of booking. The deposit payment is a down-payment for the service and serves to keep the customer committed to the booking. If the customer later cancels the booking, some or all of the deposit may be refunded to the customer depending on your business rules.
If there is no deposit, the customer may not show up (often called a no-show) and you have lost revenue by keeping the service or unit reserved.
The deposit amount depends on the type of product or service, the value of the booking and the difficulty it will be for you to sell the same product or service later on if a customer decides to cancel a booking.
For the full article and more online payment tips, go to http://www.webreserv.com/articles/20090128
You can now view, download and print a report containing all transactions registered in WebReserv. The report includes all automated credit card transactions, credit card transactions performed using the Virtual Terminal and Cash/Check transactions entered for each reservation.
To view or print the report, to do Frontdesk – Reports – Transaction Report. Tip: All WebReserv reports can be downloaded as CSV and imported into most spreadsheets and databases.
With WebReserv.com, you can now process additional charges when your customer’s creditcard information is on file. To process additional charges to the creditcard on file, click view/update payment information from the reservation screen and select Charge creditcard on file. From the same menu, you can easily process refunds to the same creditcard.
For security reasons, you should never refund to other cards than the creditcard that was used to make the original payment. The reason for this is that some hackers may try to make a reservation with one (usually stolen) creditcard and request a refund to a different card, thereby pocketing the money while leaving you to cover the charge back.
Click here for more information about additional payments
Click here for more information about receiving credit card payments