Guest with no credit card?

Asking on behalf of a fellow host.
He accepted a booking request from a guest. Everything went smoothly until one day after the guest checked in. It was at that point that the host realized the money had not been paid.
It turns out the guest hadn’t registered a credit card with Airbnb. In fact the guest (a young student, first time using the site) did not have a credit card at all.
The host was forced to ask for payment directly from the guest in cash.
This is obviously very irregular, but it indicates that a guest can sign up and make a booking request without a credit card.
Is this true??

Also, in the same vein, would it be possible for a guest to book with an invalid/bouncing credit card?

How could that have happened??? The Japanese “version” of AirBnb cannot be that different from the one here in the US!!!

A guest cannot register if they do not have a credit card – the registration would have failed. I’ve had one or two guests, where, when I accepted their request to book, and Air started to “run the registration”, I have received a notice from Air that their was a “problem” with the guest’s card, and the visit was pending, not accepted. Then an hour or a day later I get a message saying the visit has been accepted.

Didn’t think this could happen. Was it a same day stay & book?

So technically they could sign up without a valid CC?

No it is not true. Guests have to submit a valid credit card/payment channel. Sometimes if there is a problem with the card BNB can notify a host.

Your friend’s case sounds rather strange. Did he not phone BNB for advice at the time?

How would the student have travelled without access to a card?

The request was for a next day stay, and the guest was a local (a Japanese student whose apartment was being renovated).
I guess what happened is that the host gave the keys while the reservation was still pending.

Yes, this is possible.

A guest can sign up without creditcard, and can even book without creditcard.
The guest will be asked fo the creditcard data after booking.

The status of the booking will go on “pending”.
If the arrival date is before the time limit of the payment, the host is allowed to receive the booking and collect cash.
AirBnB will even confirm this in an email they send you.

I had this happening to me one time when a guest booked for arrival the same day, and the payment was still pending.

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Thanks Chris for confirming that. We will beware of this in the future.

If the host gave the keys while the reservation as still pending, THAT is a major, and foolish error by the Host, which goes against all sorts of AirBnb rules! If the guest refuses to pay, the host has no way to force him to pay.

A guest can sign up to AirBnb without a credit card, yes. I have NEVER heard of being allowed to book without a credit card. I would sure like to see a copy of an AirBnb email which verifies that a guest does not need a credit card.

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You are correct, in retrospect it was ultimately the hosts fault for handing over the keys without a confirmed reservation. However, he had assumed that people needed to have a valid credit card to join and make booking requests. That was my assumption too until today. So a valuable lesson for us.

A guest can click the book button and the dates will be blocked, and AirBnB requires payment within 24 hours. The guest can click the booking button without having any CC data. If AirBnB has not received the CC data within the 24 hours the booking gets canceled.

AirBnB send me a letter that they were not able to get the payment before the first check in time, and I had 2 choices, decline the guest upon arrival, or collect the money myself. I still have the email somewhere in the mail archive on my other PC, I will look for it tomorrow.

When this Pending payment thing happened to me I still could not contact the host directly… In her case, the fraud alert stopped her from booking Hawaii… and then it was lifted and went through.

Your friend is so lucky that the guest agreed to pay in cash. All’s well that ends well.