Making your own website: Tricky question about payments handling

Hey, guys I know this might be tricky one …

For my VR website, I’m thinking how could I solve the payment problem so that the guest could feel confident about it. As you know with Airbnb or other VR sites, they are the middle man that handles payments and, IMHO, releasing the payment to the host AFTER the guest first 24hs is one of the safest security layers the site has against your own website that might require a direct payment to you to secure their reservation.

So, I was thinking, what about digital checks. A third party that lets you send a digital check so that the buyer can get the money later, say the day after check-in. However, I find so little about digital checks that this is why I’m asking if you know if there is such service. For example, Paypal has their echecks but the clearing is in about 6 business days after making the check, so clearly, this is not a solution for me. I would like the third party to collect the money right up front but release it to the seller in a date defined by the buyer/seller which will be the day after check-in. Just like Airbnb does, but with a different third party company. Have you heard about a service like this?


Why would you?

If a guest does not trust you with their money, then you don’t want them.

All our guest pay a 20% deposit (by bank transfer) to confirm the reservation, and the rest upon arrival.
I never had any problems.

If they do not want to pay, then I do not want them, because it is a red flag.

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Just set up to take a credit card. It is safe for the guest. Not that safe for the host.

I’m using Lodgify, it’s very easy to set up a booking website for your vacation rental with them and their system also handles payments and bookings from different channels, including direct bookings.

What you are looking for is called an “escrow” account. I believe ebay offers them. Perhaps you could have a listing on ebay and direct your customers there.

But most people are comfortable with a credit card. They can initiate a chargeback if they have issues.

Someone on this forum recommended Venmo for payment to my cleaner. So far, it’s worked beautifully. Even have my LTRs paying their rent this way. And there’s no fees!!

I would just set yourself up to accept credit cards. Of course, you can essentially do this via PayPal. If you want a secure payment form type of thing, many of the property management software systems will do this (another responder mentions Logify above), but I use Orbirental, which helped to solve many other web site issues for me (e.g., calendar, booking widget, etc.).

I wrote about this at length in the following article, which you might find useful as I discuss quite a number of issues involved with creating your own vacation rental website:

BTW, as for Venmo: do not use it for business payments. While it’s owned by PayPal, it does not offer the same payment protections. Venmo is for “personal” payments like splitting the check with your friend at lunch. Their terms of service do not allow for business payments and they extend no protection to the buyer or seller. Basically, don’t take money from strangers on Venmo – you are setting yourself up for fraud.

Best Regards,

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Just found this post Keith. Thank you for sharing this as I am now thinking about a standalone site or at least a branded link with design pop and most important, mobile-friendly.

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