When I first started renting my apartment 5 years ago I only needed Airbnb, but due to the aggressive marketing from Airbnb towards new hosts, it’s been necessary to advertise my properties on multiple holiday rental sites such as booking.com or Tripadvisor. When it comes to Booking.com, I’m advertising on their homestay section, which is more suited for private people renting their homes.
It’s very easy to attract guests from booking.com, but they provide no protection and you’ll have to collect the payment yourself. This is why its important to have a good insurance protecting you from potential damage or theft by guests.
Furthermore, you should upload a rental agreement or make your guests sign it before they check in, saying for example that guests are responsible for any damage etc.
Like some of the people answering above I’m also using stripe and it works good for me. If you cannot pre-authorise the payment, contact booking and they will try to reach out to the guest. If the guest still doesn’t provide a valid card, you’re allowed to cancel the booking with no penalties (but remember always to contact booking before you cancel).