Thoughts on bringing back the guest split payment (Group Payment) function to the platform

Hi everyone!

I recently had a discussion with an AirBnb guest who asked about the split payment feature and why the company decided to tak it down.

I did not mind it. Does anyone across the community have thoughts about it coming back or not and why? Keen to understand it a little more.

I don’t know if the split payment feature is still available to guests. I hope it isn’t.

I’ve had three guests (all during last summer) who did the split payment thing and then had problems.

Guest A’s credit card got compromised between her first and last payment. So the last payment didn’t go through. Took multiple calls to Airbnb by her and by me to get the ongoing reservation paid for.

Guest B got a message from Airbnb while staying here that the rest of her reservation was canceled. No explanation. She thought I’d canceled it. I hadn’t. Airbnb had somehow missed her second payment, which had gone through properly. Took more calls to Airbnb to get it resolved.

Guest C opted for split payment but Airbnb took the full amount up front from his credit card. He wasn’t prepared for that. He resolved that himself with Airbnb, but he wasn’t happy.

So if split payment is gone, I’m delighted.

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@StevenNYC89 I only host 1 guest at a time in my home-share, so I never personally had any experience with it, but from all I read on forums from other hosts, it was terrible for a lot of hosts because Airbnb gave the split-payment guests 72 hours to complete payment, during which time the host’s calendar was blocked for those dates. Then not everyone would pay up and the booking got cancelled.
I don’t see a shred of need for it, myself. If people are going to go on vacation with friends and family, they should be able to work out collecting the money themselves- it’s a piece of cake for someone to transfer $ to someone else online, there’s no reason to involve hosts in a a waiting game. If a guest can’t trust that their friends or family will pay their share, or the friends trust that the money they hand over to the one who is doing the booking will be used to pay for the reservation, why would they want to go on holiday with them?

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Thanks Rebecca. According to this community conversation on AirBnb they removed in back in 2018

It had wildly mixed reviews. Interesting insights though, especially about all the different cases that could go wrong for each guest.

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Well, my split payment guests were all here in the summer of 2019, with reservations made only shortly before their stays.

What the guest is talking about here are “Group Payments”, “Split Payments” are still allowed for 1 guest to break it into two payments with the last one being paid 14 days before booking. Group payments hold a host’s property/listing hostage. My one place was on hold for 72 hours for them all to pay, then 24 hours to let them fix it and then another 24 hours to notify them of the fact that they would be canceling the reservation. So, 96 to 120 hours blocked. When the reservation got cancel the same jerks rebooked an hour after cancellation for the same 5 days and pulled the same thing again in my high season. I finally got AirBnB to cancel it after no payment again for 72 hours. I was glad to see it finally removed.

Edited to add: Your cancellation policy had no effect during this whole time. They did not get charged a dime from any host though I think AirBnB still got service fees.

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Nope, wrong. Used it a month or so ago as a guest.

JF

What they removed in 2018 was the “Group Payment Option” the “Split Payment Option” is still available. Group Payment was split between 2 or more guests paying a portion. Split Payment is 2 payments split for just 1 paying guest.

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I booked an Airbnb last month and was offered the split payment which I accepted.

Payments
Payment 1 of 2
Jan 10, 2020 · 11:32AM EST

VISA •••• XXXX

I personally find it frustrating as a host that when I wanted to add fees such as early or late checkin/out. I wasn’t able to send the request until the second payment was made.

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When did they take it down @StevenNYC89 - it was working last week?

Sorry which community conversation @StevenNYC89?

I don’t allow groups, only pairs so I never had to deal with it. But I don’t even like the option to make two payments. Luckily I get very few of those since I raised my prices. Because my prices are higher people don’t book very far in advance which is better for my business model. Therefore I don’t support bringing back group payments and I wish they didn’t have split payments as a host. As a guest, I used it last summer.

I never heard of Group Payments which apparently is what the OP is actually referring to. I like the idea, but I definitely can see how it could cause issues because there’s always one person in a group that is too busy/lazy/broke/whatever to make their payment.

I believe this is the link the OP wanted to include:

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I haven’t heard of it, either. Doesn’t sound like a good idea.

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I really dislike it. I think that is something that Airbnb should stay out of. If people want to split payments they can trade funds independently of ABB on GooglePay or a handful of other ways, off platform. I have had issues with it and do not appreciate being put in the mix of a payment issue with guests. My issues have been (to name only a few): (1) GuestA mad bc GuestB didn’t timely pay their half (2) Guest credit card details change, by their choice or expired cards (3) Guest not having the funds to make their additional payment … Blah blah blah.

Airbnb has two jobs: Take the reservation, pay me for the reservation. I don’t want to be involved when ANY of their part gets messed up.

To quote, and expound on, @RiverRock: Heads in bed, payment in account.

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I edited the title because of the confusion over Split Payment vs. Group Payment. Thanks to @LiveOakVineyard for describing them.

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Thats a nightmare. I’m glad they took it down. I had a group who couldn’t fully book because they expected payment from all the members. Meanwhile the calendar is blocked for the period of time they are requesting and sometimes it happened that they changed their minds about the trip altogether after blocking my calendar for a week!

Why can’t someone pay and the rest can paypal or whatever beats my mind! why do I have to suffer?! I’m glad they removed this.

Hi all - thank you for your comments. I am not a high enough member yet to post links so I could not share the article but @Brian_R170 posted the right one and changing the title!

My post is not about ‘splitting’ one full payment into two it is about the ‘Group Splitting’ of a booking which relies on two or more people to complete their own payment.

I hear you about the nightmare. After some research I found this product, I don’t know if they are live yet but it seems that they want to solve a similar problem but off the AirBnb platform. Any thoughts on it? [link redacted by moderator].

@StevenNYC89 with your last post this thread has now taken on the feeling of spam. Often people with new products or ideas are looking to promote said product and stumble onto the forum. Because they can’t just post the link they sometimes pretend to be hosts. I don’t know if that describes you or not but that is why I removed your link. This particular forum of owner hosts isn’t interested in a product like yours/the one you described. Maybe the burgeoning group of “professional” property manager folks on Airbnb would be interested in “bringing back” group payments. However, if Airbnb couldn’t make it work it’s not good news for anyone else attempting it.

I’m glad they removed the group payment option. I only had a couple groups use it, but it meant I was fielding more questions about payments and payment timing. Only one issue with an iffy reservation holding up my calendar.

I dislike any policy that makes my job harder and group payments did just that. Good riddance.