Unique problem? Need host help and advise. Guest wanting to book from India

Hello Everyone,
I am a host in Canada. My first overseas guest from India would like to book my whole house for two weeks. Very sweet payout. The problem… There have been many problems in India with the government setting limits on daily money withdrawals and denouncing high currency bills. My guest is asking for alternate payout method other than credit card or net banking. Those are his words. I will call Airbnb later although I trust fellow host experiences more than Airbnb rep advise.

He has been an air member since DEC 2015 but has no reviews. I only allow guests with reviews to book instantly.

Anyone had any experience with getting paid from guests from India? The total booking amount is over $6000.
Any bankers out there with some knowledge about the current situation with Indian banking?



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Yes, @faheem will be able to tell us more. There has been a situation with high currency bills but I don’t see why this should affect a credit card. And all Airbnb transactions are via credit card so it sounds to me that he’s either not quite understanding the system or (possibly) trying to get his booking away from the platform as a private transaction.


I have guests arriving from India next month. There was no problem with their CC payment via PayPal but it wasn’t anywhere near the numbers you are dealing with. I will write and ask them whether there is a limit on daily money withdrawals by the government or other entity.

Interesting, last month I had guests from Russia on their third stay. When the invoice for the balance was sent to them (over $2,000), they said their CC payment kept getting blocked. It had never happened previously and their stays were of equal length.

After another failed attempt, we decided to do several invoices for lesser amounts. I prepared three invoices and sent them one after another. The guest paid each one and they were all processed without a hitch. We still don’t know whether it was a regulation by the government or bank that set a limit on the per transaction amount.

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Hi @Sonia,

The currency issues are certainly a problem, and still exist (I assume you are aware of the whole demonetization disaster), but it does not affect electronic financial transactions at all. I.e. if he has money in his bank account, nothing about the demonetization affects his ability to send money wherever. Though I’m unclear if there might be foreign exchange issues - I’m don’t know whether one can pay for a North American Airbnb reservation in Indian currency. But that’s an entirely different issue, and one of long standing.

So I’m unclear what issue your guest has. Ask him for more details. And what alternate payout method is he proposing? And would Airbnb be able to work with it?

If you have any other questions about the Indian side, feel free to ask. I’m not a financial expert, but live in India, use banks (including doing electronic transactions), am an Airbnb host, and have had all the fun of living through the demonetization nightmare.

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Thanks Everyone,

He told me it would be difficult to pay by credit card or net banking. He said it is due to the demonetization in India. Maybe I will ask him to go ahead and try to book. I hadn’t pre approved him yet. He doesn’t have any past reviews and I’m hesitating…

Just having some butterflies in my tummy. (A bit of nervousness). My home is best suited for 8 and he has a large party of 10 family members coming. So far the extra guest fee after 4 people has not been mentioned as an issue. I try to discourage larger groups with this fee but the two week booking in current unbooked month is… oh so tempting! I know some guests on this forum say go with your gut. But my gut always errs on caution and I’ve had some wonderful guests that I had unsure feelings about initially and then they turned out to be wonderful.
This will be my first guest from overseas. Everyone so far has been North American. So I am excited and nervous at the same time. The newness of my hosting must be coming through in this message. lol

Does Airbnb process payment right away? I know I don’t get paid until after check in but does Airbnb process immediately and hold the money?

All communication so far has been through Airbnb portal. I will ask my guest what options he his aware of and if bank transfer is an option. Then I will ask my bank if they accept rupees and convert them to Canadian dollars for my account.
I’ll keep you posted and may have further questions if they come up.

That may be an option. Separate smaller invoices. Thanks

That does not make sense to me. Again, ask him to elaborate.

Yes, Airbnb takes all the money in advance and holds it.

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I just spoke with a rep from Air.
Airbnb will reach out to the guest and let him know the payment options. There is a credit card method of payment called PAYU that is widely used in India according to the rep.
I don’t want to process payment myself or worry about that side of the business. So I’ve decided Air can assist him with payment and I’ll worry about the hosting side of things as that can be busy in itself I’m sure if I get this reservation for 10 guests:)

Worst case scenario if he can’t book with air and still wants to rent I’ll ask him for a certified check to be sent via courier immediately.

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I would not do that! There are so many scams involving you banking the cheque that looks certified but weeks later it can still bounce. If he can’t work out payment with Air, I would not take the chance!


Don’t handle payment yourself, there is a chance of chargeback. $6000 is a large amount and getting the payment through air means it sits in your pocket without problems.
As for gut feeling about guests, I have hosted 4 groups so far, to my surprise, the guest I had doubt about (not very good at communication, not very friendly), turned out to be my best guests so far. They left my place in really good condition, cleaning took 2 hours only. The guests I felt most comfortable with (good communication, very nice and friendly on arrival), left my place messy and stained 80% of the 30 towels I prepared for them (my other guests at most stained 3 towels only). Cleaning was a pain. I wonder why Airbnb doesn’t provide a short term and long term stay cleaning option. I intend to charge higher cleaning fee for long term stay because it usually takes at least double the time to clean (long term stay already has at least 10% discount, and less profit).

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Given faheem’s response this sounds like a scam to get your bank account or other details!
Someone that deals with that sort of money should be more financially aware of the issues faheem is raising.
Then again it could just be someone that likes to fly under the radar and feels a large transaction will trigger scrutiny.
So I’d say be very careful.


Can’t you send them a series of Special Offers so each offer adds up to the amount you need, plus a hassle fee that doesn’t draw attention?

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OK Martha, good advise. Our bank had told us this is the most secure method of payment. The certified bank draft. I didn’t even think that could be risky or fake. I must be naive.

We’ll wait and see what happens. If the guest says it is the large one time withdrawal that is the issue then I could try breaking up the booking so that it equals the right amount. I never thought of that option. If it is the cc payment option that is an issue than probably better to just let this one go. Communication takes a while with this guest due to the vast time difference.

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If this is a scam, and I don’t know that it is, then they will smell that you are desperate for the booking. That scent is what all scammers look for. Then they reel you in. Stick to the AirBNB platform. If one large credit card transaction is the problem, make it into smaller chunks. Otherwise, I would walk away.

DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING EXCEPT AIRBNB CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS. Otherwise it could cost you the $6000, not pay you.


After reading all your helpful replies it sounds like several smaller invoices, so back to back booking, is the safer and leads likely to be scammed in any way, to go. Let us know how you get on :blush:

I would be very concerned, India is seeking to move people to Banking from a Cash society so this is nothing to do with that, quite the opposite.

Payments are handled by AirBnB and for whatever reason he seems to be looking for a work around, as others have mentioned lots of scams involving checks.


My Indian guest (arriving next month) sent me the following response in answer to this issue:

“The Indian government recently recalled high value currency notes (of Rs.500 and Rs.1000) denominations. The intended purpose was to unearth black money. They are issuing a new series of high value notes with a different design, and given the population of India, banks are having a hard time coping with the demand for the new notes. Hence there’s a temporary limit on how much hard cash can be withdrawn within a period. However, there are no limits on digital transactions like credit card payments or bank transfers, which are at once transparent and also don’t need currency in physical form. However, all this has to do with Indian currency in its physical form. I am not sure how this relates to a USD rental amount. We have a different set of rules in India for foreign exchange, and a problem if any, is most likely to originate from there.”

So, as far as your (future) guest’s supposed problem with paying by credit card, it does not appear to have any basis.