Today I have a hotel customer who wants to accept credit cards along with their reservations on their hotel website. They do not want to keep track of availability or even charge the card a deposit. They just want to get the credit card information needed so they can process the credit card off-line in-house on their existing credit card system.
There are lots of reservations systems out there with all sorts of bells and whistles for every conceivable situation a hotel might run into… but the problem is my customer doesn’t want any bells and whistles.
At first I was searching for “hotel credit card deposit form service” hoping to find a specific service dedicated to hotels who only want to process credit card payments off-line but except the credit card information securely. Found nothing.
Then I searched for “accept credit card reservations on your hotel website” and only two of the top 10 results in Google were relevant… the others were just hotel websites that excepted reservations.
One of the results was Instant World Booking which allows you to accept online bookings from your website with a secure credit card deposit for total cost of only 5%. Their major features are that they accept upfront credit card deposits, they have no show protection, cancellation protection, and you don’t need a merchant account, you don’t need a payment gateway, or bank applications are credit card processors. This result looks interesting but was not what I wanted. Moving on…
The other result that came up was Rezovation. Which offers a flat rate of $50 per month for unlimited bookings. They claim to be an easy streamlined way to accept credit cards from your website as well as standard check-in’s and phone reservations. This option integrates with quick books and he is even mobile phone friendly. Cool and not too expensive however it was not what I wanted.Finally I found what I wanted after searching for “encrypted form submission and retrieval”.
The solutions website had the following in their title tag: Website Forms Processor
And they had the following in their keywords: website, form, forms, processor, required, autoresponder, secure, ssl, captcha,spam,file,upload .
Nothing about hotels, nothing about payment, nothing about reservations, nothing about off-line credit card payments. So it is easy to understand why I did not find this website when I searched for “hotel credit card deposit form service”. None of those key words are used on the solutions website..
Furthermore there was nothing about hotels or credit card payments or or reservations in the first 500 words of the homepage.
To clarify here is the reservation process we need and this solution provides.
Customer visits hotel website and decides they want to make a reservation.
We are not making availability available online.
The customer enters in the dates he wishes to stay along with his credit card details on a secure encrypted page hosted under our website domain name.
The hotel receives an e-mail letting them know they have received a reservation. In the e-mail is a link to a website where they can login to a secure administrative interface. Here they can view an encrypted secure page that displays the credit card data and reservation details. The hotel can copy and paste this data into their existing reservation program or they can print it out.
If the dates are available for this reservation they will compose a new e-mail from their existing e-mail program letting the customer know the reservation has been confirmed. The hotel can then charge a deposit for the full amount using their existing reservation system.
Of course a system would work for all types of accommodations such as bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, resorts, cottages, or motels. It would even work for other types of tourism businesses such as car rental companies, tour companies, and others.
The solution actually allows you to choose if you want to capture payment immediately from the credit card or just capture the credit card details. You can configure the form to capture a specific amount, or an amount entered in by the customer. The form works with WorldPay as well as 2Checkout and PayPal.
Maybe later I will at some screenshots so you can see the solution in action.