The three forms of payment that most home owners will accept (when not using a listings site’s booking facility) are cheques, bank transfer or PayPal.
Many guests will still like to use more traditional forms of payment like bank cheques. I find this is more common with older clients (no offence intended here at all!). Bear in mind that cheques could take a while to arrive in the post, and can then take up to 5 days to clear once paid into your bank account.
Lodge cheques immediately and make sure the amount is correct as a popular scam is to overpay (one I came across once) and request a refund before the cheque bounces. Call your bank to be certain the funds have cleared before confirming with the guest.
Don’t accept cheques within 2 weeks of the stay and be very wary of accepting overseas cheques as these can result in scam transactions and subsequent refund requests. I believe it can take actually take anything up to 8 weeks for a bank to realise an overseas cheque is fraudulent.
The advent of internet banking has made this very easy and safe.
Guests making domestic bank transfers simply need your Sort Code and Account Number, while international clients will need your IBAN, Swift/BIC code (usually found on your statement) and occasionally your bank address. Make sure you ask your guests to reference their name to help you reconcile payment.
Funds will be received in anything from 2 hours (same domestic bank) to 5 days (overseas transfers).
Paypal is a safe and instant electronic form of payment. You can create a Paypal account which you will need to credit and withdraw from.
Paypal also facilitates invoicing direct to email addresses. https://www.paypal-business.co.uk/online-invoicing-with-paypal/index.htm
Guests can use credit cards (added protection) through Paypal and payments are more secure. this is a big selling point that many holiday home owners don’t exploit or even mention. You will lose a small percentage when receiving payments (typically 3.4% + £0.20 GBP) but it is still worth it to get the money in as soon as possible. If you are going to accept Paypal, it is very important to add this to your adverts as more and more guests are choosing this form of secure payment.
The main drawback is that you will lose a small fee to receive funds but it is worth it to recieve instant payment (especially for last-minute bookings).
Our favoured form of payment is Paypal, simply due to the security abd speed of payment received.
It is also possible to set up a merchant account with your bank to take debit or credit card payments but this can take time and will involve stringent and lengthy credit checks.
Avoid money orders/wire transfers or cashier’s cheques as these are regularly used by scammers.