guest takes room key card at check in desk of hotel close up 71533469

How to Handle Check-In and Checkout Processes Through Merchant Services For Hotels

July 21, 2021

Merchant services for hotels work a little differently from what you’d find in other industries. Instead of processing sales or issuing refunds, you will check in and checkout your customers. The process sounds simple, but you could potentially deal with chargebacks if you aren’t careful in your work. 

You must provide the proper dates for checking your customers in and out of a hotel when handling their credit cards. The customer’s issuing bank must receive the data necessary for ensuring an authorization for using the card. The effort ensures the customer’s protection while also keeping you covered if the customer has a later dispute.

The Consideration of Extended Authorizations

Hotels can utilize extended authorizations when collecting credit card payments. Your hotel can collect a guest’s credit card data and keep it on file. Your hotel can then authorize the card when the customer arrives. The customer will not be fully charged, as the authorization will stay on the card until your hotel finishes the sale.

The entire sale will not be fully authorized until the customer’s stay ends. It could take a few days, or it could take a couple of weeks. The extended authorization process can be risky, but you can keep it under control by running proper check-in and checkout processes.

You can use a new system to reduce the risk of chargebacks due to a card being open longer than necessary. The setup lets you list the specific time you’ll be keeping a person’s reservation open. You can charge the customer for whatever one uses at your hotel, plus you won’t risk a chargeback from billing someone for more than necessary.

Steps For Handling the Transactions

You can use these steps to manage the check-in and checkout processes when managing a sale at your hotel:

  1. You can check your guest in through a point of sale terminal you use through a merchant service provider. You’ll enter the card data and the amount you plan on charging the customer.
  2. Enter the room number the guest will use. You can produce a temporary key that works for whatever room the guest will utilize.
  3. List the number of nights that the person plans on staying in that room.
  4. You should get an invoice number for your guest’s stay. You can use this to manage the checkout effort later.
  5. The checkout process will start after the guest’s stay ends. It can start after the proper number of nights, or it can begin early if the guest has to leave on short notice. You’ll enter the guest’s invoice number here.
  6. Enter the final amount you will be charging. The total should reflect the daily room rate.
  7. Enter the tax rate you will charge. The tax rate will vary by location.
  8. Confirm the checkout time.
  9. The transaction will close, as the guest will have fully completed one’s stay at your hotel.

You can manage this process for merchant services for hotels to ensure you’re managing card transactions well. The effort should be about preventing chargebacks by listing the stay data for each guest.

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