One of the most important features Open Hotel's Property Management System offers, is the seamless ability to process payments. When you have an online system it is required to connect with a gateway in order to process secure payments from guests using a credit card.
The first step is to sign up to a gateway such as Authorize.net or SlimCD, which Open Hotel integrates with. These gateways will connect to your merchant so that monies can be collected and deposited in your company checking account. For help to get started please click here for more information.
This article will give you a clear understanding of how gateways work as well as give you advice on best practices to suite your hotel needs.
Credit Card: There are 4 actions that Credit Card Processors Use:
1. Authorize - verifies credit card has funds and will hold the funds for 24 hours. Each gateway is different, there may be longer hold times but this is not determined by Openhotel.
2. Capture - charge is successfully ran
3. Credit - refunds or partial refunds
4. Void - cancelling the transaction before the capture charge hits the account
Using a Payment Gateway: There are three setup options when processing credit card information in the gateway:
1. Nightly Batch - the nightly batch will authorize the credit card immediately when the payment is entered. Then it will capture the charge when the nightly batch runs that same night (typically 10pm for Authorize.net clients), unless the charge was ran after the nightly batch was processed, then the charge will be ran in the next day's batch.
2. Run Charge Now - this process will override the nightly batch and authorize and capture the credit card payment immediately. This option should ONLY be used if
3. Pre-Authorize Card - this option will authorize the credit card only. It will not run or capture the charge. The funds will be released typically in 24 hours (depending on your banking institution or gateway provider) and will take the hold off the credit card. This option is not typically used. An example: to hold the funds if they opted to pay cash when arriving. If this option is chosen you must remember to run the card after the 24 hour hold, in order to catpure the funds successfully.
- The Credit card was declined before.
- Running an extra charge such as room damage or an extra fee
- Exceptional circumstances (based on management's decision)
**Note, if you run a pre-authorization the funds much be ran manually to capture. The nightly batch will not count the pre-authorization.**
Credits/ Full or Partial Refunds: There are 2 Types used in the system.
1. Linked Transactions - Credit to the original charge that has been captured These are issued by clicking on the original payment status and selecting Refund in the Action drop down menu. You can issue full or partial refunds.
2. Unlinked Transactions - Credit given not using the original charge that was captured These are issued by selecting payment type Credit Card, choosing the card you would like to refund (can be original or different card), type in the amount to credit under the Amount to Charge and select the Refund option below it. Click Add Payment. Support for unlinked transactions varies wildly by payment processor. Authorize.net requires the feature to be activated by filling out paperwork.
Voids: Voids will only be an option if the credit card has been authorized but not captured.
- Voids can only be processed through linked transactions. They are the same process as the linked transaction above in Credits, except instead of "Refund" Void will be the only option.
- Voids can only be ran for the entire amount of the transaction. There are no partial voids. They will clear any held funds that were authorized
CLIENTS SHOULD NEVER LOG INTO THEIR GATEWAY ACCOUNTS
AND PROCESS PAYMENTS EVEN IF THERE IS AN OUTAGE! THEY MUST PROCESS THEIR TRANSACTIONS THROUGH
THE OPEN HOTEL SYSTEM ONCE THEY ARE LIVE Additional Notes:
- Clients should use Nightly Batch when setting up the gateway settings. If they choose At Time of Booking the credit card will display all activity on the credit card statement including Authorize, Captures, Credits and Voids. This option will also create a higher transaction fee for the client. Also, if the transaction fails for any reason it can prevent the guest from booking their reservation since it takes the payment up front.
- By Using the Run Charge Now option the client will be charged an additional 25 cents per transaction.
- Clients that have Linked Transactions can not credit a payment that was not originally processed through their gateway. They will have to run it through their old system and then issue a hotel credit on Open Hotel to zero out the reservation balance.
- Once you have processed a credit card there is an expiring period where you will not be able to issue credits using Linked Transactions (ex. A charge that happened a year ago will not be able to be credited).
- Currently, Open Hotel software does not have the ability to decipher between if a credit card has been swiped or manually keyed in. However, due to the newest chip requirements scheduled to be in effect by October, there will be some new programming requirments whereby this will be included.
- Clients need to contact their merchant if they have questions on the best way to set up their gateway account.
- Open Hotel allows for both card present and card not present gateway accounts.
If you would like to process unlinked transactions Authorize.net requires you complete the form below
- Gateway reports may not match exactly to your audit report, if charges are ran at different times. Clients need to contact their gateway regarding those reports as well as funds being transferred to their merchant.
and submit it to your Authorize Representative.