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"Money Girl" on flickr, by Tax Credits (CC BY 2.0)While not every vacation rental owner accepts them yet, online reservations are gaining traction in the vacation rental industry. That means processing payments online is important, but choosing a vendor that fits your specific needs takes time and research..

PayPal has been a trailblazer in e-commerce for more than a decade, and for many businesses it’s the easy choice: a proven and familiar name in a space that’s new and still rapidly evolving.

Despite PayPal’s position as a leader, it’s a platform created to appeal to many different industries – and it may or may not be the right solution for your business. Over the past couple of years, the e-commerce space has been flooded with new options, and some might fit your needs better.

If you’re looking at online payment options, here are questions to ask a potential vendor. Continue Reading…

Whether it’s ease of use, a sense of security, or the attraction of points and other incentives, travelers think “card is king” when it comes to booking their accommodations online.

A recent survey by PhoCusWright found that among lodging suppliers – a group that includes vacation rentals – 68 percent of website bookings are made and pre-paid by credit card. With a predicted 98.3 million people in the U.S. booking travel plans online this year, that preference for plastic isn’t anything to sniff at.

And yet, a lot of vacation rental owners do – although not without reason. The same PhoCusWright survey found that vacation rental owners aren’t alone in their concerns about

  • Credit card fraud (accounted for 1.1 percent of bookings via company websites),
  • High processing fees (averaging 2.5 percent for credit card transactions), and
  • The actual process involved.
Graph: Travel Payment Concerns

Image by PhoCusWright. Used with permission.

As a result, a lot of owners turn away credit cards in favor of checks or money orders – neither method less likely to expose them to fraud, but perhaps easier to manage with low or non-existent fees.

But what does that choice cost their business? Continue Reading…

From movie tickets to home improvement projects, people are increasingly comfortable booking and paying for things online. The vacation rental industry has been a little slow to take advantage of this, but is change coming? We think so!

pay online button

Photo credit: vyancoskie

“Online transactions are a still surprisingly low % in this industry,” Jonathan Murray, CEO of MyVR, told Matt Landau of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog earlier this year.

However, Jonathan’s one of several experts who feel online transactions are ready to take off. Tom Hale, Chief Product Officer at HomeAway, also told Landau that 2013 “would have to be the year of ‘online booking.’”

Continue Reading…