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18006 Views 41 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2012 6:29 AM by johnspence RSS
New Member 1 posts since
Feb 16, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 16, 2011 8:14 AM

Credit Card Payments

I've had a couple inquiries where the potential renter wants to use a credit card to pay the rental fee.  I currently take personal checks.  How do I find out information about setting up credit card payments through the VRBO website?  I'm assuming there will be an additional charge--how much?  And does the credit card company then take another percentage of the billed amount?  Thank you--I appreciate any information you can provide.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2011 4:23 PM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Credit Card Payments

    Hello!


    It's a great idea to be able to accept credit card payments from your guests! Travelers feel more confident when they can pay with a credit card, as they have more protection from fraud.  Offering credit cards may give you a bit of an edge over listings that do not accept credit cards.

     

    If you want information about how you can accept credit card payments from your guests, please click here.

     

    (This program is not offered by VRBO.com, but by Payment Processing, Inc. We recommend this program for our members.)

     

    And in case you’re interested, here are a couple of related Community discussions about payments and processing credit cards.

     

    I hope this helps!

     

    Valerie
    Support Manager

  • karen.rigganforce New Member 9 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2011 10:13 AM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Credit Card Payments

    We only take credit card payments (VISA and M/C).  We've been using a company called Global Processing (Payment Processing) for 10 years and it's been wonderful!  We don't have to worry about checks bouncing, the fees are much lower than a bank's credit card fees and we write them off as a business expense.  It's a virtual terminal and I know in less than a minute if someone's card is good or not. We charge a $200 deposit then 30 days before their arrival date we run the card again for the remaining fee (unless it's a month rental then we charge a $500 deposit).  People like paying with their cards because many are on mileage programs so they earn more points.  I like the cards because I don't have to deal with banks, funds not being in accounts, etc.  I don't have a secured website so I call them to get their numbers which gives me a chance to call them and interview them.  I use a calling card for long distance calls (even overseas) which I'm able to write off on our taxes.  I highly recommend using this company and this form of payment!

  • New Member 9 posts since
    Jan 26, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 25, 2011 10:20 AM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Credit Card Payments

    See "Processing Payments" and "Accepting Payments" in the forum. I think most of your questions will be answered there.

    • New Member 2 posts since
      Feb 2, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 25, 2011 10:41 AM (in response to tsrv)
      Credit Card Payments

      We use PayPal for our credit card charges to guests.  All you do is to join PayPal (no charge) and hook your account to one of you bank accounts.  When you want to bill a guest, you simply fill out their form and send it along to the guests.  The guest enters their info via PayPal and the funds are deposited into your PayPal account..  There is about a 3% fee to do the transaction.  However, I let my guests know ahead that they will be paying that fee.  I then just bill them the rent + 3%.  This has worked great for us and is a secure way of obtaining fund AND letting the guest get their Frequent Flier miles. :-)

  • Contributor 62 posts since
    Mar 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2011 9:28 PM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Credit Card Payments

    Paypal works for us and in the slower months there are no monthly fees.

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 22, 2012 1:57 PM (in response to ravetildon)
      Re: Credit Card Payments

      What do you mean "in the slower months there are no monthly fees"?   There are never any monthly PayPal fees unless you insist on entering their credit card information yourself for anyone that doesn't have e-mail, which is pretty much no renter we've come across before.  Why pay $30/month to enter the card information when they can do it for free?  If the card goes thru it goes thru, regardless of who enters it.

       

      UPDATE (3/22/12):  I wrote the above 7 months ago, just before we started using Reservation Manager.  Now we can take the card directly over the phone too, with no additional fees!

  • patrickduncan HomeAway Employee 143 posts since
    Mar 21, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2011 3:19 PM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Credit Card Payments

    Hi everyone -

     

    I  wanted to let you know about a weekly ReservationManager  webinar where  we'll provide an online product demonstration followed by questions  and answers between you and the ReservationManager product team.

     

    View upcoming dates and register now.

     

    We look forward to your participation!

     

    Regards,

    Patrick

  • New Member 5 posts since
    Feb 28, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 1:00 PM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Re: Credit Card Payments

    I know many vrbo users who are not aware of the CC rules, or ignore them. In fact, this just happend to me last month - I was charged a CC fee on the entire transaction (rental, tax, cleaning and security deposit). This was not disclosed on the ad (nor in any communication from the owner - it was a "surprise"). Interestingly, the owner used the vrbo merchant processing system (PPI?) and there was a clear line item just for the added fee. Looked like this (cut and past from my online "recept"):

     

    Rental Costs:

    Rental Amount: $178.00

    2.5% credit card: $11.75

    cleaning: $50.00

    Tax: $30.21

    Sub-Total: $269.96

    Damage Deposit: $200.00

    Total: $469.96

     

    I balked, but the owner said take it or leave it. ;-) I found that interesting since it was indeed a last minute rental (like 36 hours) and figured that the CC fee would be absorbed as part of "doing business" (We're also rental owners and I'm self employed and I understand fully that some things *are* are part of doing business - and it's deductible!)..

     

    Anyway, I did send a letter off to the Floriday Attorney General - didn't cite the individual owner, but I did provide them with the merchant processor info (vrbo provided the phone number to me) in hopes that the processor would start cracking down a bit on these practices. It's wrong. End of story.

     

    Now, if an owner wants to advertise a higher rate and offer a cash discount, that's fine. But owners want a competitive rate listing so they try to list lower rates and then bump it up with a cc fee (again, that's deductible) when applicable. Again..It's wrong. End of story.

     

    ETA: Vrbo might want to look at how the 3rd party processor is linked via handshake to their admin system. The Florida AG did respond to me and asked for a copy of my receipt - I have it, and the URL is clearly

    https://admin.vrbo.com/haop/payment/rentalAgreement.htm?quoteGuid=b1779cf6c41947(xxxxxing out the details so don't click this link!!)"

     

    Which of course makes vrbo appear to be a party to this...........

     

    Message was edited by: jlazarus

    • bend2011 Contributor 163 posts since
      Apr 28, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 22, 2012 1:04 PM (in response to jlazarus)
      Re: Credit Card Payments

      I would be upset as well!  Last I checked, it is not even legal to add a credit card fee.  It is part of doing business and is set up to be absorbed by the merchant.

      What they are doing is not right and I am glad you made a point about it.

       

      Yes, offering "cash discount" is a great way to go and legal.

       

      Lara

      www.alluringbend.com

      • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
        May 25, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Mar 22, 2012 1:19 PM (in response to bend2011)
        Re: Credit Card Payments

        Of course the contract has to disclose any and all additional fees.  That's why many Property Management companies charge a "processing fee". That charge is completely legal, if spelled out in the contract.

         

        And yes, I know some owners offer a 3-5% discount for cash or check payment. Nothing wrong with that at all.

         

        As an owner processing my own payments, including CC ones, (I do not use PPI or Reservation Manager), I know that it is a business cost. I track it, and it is filed as a deduction when I file my taxes. I learned to adjust my rates a bit to include my business expenses.

         

        I doubt this is a criminal event. More likely,, the owner is not familiar with business and tax laws and just needs to be educated.

         

        By the way, in most states, the Cleaning Fee is a service- therefore not a taxable item.

        Debj

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Mar 22, 2012 1:53 PM (in response to msdebj)
          Re: Credit Card Payments

          Wait, I think that is an overreaction.  How do you know the advertised price isn't already including a standard cash or check price?  The merchant may offer credit card payment as a "convenience" but not require it.  And if they do offer it as an option or convenience then they can say so right there on the listing.  Nothing wrong with that.

           

          I do agree they should not charge a processing fee on the cleaning.  Also, to keep things simple, we do not charge the tax and instead include it in our fee.  As long as everything is disclosed and on the "up-and-up" I don't see any issue at all.  In fact, big companies do that all the time, for instance when calling by phone, etc. to pay certain bills by credit card they say there'll be a fee, whereas paying by other ways there's not.  Hotels also list prices without including taxes or hefty "resort fees" that you end up getting added to your rate.

           

          The important thing is that you don't have to pay too much or that you are paying a lower price once all is figured in. Some include tax and some don't.  One might say that too is unfair, as the advertised base rate for the ones who add tax as an extra fee will be lower than those who include it, so that can be misleading using your example too.  All you have to do is read what it says and figure what is the best price overall (whether it mentions tax included, cleaning fee include, extra fees or credit card processing, etc.).  Then you figure out the best rate and whether you want to pay by cash/check, credit card or find a place that may or may not be cheaper when adding all other fees.

        • New Member 5 posts since
          Feb 28, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Mar 22, 2012 2:02 PM (in response to msdebj)
          Re: Credit Card Payments

          After years of paying tax on cleaning fees for vacation rentals in Florida (and both my sister, an attorney, and I balking each time), we finally looked it up. And, in certain municipalities in Florida, if the rental is available for rental periods of less than 30 days durations (i.e., nightly or weekly), then yep, the owner is actually supposed to collect tax on the cleaning! So my sister and I were wrong on our assumption all those years, lol....

           

          It has to do with a the rental being more like a hotel than say, a long term apartment lease. (Of course hotels don't usually charge a separate cleaning fee; it's wrapped up in the total rental fee..) But still, I was surprised, because we assumed it was a service and not taxable as well! Not sure how this is in other states.....

           

          But I've had 5 separate vrbo rentals charge a CC fee (we do lots of last minute trips, lol). I totally get why, but irks me a bit when it's a surprise because it's not supposed to be (techinically, not supposed to be charged at all for pleasure of using a CC, but business owners *can* offer discounts to cash payers).

           

          Thing is, because of the wording (very clear, both with the CC companies Visa/MC as well as Florida Statue), a renter should never even SEE a CC break down on a receipt - at all. Shouldn't. Even. Exist. They can be offered a discount, but never charged a CC fee. So the fact that the processors are even including it as a line item could land them in hot water.

           

          Oh, and it's a misdemeanor....

           

          Statute Reads:

           

          501.0117 Credit cards; transactions in which seller or lessor prohibited from imposing surcharge; penalty.

          (1) A seller or lessor in a sales or lease transaction may not impose a surcharge on the buyer or lessee for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller or lessor accepts payment by credit card. A surcharge is any additional amount imposed at the time of a sale or lease transaction by the seller or lessor that increases the charge to the buyer or lessee for the privilege of using a credit card to make payment. Charges imposed pursuant to approved state or federal tariffs are not considered to be a surcharge, and charges made under such tariffs are exempt from this section. A convenience fee imposed upon a student or family paying tuition, fees, or other student account charges by credit card to a William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant eligible institution, as defined in s. 1009.89, is not considered to be a surcharge and is exempt from this section if the amount of the convenience fee does not exceed the total cost charged by the credit card company to the institution. The term “credit card” includes those cards for which unpaid balances are payable on demand. This section does not apply to the offering of a discount for the purpose of inducing payment by cash, check, or other means not involving the use of a credit card, if the discount is offered to all prospective customers.

          (2) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

           

          http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0501/Sections/0501.0117.html

           

          (Basically punishable up to 60 days in jail, and/or $500 fine)

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Mar 22, 2012 2:02 PM (in response to jlazarus)
            Re: Credit Card Payments

            Oh, there are also many companies that boldly advertise gas prices but then charge more for using your debit card when you pay (such as "Arco/AM PM" locations).  Maybe it's different by state.

             

            As long as they allow me to pay only the advertised price, I don't mind.

            • New Member 5 posts since
              Feb 28, 2012
              Currently Being Moderated
              Mar 22, 2012 2:10 PM (in response to swlinphx)
              Re: Credit Card Payments

              It's perfectly legal to have dual pricing models.That's what some of our local gas stations are doing. It's perfectly fine to say "This is our price xxxx" and "if you pay by cash it's xxxx".

               

              I've not heard of one that charges *more* for debit card! That's nuts!! And I'd wonder about the regulations on that!! And if the debit card is basically run as a Visa charge, then I don't think they CAN do that....hmmm...weird!

               

              But yes, I'm sure different states have different rules. But we're also talking about Visa/MC rules as well - they have their own.

              • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
                Aug 30, 2011
                Currently Being Moderated
                Mar 22, 2012 2:18 PM (in response to jlazarus)
                Re: Credit Card Payments

                Arco, which charges more for debit transactions, does not show two prices on their big gas price signage; they show the lowest/cash price.  It tells you in fine print when you go to swipe your card.  They do not allow you to run it without a PIN #.  But they do tell you up front at the machine and I have the option not to use my card and still pay the advertised price.

                 

                Credit cards are a convenience, not legal tender.  It would be different and unfair if an owner said we do not accept checks and forced you to pay by card w/fee, yet listed the price without.  But like I said, if I don't have to pay by card and if tax is included, etc. then I just go by the final price compared to other rates.

    • dianeb New Member 7 posts since
      Jul 20, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 23, 2012 10:53 AM (in response to jlazarus)
      Re: Credit Card Payments

      I believe Florida Statutes prohibit adding an extra charge for credit card fees BUT they do allow one to offer a discount if paid by other means.

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 23, 2012 12:27 PM (in response to dianeb)
        Re: Credit Card Payments

        Arizona doesn't, but either way when you think about it, it's two sides of the same proverbial coin.  No matter how you state it, they pay more by credit card and less by cash or check.  Semantics really.

        • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
          Jan 17, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 23, 2012 12:32 PM (in response to swlinphx)
          Re: Credit Card Payments

          It isn't just about semantics. There is a psychological component.

           

          Some people want the best price and some people don't care. From my perspective, using a credit card is a convenience (and often provides "rewards") so, for now, my customers are paying for that convenience.

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 23, 2012 12:40 PM (in response to lce0606)
            Re: Credit Card Payments

            Ice, I'm basically agreeing with you.  Some are saying it is ethical to charge less for cash & checks and advertise the credit card rate as the normal rate, while claiming it is unethical to consider the cash & checks the normal rate and charge more for credit cards.  My whole point is, in both of these cases the reason for the extra charge (or lesser charge) is to recoup the credit card fee.  So it is semantics however you want to phrase it, psychologically.

             

            I agree that as long as guests are aware and have a choice, there is nothing wrong with charging a "convenience fee" for using credit cards, at least if not illegal in one's home state.

      • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
        Jan 17, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 23, 2012 12:30 PM (in response to dianeb)
        Re: Credit Card Payments

        My property manager (in Florida) uses a surcharge for credit card payments so I have started to do that also.

         

        When we rent in Hawaii, they want credit card for deposit, but balance by check only. That's what I have been doing, but now I will let people pay the balance by credit card, but if they do, I charge a "convenience fee" to cover my cost.

         

        I'll keep doing that until someone "official" tells me I can't.

  • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
    Jan 17, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Re: Credit Card Payments

    To add to the discussion, I have tried both PayPros (PPI) and VacationRentalPayments (VRP), the 2 processors supported by HomeAway/VRBO ReservationManager (RM).

     

    PPI advertises that they charge a flat 2.5% on all vacation home rentals.

     

    VRP charges 2.5% basic, but 3.75% for reward or international cards.

     

    I had VRP linked with RM until PPI decreased to flat 2.5%.

     

    Now I have discovered that PPI has an additional fee for an VISA charges - based on volume.

     

    If someone uses a VISA card for my $200 deposit, my effective rate is now 5% if I use

     

    PPI. PPI does not have this information on their site and their customer service department states that it is "not their fee" - just a pass-on from the VISA network.

     

    This significantly changes how I look at the comparison between the 2 options and wanted to share with people on the forums.

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 14, 2012 1:57 PM (in response to lce0606)
      Re: Credit Card Payments

      Now I have discovered that PPI has an additional fee for an VISA charges - based on volume.

       

      If someone uses a VISA card for my $200 deposit, my effective rate is now 5% if I use

       

      PPI. PPI does not have this information on their site and their customer service department states that it is "not their fee" - just a pass-on from the VISA network.

       

      Very good to know Ice0606!  You may have seen all along that I have referenced where I was told long ago that there are some hidden fees from PayPros/PPI.  I figured that must've been their monthly charge for transaction fees instead of after each transaction, but this really changes things.

       

      Can you elaborate on what causes the 5% jump?  Using Visa for a mere $200.00 charge wouldn't seem to cause something like that.  Surely there must be fine print somewhere on their site where you can find this info.  Visa does not charge additional fees other than transacation fees.  Others here who use PPI haven't mentioned any other (or increased) fees like that.  I'd be curious to learn more.

      • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
        Jan 17, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 14, 2012 1:53 PM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: Credit Card Payments

        Yup. I remember your reference to fee, swlinphx.

         

        And I had said there were no fees which is what I had been told, and experienced, up to that point. (I try to use personal checks whenever possible.)

         

        I wasn't aware of this new fee until I reviewed my most recent statement that showed it - with no clear explanation.

         

        However, the customer service person emailed the disclosures that I had never received previously and apparently this new fee went into effect April 1, 2012.

         

        It isn't actually 5% all the time. There are tiers based on volume.

         

        However, the way I got hit was because I had one charge for $200 deposit, incurring $5 for 2.5% service charge and $5 tier 3 VISA charge. So my fees for one $200 charge were $10 - or 5% of total charge.

         

        Email from PPI calls this new fee a "Fixed Acquirer Network Fee" (FANF). I haven't researched it yet but suspect that you can do an Internet search. (I will be doing that when I have a little more time.)

         

        No fine print that I could find as of now - just this letter that they allegedly sent out, that I didn't receive until I called customer service. They are trying to say it isn't "their" fee so it doesn't count as incorrect advertising to say they have a flat 2.5% fee.

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 14, 2012 2:03 PM (in response to lce0606)
          Re: Credit Card Payments

          They are trying to say it isn't "their" fee so it doesn't count as incorrect advertising to say they have a flat 2.5% fee.

          Very strange.  If it is indeed their fee (and others don't do this) that makes them rather dishonest to say the least. If it is something others are now doing (or is indeed a fee from Visa, which I doubt) then I would want to know if all who take credit cards will be affected.  I don't understand this "Tier 3" charge they are quoting you.  If anything, those who process in volume are eligible for reduced fees, not increased.  Perhaps their 2.5% reduction for both domestic and int'l. transactions last year was a gimmick to lure people away from VRP, and then once they got enough signed up they started to introduce these other fees to compensate for it.

           

          Please do keep us posted about what you learn.

          • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
            Jan 17, 2012
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 14, 2012 4:06 PM (in response to swlinphx)
            Re: Credit Card Payments

            From what PPI's letter said, this is a fee entirely based on VISA transaction volume.

             

            There is a fee schedule table that was included with the letter. There are tiers 1-16 that are different monthly gross sales volume ranges, each with their own monthly fee. For example, tier one, sales volume less than $50 has $2 fee; tier 4, monthly sales volume $1,000-3,999, has a fee of $7.

             

            So if I have charges of $1,001/mo. or $3,999/mo. I will have an additional fee of $7/mo.

             

            If you search for for "Fixed Acquirer Network Fee" or "FANF" there are other forums and blogs discussing these changes.

             

            It appears that at this point it is just for VISA charges and it is VISA's response to the Durbin Amendment that was passed last October. My guess is that VISA is large enough to test the waters with this and shortly the others will do the same thing.

             

            The feeling (on the blogs & forums) seems to be that the government regulators (Durbin Amendment) impacted the credit card companies and now they are pushing back.

             

            So, not a gimmick by PPI, but instead, they are in a position of needing to deal with a new fee passed along because of federal regulations.

             

            I suspect that is why the PPI customer service representative suggested refusing VISA. If enough people protest VISA they might reconsider.

             

            Unfortunately, VISA has enough of a presence in the credit card industry that people won't be able to boycott in order to make a difference.

            • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
              Aug 30, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jul 14, 2012 5:43 PM (in response to lce0606)
              Re: Credit Card Payments

              Great to know Debj and Ice0606.  I had not heard of this, but I do realize that recent government impositions have incentivized credit card companies to fight back however they can.

               

              I wonder if this means all processors will add this fee on (for Visa transactions only, at least for now) or if it is up to the processor to "eat" the charge.  For instance, PPI and VRP both charge 2.5% (at least for U.S. & Canada) whereas PayPal is either 2.9% + 30¢ (or 3.9% + 30¢ int'l.).  Maybe since PayPal charges a bit more (and because they don't want to have separate fees for MC, Visa and Discover (they already do for AmEx) they won't add the extra charge.  I'm going to see if I can find anything out about PayPal and VRP adding any additional fees in relation to FANF.

               

              I found this article very interesting on all the things to watch out for when it comes to choosing a credit card processing company and all the possible hidden fees.  You may get something out of it too: http://www.cardfellow.com/blog/credit-card-transaction-fees/

      • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
        May 25, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 14, 2012 2:05 PM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: Credit Card Payments

        I was notified in March, 2012 by my processing company that VISA enacted a new fixed acquirer network monthy fee of $5.00, not 5%., IF I processed a VISA transaction that month. This is in addition to my 2.1% transaction fee.

         

        In April 2012 they notified me that the Debit Network Interlink ( a banking exchange)  was enacting a new Travel Service Category, for MCCS, effective May 1, 2012 that would be billed at 1.19% + 0.135 per transaction with no maximum.

         

        Other changes were made to Debit card transactions. These were  allindustry standards. My processing company is just passing them along. I get a detailed accounting each month, but it does take some time to figure out all the  fees that VISA and MCCS now charge for the pleasure of accepting their cards.

         

        I don't use PPi or Yapstone, but I'm sure these guys are not going to just eat these new costs. Eventually they will pass them on to you, the merchant.

         

        Yep, they get ya, coming or going when you use credit cards, echecks, etc. Easy never comes cheap, and certainly not free these days.

        Debj

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 14, 2012 2:16 PM (in response to msdebj)
          Re: Credit Card Payments

          If VRP/Yapstone starts charging this and if they get exhorbitant or unpredictable, I may go back to using just PayPal.  I wonder if PayPal has any plans to start charging this too.

          • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
            May 25, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 14, 2012 2:53 PM (in response to swlinphx)
            Re: Credit Card Payments

            I think the Anti Trust settlement yesterday ( re: VISA and MCCS) may have given merchants some wiggle room to pass on charges to their customers. However,  THAT ( if upheld) may open up another headache in a can! 

            Regardless, the banking industry will find a way to get the fees they want, one way or another.

            Debj  

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 14, 2012 6:36 PM (in response to swlinphx)
            Re: Credit Card Payments

            UPDATE:  I just spoke directly with both Yapstone (VRP) and PayPal by telephone.  Both know of this new FANF fee but say they have no plans to pass the fee onto the customers (merchants) at this time, either as an increase in the transaction fee or as a monthly fee based on tier level.  Apparently, it is up to the processor if and when they want to pass on this fee.  

             

            Incidentally, I also read about new MasterCard fees being implemented as well while researching this.

            • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
              Jan 17, 2012
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jul 14, 2012 8:53 PM (in response to swlinphx)
              Re: Credit Card Payments

              Thanks for the update, swlinphx.

               

              It is helpful to know that the fee doesn't have to be passed on to merchants. So, essentially, the PPI customer service representative was not being truthful when she told me they have no choice about charging this fee. Between stretching the truth here, and not making sure their merchants received the notice they allegedly sent in March, makes me a little wary.

               

              It makes sense that MasterCard and Discover will also pass along the fees - I had seen reference to that on some of the forums/blogs while I was looking for info about the FANF fee..

               

              For me, it will mean reevaluating (again!! - I just switched from VRP to PPI on ReservationManager) based on international vs domestic and whether the 3.75% for VRP international & rewards is lower than this new pass-through Visa fee.

              • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
                Aug 30, 2011
                Currently Being Moderated
                Jul 15, 2012 1:28 AM (in response to lce0606)
                Re: Credit Card Payments

                Sure thing Ice.  The PPI customer service rep wasn't wrong in that they themselves were not levying this new fee and had no control over being charged, just that (like any industry fee) they don't have to pass it along to the customer/merchant.

                 

                I guess it all comes down to how much international billing you do.  Keep in mind that (unlike with PayPal) both Canada and the U.S. are considered domestic when using Yapstone/VRP, not international, even if you're in the other country.

                • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
                  May 25, 2011
                  Currently Being Moderated
                  Jul 15, 2012 4:54 PM (in response to swlinphx)
                  Re: Credit Card Payments

                  PLEASE remember that these forums are not a place to get legal or accounting advice. We only offer our opinions,personal experiences, and suggestions..

                   

                  I find it fascinating that a Credit Card , etc. processing company would not  pass on new federally regulated fees they are required to pay, but I guess anything is possibe in today's banking world. Maybe some are willing to decrease their profit by doing so. What a great thing THAT would be. ;-)

                   

                  ALWAYS verify your personal situation by speaking with the entities you have a financial agreement with.

                   

                  Regards,

                  Debj

                  • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
                    Jan 17, 2012
                    Currently Being Moderated
                    Jul 15, 2012 5:11 PM (in response to msdebj)
                    Re: Credit Card Payments

                    Agreed that forum discussions are not meant to be legal or accounting advise. Hopefully anyone "in business" would not make that assumption.

                     

                    Actually, these fees are not federally mandated.

                     

                    The Durbin Amendment was the federal regulation attempting to restrict fees that Visa, MC, etc. charge.

                     

                    In return, Visa is the first to push back and institute new fees to merchant service providers.

                     

                    The FANF fees are entirely Visa.

                     

                    Internet research indicates that MC and Discover are going to also introduce new fees, but haven't as of now.

                     

                    It appears (also from internet research) that the merchant service providers do have the option of passing the Visa fee along to merchants - or not. Clearly they have flexibility in the fees they charge to merchants; otherwise there would be no difference between VacationRentalPayments (VRP) and PayPros (PPI).

                     

                    I'm thinking that PayPros already discounted as much as they felt able by going down to 2.5% flat rate for HomeAway/VRBO customers and don't want to absorb this additional fee.

                     

                    Understandable, but it would have been nice, in my opinion, if they had made sure that their merchants (us) were notified before the fees showed up on statements this month.

                    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
                      May 25, 2011
                      Currently Being Moderated
                      Jul 15, 2012 5:31 PM (in response to lce0606)
                      Re: Credit Card Payments

                      Ice , you're correct to a certain extent abt. the Dobbs act. Saddly, IMHO, it doesn't go far enough, but I won't discuss that in these forums.

                       

                      I say again, that we business owners need to make SURE we are aware, and  receive IN WRITING all documented changes to fees from any financial entity we authorize. You should always receive a clear explanation of any changes made to fees, etc, IN ADVANCE of such.

                       

                      My biggest fear about RM  ( and other offers) and what it offers is that  makes it seem too simple for the new or uninformed owner. Many are new to the process and want to simplify- which is fine. 

                       

                      I'd like to think most are aware of the tax ramifications, liability involved, etc. when they rent out their homes, enter in contracts, etc. , but that's not always the case.I know it took me some time (and I got good suggestions from these forums).  And, I 'm lucky, because I have great accountant.

                       

                      As I said before, I'd love to see a processing company willing to decrease their earnings in orde to benefit the merchant. We shall see how this works!

                      Debj 

                      • lce0606 Contributor 126 posts since
                        Jan 17, 2012
                        Currently Being Moderated
                        Jul 15, 2012 6:44 PM (in response to msdebj)
                        Re: Credit Card Payments

                        Hi Debj,

                         

                        Personally, I wish things worked fairly and there didn't need to be so many regulations. This is such a great example because the federal reg ultimately resulted in new fees to counter-act what they were trying to regulate.

                         

                        The credit card companies are too powerful to be slowed down by regulators. Bottom line is the small business people got more fees while the big box stores can still negotiate their rates.

                         

                        Plus, we (small merchants) have to be ever vigilant in order to keep track of how we're getting hammered next.

                         

                        Unfortunately, we often don't know until after the fees have already been deducted from our accounts.

                         

                        You're probably right that RM makes it look to easy and homeowners may get unpleasant surprises until they figure it all out. - Statements aren't as clear as I'd like either.

                         

                        Bottom line, though, is that the credit card processors HomeAway/VRBO contracted with still give much better rates than if we, as homeowners, had to negotiate our own merchant accounts.

                         

                        Now that I found these forums, they are a great way to share information among homeowners. But I find that the organization of topics makes it hard to know how to find the best discussion thread on which to post.

                        Lynne

                        • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
                          May 25, 2011
                          Currently Being Moderated
                          Jul 15, 2012 7:17 PM (in response to lce0606)
                          Re: Credit Card Payments

                          It can be tough to figure out these forum at times! A few present as "experts", but thats just human nature. 

                           

                          Hang in there! I've gained a lot from all of these forums over the years! You'll figure out the posters , after a while!

                          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
                            Aug 30, 2011
                            Currently Being Moderated
                            Jul 15, 2012 9:41 PM (in response to msdebj)
                            Re: Credit Card Payments

                            I find it fascinating that a Credit Card , etc. processing company would not  pass on new federally regulated fees they are required to pay, but I guess anything is possibe in today's banking world. Maybe some are willing to decrease their profit by doing so.

                             

                            As I said before, I'd love to see a processing company willing to decrease their earnings in orde to benefit the merchant. We shall see how this works!

                             

                            Debj, just because a merchant or service provider has a sale or doesn't increase fees when competitors do does not necessarily mean they are decreasing profit.  In fact, it can mean just the opposite.  The transaction fee you said you were paying your processor was considerably lower than others so your processor may have decided to pass the fee along.  Perhaps Yapstone/VRP knew they would have an edge if they didn't pass along the fee if PPI/PayPros was going to, much in the same way that PPI/PayPros may have benefited by deciding to lower their transaction fees last year when Reservation Manager was introduced with Yapstone/VRP as the processing engine -- it made them more competitive and probably evened out the playing field.

                             

                            In that respect, Yapstone/VRP may turn out to be the ones who prosper with that decision.  Also, PayPal has such volume of Internet business and are already charging a greater transaction fee than any of the others mentioned that it could be detrimental (and unnecessary) for them to pass along the fee.

                          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
                            Aug 30, 2011
                            Currently Being Moderated
                            Jul 15, 2012 9:44 PM (in response to msdebj)
                            Re: Credit Card Payments

                            It can be tough to figure out these forum at times! A few present as "experts", but thats just human nature. Hang in there! I've gained a lot from all of these forums over the years! You'll figure out the posters , after a while!

                            Actually, I've found most posters to be very helpful in many respects, both new and senior members.  I know there are many topics I have both been thanked for being informative and helpful to others yet at the same time I have learned by asking questions from others (this thread, regarding this new FANF fee being a perfect example!).

                             

                            The only time I think it can be misleading is when a poster states something as fact because they misunderstood, like a recent poster that said e-checks can be "reversed" even after 6 months.  This sounded completely inaccurate to me and the other posters, and when I double-checked I found it was not true.  An e-check, like any check, can only "bounce" or have insufficient funds to cover it, but that should be known within a week or so, and certainly not reversible after 6 months.  However, because the poster had the e-check funds deducted from their account a few days later (most likely due to insufficient funds), he viewed that as e-checks being "contestable by the payer at any time", like a credit card, and went on to erroneously explain that there are e-checks that work just like credit cards, which is not so.  E-checks work just like checks, except they are not paper-based.  Unfortunately, this poster became furious when corrected and went on a personal attack.  That is one thing I find disturbing, how things can turn into a personal attack if someone differs or does not agree.  The forums should always stay cordial and civil.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jul 31, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 3, 2012 6:29 AM (in response to jaufdenspring)
    Re: Credit Card Payments

    Its a great idea !! Using credit cards for paying rent will be very good option and it will be a convenient option for them .

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