Where and How Do You Process Charges?

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Generic's picture
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Until now we have always asked guest into our private living room to deal with payment. But we are thinking of changing this and moving the credit card processing machine to the entryway and buying a tablet so that we can see the bills electronically and process guest charges outside of our private living room. But this has lead me to ask how others do it.

Remember, in Canada we have Chip & Pin, so we need to use the physical card and the guest my be physically present, unless we get one of the very expensive wireless handheld units.

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Skamokawa's picture
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We have a reception desk.  We swipe the card at check-in.

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We kept the credit card machine (swipe) in our office, which was just off a second reception hallway on the ground floor of our main house.  All I did was just step in the office and run the card at check-in, then step back out with their card, credit card receipt, and the signature copy for the merchant.  No guest was allowed in our office and it was always locked to protect guest information.   They got a finalized receipt from my guest management software at check-out.

JB brings up an excellent point about information that can be gleaned from the machines.

I worked at an inn where everything was in an unsecured office adjacent to the kitchen and out there for anyone to see - booking calendar with credit card numbers, names and addresses, credit card machine, business records, etc.  I advised the owners to lock everything up.  I hope that they did do this eventually.  It was a nightmare waiting to happen...

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Bommelhoeve's picture
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It is a good idea to keep a chip/pin emv machine locked away or otherwise secure, this is recommended to prevent tampering (skimming).

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Generic's picture
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I talked to someone today and we will likely find a cash box and drill a hole in it so that we can lock it all away. 

As far as I know, you can't duplicate a chip card, only magnetic cards are open to skimming.

Joey Camb's picture
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it can be done I am afraid.

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muirford's picture
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 We keep the rolltop down and locked except during the actual checkin process, and the key is in our owner's quarters.  We couldn't find an antique with a working lock so we got a reproduction.  We bought it from a local antique place that also does repros, so I'm afraid I can't help with a link.

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Highlands John's picture
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We have a chest of draws in the hallway, our card machine is in the top draw. I drilled a hole in the back of the unit so the wires go straight out the back to the power and telephone sockets. There is enough loose cable to open the draw, take the machine out and put on the top when required,  for easy access by us and the guest. When it's in the draw nobody even knows it's there.

Works really well for us.

 

    

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 I like your style HJ. What a tidy hallway bureau.

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Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 I like your style HJ. What a tidy hallway bureau.

I had the same thought. Very nice.

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Anon Inn's picture
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And now we all know it too.  These pix I would not have posted.

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Anon Inn wrote:

And now we all know it too.  These pix I would not have posted.

You don't think people know where his machine is stored when he runs their card? It's no big secret where people keep their credit card machine. Walmart doesn't hide theirs well at all.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Anon Inn wrote:

And now we all know it too.  These pix I would not have posted.

You don't think people know where his machine is stored when he runs their card? It's no big secret where people keep their credit card machine. Walmart doesn't hide theirs well at all.

Exactly. And you need to put this in context. We are a 3 room B&B, it's our home. It's very rare for us to be out when guests are in and even then it's only with guests we feel comfortable with. There are no strangers walking in off the street without us knowing and as all guest rooms are upstairs we know if someone has come down stairs and not gone out the door.

As far as skimming is concerned this requires a device to be attached to the machine, I'd notice if next time I come to take a payment the machine has been tampered with.

Joey Camb's picture
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When we first came they had a fax machine and card machine all out in the open on the front desk unsupervised day and night. They didn't taken online bookings but any faxes that came in the night were out all night. So it was one of the first things we did was drill a hole in the wall and move everything into the back behind lock and key.

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 Be careful having it out in public, there is a REPRINT LAST RECPT or REPRINT ANY RECPT button that if not password protected will work for anyone and printe the full cc # on it.

Generic's picture
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None of receipts ever has the full CC number on it, not ours and not the guest's. It has the approval code, the last four digits, the amount and the guest name.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

None of receipts ever has the full CC number on it, not ours and not the guest's. It has the approval code, the last four digits, the amount and the guest name.

Test your machine. There are certain reports you can print out that contain ALL of the cc info. Those need to be password protected.

gillumhouse's picture
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The cc machine in on my desk in the Library/office. It is just inside the front door and the stairs to the guestrooms is there. I take payment at checkout (but I am small only 3 rooms to keep track of) in proverbial hope of cash or check.

Our living quarters are across the hall.

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Deposit taken early, balance on arrival.  We take card into our office and return to central hall where they sign. 

If they must be with their card, they can follow - this is when I wish we had the machine in the entry.   I just wonder what these people do at restaurants where the waiter takes the card to the back. 

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copperhead wrote:

Deposit taken early, balance on arrival.  We take card into our office and return to central hall where they sign. 

If they must be with their card, they can follow - this is when I wish we had the machine in the entry.   I just wonder what these people do at restaurants where the waiter takes the card to the back. 

Part of Chip & Pin... you can't walk away with the card and process the charge. You need the card and the owner to be in proximity, they need to be there, physically.

At restaurants locally, they bring a hand held unit to your table now. Or you have to go to the cash to pay. No more taking the card and walking away with it.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

copperhead wrote:

Deposit taken early, balance on arrival.  We take card into our office and return to central hall where they sign. 

If they must be with their card, they can follow - this is when I wish we had the machine in the entry.   I just wonder what these people do at restaurants where the waiter takes the card to the back. 

Part of Chip & Pin... you can't walk away with the card and process the charge. You need the card and the owner to be in proximity, they need to be there, physically.

At restaurants locally, they bring a hand held unit to your table now. Or you have to go to the cash to pay. No more taking the card and walking away with it.

So are you able to take deposits??? 

Generic's picture
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We don't take deposits. But yes, we could take deposits. You manually enter and then you have to push "card not present" and of course you have a higher fee for that. You are also not protected from a charge-back.

If you have the card and swipe it and it's chip & pin it will tell you to insert the card into the pinpad to process the transaction. The holder must be there to process. In return for this, we are protected from charge-backs, since the person both had the card and validated the card with their PIN. We don't need to collect a signature and we don't have to worry about fraud.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

We don't need to collect a signature and we don't have to worry about fraud.

It will be great when we have that too! Currently, some fast food places, and the post office, don't require a signature, but I suspect it's because the amounts being charged are so small they just accept the risk of not getting a signature in order to speed up the checkout process.

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Yes. But the customer must have a chip, the card must be read by the chip and they must enter their PIN. Not the paypass nonsense, that has no security whatsover.... So I don't have charge backs if they are processed this way. But it means that I need the physical card and the physical person there to process in this fashion. EMV and it's coming to the US. But for me it leave me with the choice of either moving the CC machine to a place where the guests will be, or letting the guests in to my personal space. A dilemma we are trying to overcome.

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So, what's the issue with moving the cc machine to the entryway? I mean, if this is what you want to do, why are you not doing it? What thoughts are you thinking that you want to overcome?

Our machine is loud. It's the old clackety clack, not the new, quiet kind. This is why we don't do cc processing in the morning. Everyone is trying to eat and that machine drowns out everything!

Generic's picture
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Two things... It seems very commercial to have the machine out in the hall where the guests are. The second is that we usually don't print anything other than the CC receipts. So we usually enter amounts from the screen, then enter the payment into the system and then send the guests a recipt in email. So we are thinking about processing with a tablet, so that we can do all the processes at the same time. Or maybe install a touch screen PC in the hallway, so we can process on that and use it for an information base for the guests.

I was trying to come up with a way to sort of keep the machine discreet, I guess. Especially after someone already wrote up a nasty review saying we keep everything in the entryway. (I guess I'm still traumatized by that nastiness.)

Anon Inn's picture
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"It seems very commercial"

Yes. It lets people know this is a business right up front.  We get the business part done, then just concentrate on making everyone at home and happy.

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 you are a business. Just do it. Ours was on the wall by our secretary because that was the convenient phone jack for us. It was not obnoxious..it was convenient. No one had to walk anywhere and it was expected.  I think you are over thinking this way too much. Smiling

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I was trying to come up with a way to sort of keep the machine discreet, I guess. Especially after someone already wrote up a nasty review saying we keep everything in the entryway. (I guess I'm still traumatized by that nastiness.)

So move the machine to your kitchen. You like having guests in the kitchen, don't you? Eye-wink

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 Sounds like a great system. US should do it.

Alibi Ike's picture
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We were just contemplating going in reverse...the cc machine has always been in the entryway. I would like to move it to the office. In which case, we would need to take the card out of the guest's presence and take it to the office. No guests in the office.

But, we don't have anyone needing a pin pad, so that's not an issue.

Generic's picture
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You don't need the pin pad.... now. It's coming, see http://www.ababj.com/tech-topics-plus/visa-announces-plans-to-accelerate-chip-migration-and-adoption-of-mobile-payments-2259.html

We were taking guests into our personal and private office to process the charges. Until some guest was gauche enough to actually make a comment about our private space on TA.

Joey Camb's picture
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we have a cordless machine ie has a base which is plugged into the phone line and a hand held part we can take about with us. This is a lot cheaper than a wireless one.

muirford's picture
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 We have a locking small rolltop desk in the living room that has the credit card machine for swiping the cards.  I also keep the reservation forms and room keys in that desk.  The PO used to take the cards back to the innkeeper's office for swiping but we relocated it within the first six months.   

egoodell's picture
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 At the moment we take the card from the guest to our office and run it. We bring the slips out for them to sign. When the wing is finished I will have a small office on the ground floor where they will be able to come in and pay in private.

RIki

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Because our cottages are some distance from the main house,  I take the up front deposit electronically then manually run the balance when they're getting ready to leave.    I do it that way because they sometimes pay with alternate forms of payment i.e., cash or check.   This is all done privately in my office.

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 Our credit card machine was in our front foyer on a secretary/ desk. We process payment right then and there when they come into the house...after we give our little welcomeSmiling

We wanted our area to be private so no guests ever got in there unless by special invite Smiling

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