Any Authorize.net users out there?

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If you are using authorize.net have you found it to be a good way to process deposits for your inn? 

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Arks's picture
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I got a little more info today from John at ResKey about just what the Authorize.net CIM is all about, and what it does as regards ResKey. Oh, and I checked. The CIM is $20/month, not $25 as had been stated earlier. But also, there's a $20/month Payment Gateway Account Fee. So it's running $40/month plus processing fees.

It doesn't come into play when the guest makes a reservation online, enters their card number, and clicks to reserve the room. It's all automatic and the card gets charged the amount you've told ResKey to charge the.

When you have the CIM and you enter a reservation into the system manually, you can click the reservation's Payments button, enter an amount you want to charge their card, and the card gets charged.

If you don't have the CIM, you do the deal where they e-mail you the first 12 digits of the number and you get the last 4 digits from the reservation screen, then enter it all manually.

So the CIM makes it a little easier, but probably not worth the extra charges.

John said he was working just today on adding a new processor who only charges $10 for the CIM service.

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Proud Texan's picture
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I love Authorize.net especially in combination with Reservation Key.   I get automatic notifications when someone makes an online reservation with the requisite transaction number and authorization code (in case a refund is required) and transactions are automatically batched at the end of each day.   We went on a short trip recently and I was able to access their virtual terminal on our iPad without a problem.  

I saw no use in utilizing the CIM (customer information management).    We do have return guests,  but they usually don't come more than once a year and  can just reenter their credit card info when they rebook.   

I also set up an email template with all the dates,  rooms and requisite customer information where I can cut and paste into Quickbooks and then print it off to have in a folder to show upcoming reseservations.   It's working quite well.

If we had more than two rooms,  I would certainly look for a different bookkeeping solution other than Quickbooks wherein I could port the customer information directly into the accounting software.   ReservationKey keeps track of most everything,  so I don't reinvent the wheel in Quickbooks, but rather put in enough information where I can create sales receipts for each guest.

 

Arks's picture
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Proud Texan wrote:

I saw no use in utilizing the CIM (customer information management).    We do have return guests,  but they usually don't come more than once a year and  can just reenter their credit card info when they rebook.   

I never understood what CIM was all about. John just said we'd need it so we got it. If somebody breaks something and you don't discover it until after they are gone, do you have a way to charge their credit card for the damage? I was thinking maybe CIM is needed to let you do that, but don't really know.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

I saw no use in utilizing the CIM (customer information management).    We do have return guests,  but they usually don't come more than once a year and  can just reenter their credit card info when they rebook.   

I never understood what CIM was all about. John just said we'd need it so we got it. If somebody breaks something and you don't discover it until after they are gone, do you have a way to charge their credit card for the damage? I was thinking maybe CIM is needed to let you do that, but don't really know.

 ReservationKey retains the credit card information for 30 days after the guest has checked out.   You should know by then if there is damage or not.   PCI compliance requires that we not store credit card numbers unless we need to.  If you do so,  as I understand it,  you must do so in a way that secures that data.   It's best not to keep a customer's credit card information on your computer.  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Madeleine's picture
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Proud Texan wrote:

  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Why would you have the cc written down if you take phone reservations? I could see if you didn't have any kind of online booking you would write it down or not take it at all. If someone calls I just fill in the form same as the guest would do. I don't keep paper copies of any cc numbers.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Why would you have the cc written down if you take phone reservations? I could see if you didn't have any kind of online booking you would write it down or not take it at all. If someone calls I just fill in the form same as the guest would do. I don't keep paper copies of any cc numbers.

 

  We take a credit card deposit for every reservation,  even the ones taken over the phone.   They do not get a confirmation until the credit card is run and I have my deposit.

 I write it down, because my memory is not that good.   Not everyone uses our online reservation system...unfortunately.

Madeleine's picture
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Ah, see I will not write the cc info down especially if I am not home. If I am not able to get to the computer, I take the guest's name and phone and call them back or ask them to book online. Because we don't leave the house with the phone unless we are on vacation, it's rare that I would find myself in a situation where I wasn't home but I was answering the phone.

It's a different way to do things, I know. We are generally the only innkeepers at any function who do not have the inn phone forwarded. So, we sit and drink and eat while everyone else talks to telemarketers...

We were on vacation with other innkeepers once and we all had our inn phones forwarded and the phones went off one after the other and it was the same robo call. You could hear each person answer the phone and the robo voice start up.

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Proud Texan wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Why would you have the cc written down if you take phone reservations? I could see if you didn't have any kind of online booking you would write it down or not take it at all. If someone calls I just fill in the form same as the guest would do. I don't keep paper copies of any cc numbers.

 

  We take a credit card deposit for every reservation,  even the ones taken over the phone.   They do not get a confirmation until the credit card is run and I have my deposit.

 I write it down, because my memory is not that good.   Not everyone uses our online reservation system...unfortunately.

Don't forget this little method, when you have them on the phone just go into the same reservation they would be on if they did it themselves and enter the info. Then you enter the cc details on rezkey and hit send. They get the confirmation, you get your booking email and it is done. it is all in there.  Type in the cc #'s as they tell them to you...and all the rest of it.

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Don't forget this little method, when you have them on the phone just go into the same reservation they would be on if they did it themselves and enter the info. Then you enter the cc details on rezkey and hit send. They get the confirmation, you get your booking email and it is done. it is all in there.  Type in the cc #'s as they tell them to you...and all the rest of it.

I told another innkeeper that and he told me he can't type and talk on the phone at the same time so he writes everything down in a book he carries with him everywhere. Yes, ALL the guest info including cc and dates they won't be home with their address right there. And he goes everywhere with this book. I don't get it.

Proud Texan's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Don't forget this little method, when you have them on the phone just go into the same reservation they would be on if they did it themselves and enter the info. Then you enter the cc details on rezkey and hit send. They get the confirmation, you get your booking email and it is done. it is all in there.  Type in the cc #'s as they tell them to you...and all the rest of it.

I told another innkeeper that and he told me he can't type and talk on the phone at the same time so he writes everything down in a book he carries with him everywhere. Yes, ALL the guest info including cc and dates they won't be home with their address right there. And he goes everywhere with this book. I don't get it.

 Unfortunately, that's illegal.  

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Why would you have the cc written down if you take phone reservations? I could see if you didn't have any kind of online booking you would write it down or not take it at all. If someone calls I just fill in the form same as the guest would do. I don't keep paper copies of any cc numbers.

 

  We take a credit card deposit for every reservation,  even the ones taken over the phone.   They do not get a confirmation until the credit card is run and I have my deposit.

 I write it down, because my memory is not that good.   Not everyone uses our online reservation system...unfortunately.

Don't forget this little method, when you have them on the phone just go into the same reservation they would be on if they did it themselves and enter the info. Then you enter the cc details on rezkey and hit send. They get the confirmation, you get your booking email and it is done. it is all in there.  Type in the cc #'s as they tell them to you...and all the rest of it.

 That only works if I'm at my computer with the phone on speaker.    That is not always the case.

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Proud Texan wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

  Obviously,  if you take phone reservations,  you have the credit card number written down.   My practice is to maintain a print copy of the info until the guest checks out and I'm sure there are no further charges.  I then destroy it.    ReservationKey has made this much easier by keeping the data for a least 30 days. 

Why would you have the cc written down if you take phone reservations? I could see if you didn't have any kind of online booking you would write it down or not take it at all. If someone calls I just fill in the form same as the guest would do. I don't keep paper copies of any cc numbers.

 

  We take a credit card deposit for every reservation,  even the ones taken over the phone.   They do not get a confirmation until the credit card is run and I have my deposit.

 I write it down, because my memory is not that good.   Not everyone uses our online reservation system...unfortunately.

Don't forget this little method, when you have them on the phone just go into the same reservation they would be on if they did it themselves and enter the info. Then you enter the cc details on rezkey and hit send. They get the confirmation, you get your booking email and it is done. it is all in there.  Type in the cc #'s as they tell them to you...and all the rest of it.

 That only works if I'm at my computer with the phone on speaker.    That is not always the case.

Point taken. 

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

I saw no use in utilizing the CIM (customer information management).    We do have return guests,  but they usually don't come more than once a year and  can just reenter their credit card info when they rebook.   

I never understood what CIM was all about. John just said we'd need it so we got it. If somebody breaks something and you don't discover it until after they are gone, do you have a way to charge their credit card for the damage? I was thinking maybe CIM is needed to let you do that, but don't really know.

Not sure what is entailed with the CIM on each different booking system, but we use it to keep guest notes. Likes this, doesn't like that, needs to have extra towels, kids' names, pets' names, allergies, birthdays, anniversaries. If we've given them any kind of perk (candy, mugs, hats) so we don't repeat it the next year.

If they had an issues. If there were any issues with a cancellation.

I don't keep the cc info even tho many guests say, 'Just use the same card I had last time.' I have to tell them we don't keep it, aren't allowed to keep it. If they've been coming for years I don't even ask for it.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Yes, if you use their CIM Authorize.net is costing $25 + the standard processing fees.

As far as I know, you have to manually ago in and tell ResKey to process  any balance due. The only thing that's automatic is the initial deposit when the guest books the room online. I may be wrong. I'm fairly new to ResKey and Auth.net

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06/24/2008

So, am correct that Authorize.net costs $25 + processing fees on top of that? Anything else? (i.e. statement fee, etc.)

And isn't there a way to have other auto payments set up in Res Key so the balance could also be processed?

gillumhouse's picture
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That is a question for John.

Birdie's picture
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Arky, is auth.net just a gateway, or is it the only cc processing a b&b would need? Would you have to still have a swipe machine?

Arks's picture
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Birdie wrote:

Arky, is auth.net just a gateway, or is it the only cc processing a b&b would need? Would you have to still have a swipe machine?

I think I read they are the number one processer of online credit card sales. They provide full services, like machines to swipe, but we're not using that. For us they are just handling online charges processed through Reservation_Key. We're using Square_Up or whatever it's called for swiping cards "live" though our iPhone.

Right now if you want ResKey to process charges in real time, it has to go through Authorize.net or PayPal, and we picked Authorize.net.

Arks's picture
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I know Proud Texan is using it and I assume liking it. We've been using it just a few weeks to handle payments for online reservations of our riverside cottages. So far so good, in that we don't have to do a thing. Guest makes reservation online, pays online, and at the end of the day Authorize.net automatically moves all that day's sales into our bank account.

Now that ResKey is set up to let us take full first night payment, including taxes, at time of reservation, there is nothing to do on one-night stays. They're paid 100% before they arrive. It's well worth the $25/month to have them handle it all and keep the CC numbers secure and all that.

A few months ago John said ResKey is in negotiations with other, cheaper (less than $25), CC clearinghouses but don't know if he ever got anywhere with it.

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