Dumbfounded! Take payments from guests directly into bank acct!

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gillumhouse's picture
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An innkeeper in Australia on another Forum just said she does not take credit cards. When asked what she does, responded that she gives them the numbers and the money goes directly into her account. I said HUH?????

She gives her bank branch number and the acct number and the money is deposited directly. She said money can only go in - not out. Never having been there, I am asking what the heck?  How does this work? I no longer shop with checks at  the stores that give me back my check except with cash or credit card because I do not want my acct numbers here there and everywhere.

Is she just thinking it cannot be taken by someone with a computer? Edumacate me, please.

gillumhouse's picture
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I guess I live a sheltered life. Thanks all for setting me straight.

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Most small hotels and inns in Europe work like this where a prepayment is required.

Bommelhoeve's picture
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Correct! I have not seen a check for at least 15 years... We all work with direct bank transfers, debit card PIN transactions, or cash.....

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Joey Camb's picture
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weirdest one I had was a Postal Order! I had to ask what to do with it at the Post office! its a UK thing for people without bank accounts - basically its a post office guaranteed cheque - ie you give £10 to the post office and they provide you with a £10 cheque - didn't mind taking it as its perfectly safe - much safer than a regular cheque.

As regards cheques we have some now and again for group deposits and 2 regulars who come for a particular trade show and thats it - maybe 10 a year something like that.

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Arks's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

weirdest one I had was a Postal Order!

I was going to say that! Just yesterday a guy handed me a $250 postal money order as payment. I hadn't seen one in at least 15 years, but it had so many holograms on it, it had to be real so I took it (it was either that or nothing). Wasn't sure what to do with it, but I just endorsed the back of it like a check, and put it in yesterday's bank deposit. We'll see if it clears the bank!

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Madeleine's picture
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Postal orders are tricky because they are stolen in batches. Hope yours is not one of the stolen ones.

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Generic's picture
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Anyone can deposit to an account here, all you need is the bank number, branch number and account number. You don't even need the name. But once it's in the account, you can't do a thing about it, even if you gave the wrong account number.

We also have a system where you can send money electronically to someone without divulging any data, directly via email. They have to get a password from you, separately, or a question that only they can answer. And then you can deposit right to your bank account, up to $1000 a day. That's how I transferred money to my mom. 

Now paying by cheque... that's RARE! I don't know anyone that takes cheques anymore except by mail. Remember that our debit system is completely separate from our CC system. I pay a whole 6c a debit transaction around here. (Love debit! Wish more guests used it.)

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Joey Camb's picture
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we can do it here with electronic transfer ie I have a friend who makes xmas cards for me pay her when they arrive by transfer - however if I was doing it for the BB would set up a separate current account and then transfer it out into your main account as a secondary back up.

We have in the UK now that you can pay anyone you have paid before through electronic banking through your mobile now!

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gillumhouse wrote:

She gives her bank branch number and the acct number and the money is deposited directly. She said money can only go in - not out. 

That's how it works here, too. I've never done it with B&B guests but it's common for tenants to make a rent payment like that. Also used for short-run donations (ie a family has a house fire and people can make a donation to help them out as described above). It's one-way only. The account and branch number are not enough to make a withdrawal.

gillumhouse's picture
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HappyJacks & Cambs - a lot of people do all their banking online these days - bill-pay etc.  My point is exactly like Arkie said although in that example it was an authorized withdrawal that was de-authorized. I went through the same thing with getting rid of a cc processor who wanted a cancel fee even though I was out of contract.

"Security" has been breached at many major levels re credit card numbers and "Private Information" as well as bank accounts emptied via wire. I will remain a dinosaur and attempt to guard my money more carefully - as long as I can and as best as I can. Actually, as  long as I use bank accounts, there is nothing I CAN do. It is all computers and numbers.

Arks's picture
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Reminds me of a situation where I had an insurance payment on a bank draft so the payment was automatically drafted by the ins. company each month.

I decided to cancel the policy, so told my bank to stop allowing the bank draft. They said no problem.

TWO MORE drafts were drawn on the account before the bank finally quit giving them my money. They said, sorry about that. It was all up to humans to handle, not machines, and humans miss things.

So, beware. Just because they say nobody can withdraw from the account doesn't mean it's so!

Madeleine's picture
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She has guests do a wire transfer into her bank account? It sounds like she has cleared it with her bank that nothing can be withdrawn from that account unless it is in person or with a debit card.

I used to get wire transfers when I was a bookseller and someone was in Europe. (I wasn't taking credit cards back then, either.)

I was always leery because I wasn't sure nothing could be withdrawn. And one time the money was deposited into a completely different account (which I had to track down myself, the bank wouldn't help!), so you can't tell me things don't go squirrely every now and again.

BTW, if you do that between countries it has to go thru the Fed and there is a charge of something like $20. Plus you'll be hit with exchange rate differences.

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