Homestay Systems - Payments

When a client books and pays online via PayPal or Skrill, or makes a further payment online, the system sends an email to you, and a different email to the client. These emails are configured in Configuration - Text Templates. A payment record is always created for any online payment, either successful or unsuccessful. For an initial booking payment, the system also creates the booking record. Payment records contain many details returned from the payment gateway, as well as a link to the
booking record.

If you eventually refund the payment to the client, you can record this fact in the system by clicking the Mark Refunded button. Marking a payment as refunded does not automatically change the status of the booking. You may wish to go to the booking record and amend it as necessary.

Once a payment has been marked as Refunded, you can mark it as “OK” again if you wish. You can change the status as many times as you like.

At the moment the Refunded status is just for information. It does not currently have any other significance in the system.

Gateway Fees

If you have configured gateway fees, the fee charged for this transaction is shown on this screen ("Our fee").

Manual Payments

Manual payments (cash, cheque, bank transfer, etc) are not recorded in this section of the system. When a manual payment is received you should edit the booking and mark the payment as paid there.

Pending Payments and PayPal Updates

Online payments can arrive in "Pending" status for several reasons. The most common reason is that the customer paid by eCheque, but there are other cases. If the customer pays by eCheque, the payment will normally clear after a few days, but clearance can also fail, for example if the customer cancels the transaction.

In the system, you can decide whether bookings with pending payments are set to provisional status, or booked status. Remember that provisional bookings are automatically cancelled after the configured number of days, unless that number of days is set to zero in Configuration, Booking options. For PayPal payments, the system Plus automatically receives updates from PayPal via a mechanism known as IPN (Instant Payment Notification). When an update is received, the system records the update in the payment record. You can see the details at the bottom of the payment detail screen, for example: "2011-12-28: PayPal update received. Status changed from Pending to Completed".

When a PayPal update changes a payment from pending to completed, the system also checks if it should change the booking status from provisional to booked, and does so automatically if appropriate. When a PayPal update changes a payment from pending to cancelled, the system does not automatically change the status of the booking.

Pending payments are also possible with Skrill. However for Skrill, the system does not receive automatic updates. For pending payments in Skrill, you need to manually watch for the payment completion (you will receive an email from Skrill), then manually update the booking from provisional to booked.