Knowledgebase
Online Bookings | How do online bookings work? How secure is the Booking Engine?
Posted by Steve Farmer on 26 Sep 2007 07:27 AM

* BookingCenter is a complete Property Management System - it runs through a web browser, as a single computer, or on your Local Area Network. The PMS manages the day-to-day functions of any hospitality business and seamlessly integrates into the BookingCenter Central Reservation System that powers your website and your Internet channel marketing efforts.

* When a potential guest is browsing through your website and they decide to make a booking they simply click on the "Make a Booking Now" button (or more advanced form of web integration such as an XML web service) and they are taken to the Online Requests page from your website.

* From this page, they can run a live query to see if you have rooms available and at the correct rate and restrictions (such as a 2-night minimum stay or a package rate vs a 'room-only' rate).

* If you have a room, at a rate, they wish to book, they fill out the secure online form and their booking request is sent directly to you by email, SMS, or (optionally setup by the client) fax and all the booking information (credit card information, guest and booking details) are immediately saved into your BookingCenter Software. The guest also receives an email confirmation of their request.

* If you have set up the 'Guest Must Agree to Terms and Conditions' feature on the Booking Engine, then there is a check box that a Guest must tick that records they have read and agreed to your 'Deposit and Cancellation Policy'. This act prevents the Guest from later disputing your 'Deposit and Cancellation Policy', assuming, of course it is written clearly and concisely.

* An automatic confirmation of the booking is sent to the guest comprised of the messages YOU want - either signaling a confirmed or unconfirmed status.

* You collect the deposit in the usual way - by credit card if you can accept them, by check, Money Order, or Cashiers Check if that is your policy. If you have one of our Payment Gateways connected to your account (we work in 58 countries and currencies), the deposit can automatically be transacted to your merchant account.

* Depending on your cancellation and deposit policy, you can bill them online - automatically - or locally through whatever payment processor you use.

* The only addition required to your website is to place one of your buttons or one of our buttons (shown here: http://www-old.bookingcenter.com/help/web_button_help.html ), or use a simple text link, in an appropriate place in your website. Or, purchase a Package from BookingCenter and we will do all the work for you.  Note that the use of SSL is required for a BookingCenter Booking Engine to complete a booking.  However, if a webmaster does not place the https:// on the page the customer is using to 'query', then the SSL will not 'appear' to be secure to the traveler.  If you don't see the 'lock' where you desire it on your website, please ask your webmaster to add the secure https://.  But there is no way to complete a booking via Booking Center - whether using our 'default' Booking Engine, or our HTML or XML APIs - without invoking a SSL session on the 'guest payment' screen.  

To also (or instead of) sell through online distribution channels such as GDS systems, Pegasus, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, or other international OTAs, see: http://www.bookingcenter.com/products/channel-manager/

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