As the Book Online Process has filtered down to smaller properties, we have noticed something of a sea-change in thinking re the supply of credit card details. Many of these properties, who can not and dont want to process credit card details, are quite happy to receive bookings without them.
You may ask what 'come-back' they have when a customer 'no-shows', but this is a risk that they have always had with telephone, fax or e mail bookings.
We sit on the fence with this issue, and let the property decide (our system does allow properties to take bookings with or without credit card details), what we have noticed is;
A. The Online Travel Agents seem to be jumping in to this market sector promoting properties where 'Reservation is possible without a credit card'.
B. Properties who don't request credit card details do indeed seem to have a higher conversion rate.
This process is not without its risks, inevitably a property will be caught with empty rooms on a busy day, but as it is gaining popularity, we thought we would share what we are seeing so far.