Airbnb split payment is simplifying guest’s experience without having to get involved in embarrassing payment conversation between friends.
Do you hesitate to ask your friend to go Dutch on a bill? Have you found yourself tongue-tied on a date while splitting the bill?
Airbnb has recently introduced a system that takes the awkwardness out of fun-lodging.
Now, you can book a room on Airbnb and have the total fee split among you travel buddies without having to put your foot in your mouth. By using the new split-payment system, you can book a listing on airbnb and have it equally paid by your travel partners.
It is as simple as a snap of a finger, all you need to do is book the listing that you like. Once you select a listing, Airbnb split payment grants you with 72 hours to settle the bill amongst your friends. At the end of three days, if all your travel partners including you, make the payment, your dates are locked. However, the maximum number of people that the payment can be divided into is 16.
Alternatively, if none of your partners pay, Airbnb split payment does not instantly cancel the booking but offers a maximum 24 hours stretch for you to pay the whole amount. So the crucial check-in dates are not lost and is still available if you choose to confirm the reservation.
Therefore, instead of you having to seek each buddy to pay for the reservation, Airbnb draws an invoice and split the cost equally.
Payments amount can be split equally or at a proportion of your choice
By default Airbnb split payment the total amount equally amongst the number of companions. However, it does offer an option to adjust the payment differently. For instance, if one of the couple decides to pay more in comparison to the other then such a partner may double their payment.
This happens for instance when you have an apartment with different rooms.
An alternative to third party booker
In order to cater to the gaping demand by corporate travelers, Airbnb also started to offer a different variation of payment option. Under this system, a designated person can book on behalf of someone else. Such person is called Booker within Airbnb platform.
A booker is the point of contact at the initial stages of a reservation namely; reservation request, introduction, and payment for the reservation. Once this is complete, the onus shifts to the person on whose behalf the listing has been reserved also known as a guest.
At this point, booker and guest join the message room with the host. Therefore creating a three-way communication channel.
Alternatively, if you’re a host, you’ll have the titles ‘booked by’ and ‘booked for’ differently appear in your chat interface linked to the concerned listing. This makes management of reservation by the corporation as easy as pie.
However, this option was stopped in some countries due to the fact that Airbnb claims its platform is based on trust and people booking on the behalf of someone else will break the trust circle.
On the other hand business travel it is still available, therefore, for instance, a manager assistant can book for his manager, paying with the company credit card.
Airbnb users have doubled since the launch of split payment settlement
Considering the stats, split payment option has been a successful move for Airbnb. At the beta stage, this payment settlement system drove new users to the platform. Out of the 30% of booking that used split payment, there were tens and hundreds of new users who joined the platform.
Being the consumer-centric brand Airbnb is, its founder Brian Chesky instantly incorporated the split-payment because of a tweet exchange he had with one of Airbnb user. In one of his super popular tweet dated December 26th 2016, Brian Chesky asked this question to his followers.
With only less than a year after this tweet, Airbnb launched split payment that made cost-sharing convenient and graceful.
What was the secret sauce in making split payment a reality in 11 months?
In order to speed up the developmental process of split payment, Airbnb made a major acquisition in February 2017. Tilt, a social payment start-up app that specialized in peer-to-peer money transfer, and it was acquired by Airbnb. Investors at Tilt were grateful and counted their blessings which came in the form of unexpectedly large-sum of acquisition money.
What further sweetened the deal was money because tens of millions of dollar were paid only to ensure employee retention. From the onset of this acquisition, it was clear that Airbnb split payment was headed for the kill. Like most acquisition where the team is replaced, existing team was retained. Departments were operational and functional as if it were before the acquisition.
In the end the strategy seems to have paid off.
What are the implication for hosts?
Basically, Airbnb hosts, who have to deal with this group buy system they have a booking left on hold for a longer period that the 24 hours, as it happens for singular booking. On the other hand it may bring many advantages to property owners who has big apartments or expensive one. To sum up this split payment on option on Airbnb can definitely increase the sum of the money exchanged in every transaction within the platform.
It seems Airbnb has tons of ace up its sleeve, let’s see what’s next?
Truly, Airbnb is a company that exploded into fast-track growth because of its aggressive drive. It turned over new leaves on its track, and also left no stones unturned when it came to innovation. This millennial focused start-up never failed to up the ante while causing disruption.