A lot of our clients need to send credit card form of payment information to hotels for travelers who don’t have corporate cards. In travel speak this is called “prepaid hotels.”
There are a lot of reasons our clients do this – contractor or interview travel, an employee doesn’t have enough personal credit to put on their own card, they’re paying for a client and don’t want to bother the traveler with reimbursement, etc.
Prepaid hotels can be problematic in a couple areas.
- First, hotels often require a front and back copy of the credit card to be charged. This requires a lot of manual work. You have to copy both sides of the card, manually add all the traveler’s information from the reservation system, find the fax number, print it out, and walk over to the fax machine to send it. Very time consuming.
- Another problem is the credit card often will sit on the fax machine, at the hotel in a high traffic area (say the lobby). That can be bad if you’re using a corporate travel card with a $20 million dollar limit. It opens you up for a lot of fraud.
That’s why we built HotelPrepayLogicTM. We automatically (some would say automagically!) pull all traveler and hotel information from the GDS (global distribution system) APIs, create a one time use credit card through your credit card company (if we support them – but our list is growing), generate a PDF that includes an image of the front and back of the one time use credit card and then finally fax it. The fax is monitored and when determined successful it sends an email notification and documents the itinerary history in the GDS. It’s like science fiction, right?
The one time use credit card is locked down to a credit limit of just over room and tax and set to expire a few days after the traveler checks out. This limits fraud exposure. It also makes the travel agents or housing departments much more efficient. Both really good things.
If you want HotelPrepayLogicTM you have to become a client (but I promise, that is also a very, very good thing).
Check out an example PDF that is automatically faxed to a hotel (yah, we blacked out some of the information).