This release brings new Security Enhancements to prevent fraud and ‘phishing’ attempts, 2 new types of rates: We added ‘Add On’ and ‘UpSell’ processes to both Self Check-in and Check-out; Long Term Rates (for properties who provide Long Term rates for every x days) and ‘Included Item’ in a rate for easing package construction and participating in cleaning fee programs with both Airbnb and VRBO; some major enhancements to our Booking Engines; improved Cancellation management and reporting; new Hardware; and several bug fixes.
Rate Type Additions
- Long Term rates: Available in MyPMS only (they cannot be booked via OTA/GDS/Booking Engines) allows charging for intervals based on days or calendar months. Days make an entry from the Cost field for each '#of days' the booking lasts; Months make an entry from the Cost field for each 'calendar' date the booking lasts. More details, and examples, here.
- Items Include in a rate: A rate that can be sold that includes an Inventory Item with the rate. You must first create the Item to be sold with the rate, and make are the taxes applied to that Item are accurate. Then add that Item to the Rate, and choose whether to Add the Item Cost to the rate or not, and if the Item should recur each x days.. More details, and examples, here.
Hacking and ‘phishing’ continue to plague the digital world, so BookingCenter has tightened security in our services areas and provided tools how you can protect your Users and property. Included for each User, you can now set the Country: This allows a manager to set a restriction for a user to only login via the Country where the User should be logging in; Country Login Allow: This allows a manager to enforce that the Country set above is where the User is actually logging in. Choices are only 'the Country' or 'all Countries'. BookingCenter enforces this via a subscription to an IP service that attempts to take the IP address from the request and verify it is likely in the country where the User has been set. While not perfect, this helps avoid 'phishing' and fraudulent logins, Allow VPN: For Users who use VPNs to access services from differing locales (thus IP address verification is intentionally being circumvented) this setting can allow an exception for this specific user. Learn more about tightening security for your Users here.
- We have added the ability to track better the Google Analytics in general (add 6 new variables tracked over booking), but specifically enhanced the TripAdvisor tracking ability.
- If you are allow ‘same day booking’ (ie, a guest can book ‘today’ for an arrival ‘today’) you can now the set the Booking Lead Time to stop booking at ‘x hours’ before arrival. For example, if your default arrival time is 3 pm and you choose Booking Lead Time is 2 hrs, then no more online bookings to your Booking Engine will occur after 1 pm. Some OTAs have participate similar features.
- Added the ability to use the ‘Promo’ flag to set a specific Room or Rate as a ‘promotion’ to draw attention to it.
- To enhance ADA compliance, we added Inventory Images to have description fields that can be read by a machine, so that Packages and rates with their Included Items can be easily read by Guests with visual disabilities.
Self Check-in Enhancements
- Enable Guest(s) to cancel based on settings you control in the Self Check-in area; as well as provide greater control of cancellations in general to run reports on whether Bookings were cancelled by Guests (eg during Self Checkin, at Airbnb, Expedia, etc) or the property directly. Learn more about cancellations here.
- Added the ability to upload Documents (such as COVID vaccinations or test results) and Images (such as Guests taking pics of themselves or images for maintenance tasks) as part of the eSign process.
- When a Guest signs an eSign we now can track - and log on each booking - from which area of the system it was signed, to differentiate between Self Check-in vs via Auto Letters or a Kiosk.
- We have added the ability for users of ‘keyless’ Self Check-in to display the ‘Lock Code’ and the ‘Room Entry Message’ on the ‘checked in page’ of the Self Checkin system.
- If your property uses ‘auto Pre-Authorization’ for arriving guests (up to 4 days in the future) and there is a failure to obtain an auth for the arriving booking, a MyGuest ticket will be created so a manager can focus on this booking and update the payment or cancel the booking, thus freeing up the room.
Self Check-out is now available to all customers who are using Self Check-in. More details here.
‘UpSell’ add-on Items during both the Self Check-in and Self Check-out process, with documentation and pictures of how this works here.
Dashboard and KPI Additions
We added a new element to the general Dashboard to count how many Vacant Rooms exist and link directly to the daily Vacant Room report for details.
We added a new Front Desk Widget called “Booking production
- Added the ability for the Owners Statement to show specific taxes collected per Owner booking for ease of tax reporting
- We added the ability to make Tax Exempt on multiple taxes when making a booking.
- We now support 'Date Based' Taxes within MyPMS and our Channel Manager to define what tax(s) are 'Date Based' to be in effect for a specified time and thus quoted when they apply. Tax jurisdictions are beginning to alter when they charge some taxes - and not others - and this can now be automated.
- There has been confusion when a request was made with an email that existed, but did not match the name - did we update their Guest record? Either decision has pros and cons, but we simplified it so that if a Guest makes a request using an email address, we use that Guest record to link to that request even if the name is a bit different. We use the new ‘name’ to display on the Request Ticket, so that the Guest sees all matching. This creates less duplicate records, though is not perfect we’re all aware.
- We now allow managers to define which data collection fields (name, room number, email, etc) are required for their ‘request templates’.
BookingCenter has put in place new hardware to both speed up and secure our infrastructure, as well as provide fast backup and transition services in the event of a major disaster.
- Fixed a bug where user of the Booking Engine Template 1-4 were not correctly tracking from TripAdvisor listings
- The Active Search field (sometimes called ‘Live Search’, residing above the arrivals/in house/departures area) was giving inconsistent results, it now searches all 3 areas accurately.
- Fixed a situation where the Digitial Signing document using the “Tax Merge Fields” was always showing $0. It now will tally all projected taxes accurately.
- Choosing an Existing Guest from the New Booking window was creating a NEW Guest Record (versus using the existing Guest Details) if the Guest had some errors associated. We put greater control and now regardless of how much Guest data you wish on the New Booking window proper linking occurs.