Airbnb is introducing Pay Less Up Front, which allows guests to pay only for part of the trip at the time of booking – a 50 per cent deposit in most cases – and pay the rest closer to the check-in date.
This is a departure from before, where guests had to pay in full when booking.
In the testing of the new scheme, Airbnb said it saw “clear demand” for more convenient payments. Given the option of paying less up front, 40 per cent of guests chose to do so, and opted for higher-value bookings on the whole.
The company also found that Pay Less Up Front encourages bookings further in advance. Compared with ordinary bookings, the new payment option led to bookings with nearly double the lead time, helping hosts to secure and manage bookings more easily.
The new payment option is available today across all platforms: iOS, Android, mobile-web and desktop.
To qualify for Pay Less Up Front, the total stay must be US$250 or more, and be booked at least 14 days from check-in.