This article will demonstrate how to retrieve your guest’s credit card information (without processing it in real time) during an Online or Frontdesk booking.
Although MOHOBOOK has the ability to collect your guest’s credit card information, it does not process the credit card in real time (unless you have enabled Stripe or Square), nor does it store this information.
Naturally you are wondering if the card data is not stored, how can it be accessed at a later date in the event of a no-show or damage?
Let us first say that it is not stored simply because the storage of sensitive financial information requires strict policies and specific hardware configurations, both of which are likely too difficult to implement and maintain for the average small business.
As an alternative, we integrate with a third party called InterFAX to send you the information by fax (as an image). These images are much different than raw data in a database or email messages, which makes them extremely difficult to extract text from, moreover if you have configured your InterFAX account as outlined below, these images are automatically deleted after the completed transmission.
If you are not already integrated with InterFAX and you would like to enable this feature, here are the steps you should follow:
Whenever you are dealing with sensitive information, particularly financial information, you require an SSL certificate on your website, this will ensure any data leaving your website is securely encrypted during transmission. SSL certificates have become very affordable and can usually be purchased directly from your web hosting company.
Once you’re certificate is installed, ensure your public facing page where the MOHOBOOK booking engine has been embedded is forced to use the secure protocol (https://).
This also applies to accessing the Frontdesk in the event you’ll be collecting guest’s payment information during phone-in and walk-in bookings.
You will need to order an InterFAX account as a first step. When doing this, ensure you order what they refer to as a “SEND” account. This simply means that MOHOBOOK will be delivering encrypted information to InterFAX and InterFAX will be “sending” it to you.
InterFAX offers a prepaid model starting at $10 which equates to approximately 90 faxes (or 90 bookings based on Canada, a little less for United States).
Once you have a registered a new account, it is important to log in, find your Preferences, and enable the setting titled “Delete image after completion”. This will ensure sensitive data is not stored on third-party servers.
Log in to the MOHOBOOK Frontdesk, click on Settings ⟶ Payments and check the “Enable InterFAX” box. Enter the username and password associated with your InterFAX account. Enter your fax number starting with “1” (avoid spaces, dashes, etc.). Click the Save button to save your changes.
These are all the steps required to begin receiving copies of your reservations that include your guest’s credit card information, but as always, you should perform a test booking to ensure the process is functioning properly.
Below are some common questions and answers:
Q: How do I know if my guests are entering valid credit card numbers?
A: MOHOBOOK uses common methods to test for card number validity based on industry standards, and although without actually processing the card it is impossible to prevent fake cards 100% of the time, but these algorithms will trap many if not most bogus attempts
Q: How long should I keep these faxes?
A: You should be exercising best judgment for the safety of both you and your guests, in other words, once you no longer require a guest’s credit card information, the fax should be destroyed
Q: Are there ongoing costs with this method of collecting credit card information?
A: An SSL certificate typically costs $0 to $75 per year, and any costs associated with InterFAX should be directly associated with booking revenue, in other words, you are not depleting your InterFAX account balance unless you are receiving bookings (each fax roughly costs ten cents)
Q: What if I don’t require a payment until the guest arrives?
A: If you don’t have the payment section enabled in MOHOBOOK, or you have little risk of cancellations and damage, then you probably don’t need to worry about this
Q: Are there any special technical requirements?
A: Your web hosting configuration must include SOAP (in most cases this will already be done but you can check with your hosting provider if you’re unsure, otherwise they can install it fairly easily)