Auto Payments Q&A: Addressing common scenarios

Implementing Auto Payments can significantly streamline and automate your payment processes, ensuring efficiency and accuracy in your financial operations. 

Read below to find the answers to some of the questions that may arise as you explore the capabilities and benefits of Auto Payments.


How do Auto Payments work if the reservation is missing credit card information?

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Whenever a credit card is not available for a reservation, the payment remains in "Pending" status until a credit card is added. Once a credit card is added, the payment is collected and the reservation is marked as "Paid".


After the a new payment method to your reservation, you still need to link it to the relevant payment. Read more here.


Can I create Auto Payments rules per booking channel?

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It is currently possible to create Auto Payment rules per listing, but not per booking channel.


What happens to Auto Payments if the host payout changes?

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Any change to the total payout (for instance - by changing the accommodation fare, or by an update from the booking channel) of the reservation (made in the Guesty UI or received through a channel) will automatically update the pricing of any pending Auto payments (which were not already charged), with some exceptions.

If a user updates the total payout after one or more the Auto payments have already been charged, only the remaining unpaid, Auto payment will be updated with an amount matching the preset Auto payment rules.

For example:

A payout of $1000 exists, and the Auto payment rules are set for 2 payments each 50% - 500$. Then the first Auto payment of 500$ is charged, which makes the total payout 1500$. The remaining Auto Payment (originally 500$) will then be updated to $750 (50% of $1500).
That will bring the remaining balance to $250.

There are a few options for collecting this amount:


You can add a new payment for this amount and charge it.


  • You can update the amount of the remaining Auto payment from $750 to $1000.
  • If the Auto-payment has a “rest of payment” rule configured, no further action is required, and the remaining balance will be collected automatically by Auto payment.


If you

The existing Auto payments will not get updated, and you will need to cancel them and re-add them (or collect the payment manually).

Vrbo exception:

Auto Payment rules cannot collect the payment for the additional fees for Vrbo. For Vrbo, the scheduled payments collect only the total payout synced to the channel.



What happens if an Auto Payment fails?

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If a transaction is not approved on the first attempt, Guesty will attempt it two more times, in one-hour intervals, for up to three total attempts. If all three attempts fail, the payment will switch from "Pending" to "Failed" in Guesty.

Please note that the processing fee will be charged for each attempt made.


What happens to Auto Payments when a reservation is canceled?

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The following happens when a reservation with Auto Payments is canceled:

  • All pending payments, Authorization Holds, and charges are canceled.
  • If an Authorization Hold is active when the reservation is canceled, the future charge is canceled. You are still able to manually collect or release the funds.

Refunds will not be issued automatically. You can issue a refund manually if necessary according to the cancellation policy.


Can I change an Auto Payment rule after a reservation is confirmed?

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Yes, you can edit auto payment rules whenever you need to, regardless of the status of specific reservations, but the change will only apply if the reservation meets specific conditions.

When you edit an auto payment rule, you need to decide if the changes should apply to existing reservations:

  • If you choose "No", the changes will apply only to new reservations.
  • If you choose  "Yes", the changes will apply to existing reservations ONLY IF no payments have been collected on the reservation yet AND the check-in date is in the future (if check-in already happened, the changes will not apply).


How do Auto Payments work when using a booking channel’s payment solution? 

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The way the Auto Payments are structured in this case depends on the booking channel:

  • For Airbnb: Auto Payments are always overlooked since Airbnb exclusively handles payments on their end.
  • For When the payment is handled on their end, Guesty does not apply Auto Payments to that reservation.
  • For all other booking channels and reservation sources: Auto Payments will be created based on the relevant listing's Auto Payments rules.


What happens to existing Auto Payments after an Auto Payment is collected manually?

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When you collect an Auto Payment early, Auto Payments will not be recalculated, but they will go out as scheduled. We recommend editing any pending Auto Payments for the reservation in question when you collect a payment early.


What happens to Auto Payments if you do not activate the “use guest’s card” option?

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When you create an Auto Payment rule, it will trigger a payment at the scheduled time, whether you tick the Use guest's card checkbox or not.

Ticking the Use guest's card checkbox will result in charging the guest's card, and deactivating it will result in recording a cash payment instead.

The only exception is Vrbo, which will still charge the guest's credit card.


Why did my Auto Payments get charged on the same day?

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A common setup of Auto Payments rules, is to collect 50% of the payment at confirmation, and the rest of the payment X days before check-in, for example 30 days. If your guest made the booking of your listing earlier than these x days, for example 29 days before check-in, both payments will be collected at confirmation (which will happen earlier than the check-in).


How long does it take Auto Payments to charge the payments?

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It can take up to 2 hours for an auto payment to be processed.

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