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Smarter security deposits

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A month ago, we posted an article on why it is bad to reserve a security deposit way in advance of the guest's arrival date.  In the same article, we mentioned that some gateways have an automatic release period that is so short (Sage Payments is 7 days) that we at OwnerRez were devising a solution to fix it.

A few weeks we quietly rolled out that update.  We didn't blog it right away because we were watching to see the effects on a large scale, looking for unintended consequences.  So far the solution is running smoothly.

Some of you will have already noticed the new "Security Deposit Successfully Reauthorized" emails that are part of this feature.

security deposit reauthorization email

Basically, our system now monitors security deposits for age and asks the bank to reauthorize old ones (those with a reserve date a certain number of days in the past) to keep them fresh.  Technically speaking, we void the original security deposit and reserve a new one.

This all happens transparently to you.  You do not need to confirm anything or press any buttons.  You'll get a morning email when a reauthorization occurs letting you know.

If you look at a security deposit in the system, you may notice that the reserve date now shows two values: First Reserved and Reauthorized On.  These two dates only show if the security deposit has undergone reauthorization.

security deposit reauthorization fields

As mentioned on the email, I want to reiterate one warning about this process.  In some cases, your guest may notice an extra temporary hold (or "pending charge") on their bank account for the new authorization.  This new authorization may show up before the old one expires.  Some banks do not release the old hold immediately upon request.  When that occurs, two holds are visible at the same time.  If your guest complains about this, you will need to explain to them that you voided the old hold and created a new one, and that the bank failed to release the first one.  You should assure them that in this situation old holds disappear within a day or two.