I currently use Stripe, but have seen some comments that Lynbrook is less expensive.
Fractionally it is, but whether it is worth switching. to me wasn't worth a hassle
I just switched from Stripe to Costco's payment processing. I investigated Lynbrook and they are certainly nice and %s are marginally lower than the consistent 3% I was getting with Stripe.
But Costco's percentages are even lower (especially with some extra perks if you have an executive membership to costco).
Set up was pretty painless with plenty of available assistance and hand-holding as necessary. I had been concerned about this because the companies Costco uses are huge (Elavon and Converge).
In the end, though, even if the %s seem minimal, the volume I do (and will do now that I'm processing my own payments through HA/VRBO API) made switching worth my time.
Hope that helps.
Do you need to be a Property Manager to process your own payments through VRBO/HA?
You don't need to be a PM to go to API mode with VRBO (and process your own payments) but you do need to have at least 5 properties.
Do you need to be a PM or have a certain number of properties to use Costco? I have 2 properties.
I don't have a Costco account myself but I don't believe Costco/Elavon has any restrictions on number of properties.
Hi, Sheron. There is an application but it does not require a certain number of properties. It does ask about gross volume by month. .. There are additional charges if you dont process a minimum of $20 per.month, but that was the only limit they discussed with me. The application process seemed to be more about ensuring that that you are legitimate/not a scammer, not about minimums.
Hope that helps.
Yes, it does help. Thanks! I will give them a call.
Thanks. I will check into it.
Thanks. It would not work for me then as I have only 2 properties.
There is no restriction on the number of properties to use Lynnbrook. You can have 1 property and many users do.
There is a lot of confusion around this topic. Lynnbrook used to recommend using a different processor for users with very low processing volume because there are minimum costs to having a real underwritten merchant account, and Lynnbrook has to pass that cost along to the merchant. Since the Stripe's and PayPal's of the world have "no monthly fee" accounts, they figured that users would be better suited using that instead of being irritated by a $10 or $15 dollar monthly charge if the account was not being used (where it might be $0 with a Stripe or PayPal).
However, with our urging, Lynnbrook is not longer saying that and is now creating merchant accounts for any and all users regardless of processing volume or number of properties.
We highly recommend using a real merchant account (doesn't have to be Lynnbrook, but we do recommend them) instead of a general "aggregator" account such as Stripe, PayPal or Braintree. Yes, there may be a small monthly fee for a Lynnbrook account, but squeezing every last cent out of your bank account is not a smart approach when selecting a credit card processor.
In recent times, Stripe and the large aggregators have become very hostile to VR businesses, they do not refund fees when you issue refunds and they can freeze funds at any time based on "security" algorithms. When disputes or chargebacks occur - and they always do eventually - the Stripe/PayPal aggregators are not in your corner and will do nothing to help you through it. They treat vacation rentals "products" like any other good or service which means a guest can be a No Show and get their money back since "product was not delivered". Try calling Stripe or PayPal on the phone and see who's willing to talk to you or take your call seriously. There are other misc. benefits like getting gross deposit to your bank account (fees taken out at end of month) which helps with reconciliation.
It's well worth paying a few bucks per month to have a good processor who understands the VR industry and has real customer support. As your business grows, you get the added benefit of commanding better rates.
Thanks so much for the detailed answer! I currently use Stripe, but will talk with my bank tomorrow.
@MB: This intrigues me. I currently use Lynnbrook, but I am a Costco Executive member. I’ve certainly been satisfied with my experience with Lynnbrook, and I do like the fact that they are intimately familiar with the vacation rental industry and are available to stand in my corner should a problem occur, but money is money — especially now that I will be processing a significantly increased volume via the HA API integration.
Lynnbrook expressed a willingness to revisit my fee structure with them in the future if I start processing a higher volume (they seem open to things like interchange plus pricing, etc.), but as I only just switched over to the HA API, I’m not there yet.
What have you seen for the difference between the Lynnbrook and Costco rates?
Now that you have been with Costco for some time is your experience still positive? Is the rate consistently the same or does it differ? We use Lynbrook and pay 2.39% but we do not accept American Express. We are executive Costco members, too.
Wanted to follow up on this one, any update?
Hey there MB & fellow ORs, we are new to OR and still in the process of migrating from our current PMS. A few thoughts.....would love to have your thoughts in return........We WERE ready to move with Lynnbrook BUT found out they were bought out by GSV. GSV Investments who has branded their vacation portfolio as Inhabit IQ bought Streamline, Liverez, VRM, iTrips (many of the larger PMS software companies), LSI Tools (data aggregator), Bluetent (a website design company), Rental Gaurdian (an insurance company), Bizcor (Marketing Company). See: https://www.vrmintel.com/inside-look-at-gsv-led-inhabit-iq/. GSV, I'm afraid, will become the bigger elephant in the room than HomeAway. I am worried about giving them my guest data and them re-marketing other places to my guests. So....the prospect of Costco sounds intriguing. I have not been able to find further discussion on payment options on the Forums so would like to revive this thread by getting input for MB - how’s the process going with Costco? Have you had any chargebacks? If so, how was your experience with support? Paul/Chris/Ken at OR – would love to get your thoughts as well. Thanks in advance!
I spoke with Lynnbrook recently and they suggested that i NOT go with them based on my low volume. I have one property and currently payments are handled either by my property manager or by the websites themselves. I am in the process of setting up with OR.
So needless to say I am confused by this conversation and which route I should go.
That's the virtue of Stripe - they're a bit more expensive than Lynnbrook, but they're willing to work with low-volume accounts.
My understanding from speaking with Lynnbrook is that they would be more expensive for me than Stripe, based on the monthly fee.