Pre-authorization, also known as pre-auth or authorization hold, is a common practice within the hotel industry that enables a hotel to place a hold on a customer's funds. When a customer checks in or books a room, a pre-authorization places a hold on the customer's account for a certain amount of the customer's funds. The frozen funds guard against no-shows or fraud, and guarantee enough funds to pay for cost and fees incurred during the hotel stay. At the closure of this trade, the merchant can capture the funds according the actual costs and fees.
What is hotel pre-authorization?
This solution is based on the Alipay app. For solutions that support multiple e-wallets, contact technical support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a customer checks into the hotel, there are these following ways to initiate a hotel pre-auth:
- Customer-scan pre-auth: The customer scans the pre-auth dynamic QR code presented by the merchant.
- Merchant-scan pre-auth: The merchant scans the Alipay payment QR code presented by the customer.
A successful pre-auth is when the customer authorizes the merchant to acquire the funds. When checking out, the amount of actual expenses will be captured from the frozen fund and the remaining funds (if any) will be unfrozen automatically.
How do hotels accept Alipay pre-authorization?
In the customer-scan method, a customer initiates the pre-auth process. The following figure illustrates the general user flow for this pre-auth method:
The following steps describes in detail the customer-scan pre-auth process:
- The cashier creates the Alipay pre-auth transaction order in the merchant system. A QR code for the pre-auth transaction order is generated.
- The customer logs in to the Alipay app, either taps Scan or Pay > Scan Pay in the main screen to enter the scan screen.
- The customer scans the QR code, confirms the amount, and then confirms the pre-auth.
- With the customer’s confirmation, the merchant system then receives the result of the pre-auth (success or failure) from Alipay.
- In the capture phase, the merchant sends capture request for the due amount according to the customer’s actual spending. Alipay deducts the amount from the pre-auth (frozen) funds, and sends the result to both the user and the merchant.
In the merchant-scan method, the hotel initiates the pre-auth process. The following figure illustrates the general user flow for this pre-auth method:
The following steps describes in detail the merchant-scan pre-auth process:
- The customer logs in to Alipay app, and taps Pay on the main screen to enter the payment code screen.
- The cashier confirms the amount of pre-auth funds and generates the transaction order at the merchant system.
- The customer presents the code for the cashier to scan. After the code is scanned, the merchant system submits the pre-auth request to Alipay.
- The Alipay system freezes a certain amount from the customer’s applicable funds, and returns the pre-auth result to the merchant.
- In the capture phase, the merchant sends the capture request for the due amount according to the customer’s actual spending. Alipay deducts the amount from the pre-auth (frozen) funds, and sends the result to both the customer and the merchant.
Reduce business risks
With the pre-authorized funds as a security deposit for a customer's hotel stay, you can guard yourself against no-shows or fraud, and make sure that there will be enough funds to cover any accidental charges or damages.
Improve customer satisfaction and business efficiency
Being the top choice of 150 million Chinese tourists, Alipay provides the hotel industry with a proven, secure, and reliable solution, making an authorization hold at check-in as easy as scanning a code, and the check-out process as fast as a click. Sparing you and your customers the hassle of dealing with cards or cashes is a sure attraction for millions of customers, which greatly improves the customer satisfaction and will keep your customers happy and returning.
After the merchant integrates with the Alipay hotel pre-auth solution, the merchant can freeze the customer’s certain amount fund at the booking stage, or during check-in. When the customer checks out, the merchant then requests the capture according to the actual expenses.