Bank Transfers ?

#1 Aug 13th, 2018, 04:05
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#1
What is the procedure when asked to pay for a hotel booking by "bank transfer" ?

Is there any way to do this if abroad, away from your own bank?

I have not heard of this in connection with anywhere else but India, why can't they accept credit or debit cards ?

Any help appreciated!

Ed.
#2 Aug 13th, 2018, 04:41
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Whether you can do this from abroad is between you and your bank or third party payment company. My bank and I can do it over the net, i.e. from anywhere.

As you presumably know, credit card payments give you protections that bank transfers do not. I hope you are sure it is not a scam. Indeed, legitimate small businesses may not take credit cards remotely because of the expense and effort to set up internet payment gateways that accept foreign CC and comply with govt anti-fraud regulations. Accepting physical CC in the customer's presence is relatively easy, but remote payment is hard (in India).
#3 Aug 13th, 2018, 04:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post What is the procedure when asked to pay for a hotel booking by "bank transfer" ?

Is there any way to do this if abroad, away from your own bank?

I have not heard of this in connection with anywhere else but India, why can't they accept credit or debit cards ?

Any help appreciated!

Ed.
Smaller hotels (non chain) usually ask for bank transfers .Very common as I have just done a bank transfer to one.

As commented in an earlier post ,one issue is that you do not have any protection if the hotel goes bankrupt/cease trading

It is cheaper to use a third party provider rather than yoir own bank to send funds .

There are many services to send funds to India

Like for example the money2India service from icici bank.

(Please check in the T&C if it can be used by people of non Indian origin if that is the case.I do not remember any such issue )

The funds can be transferred to any bank account in India (faster if it is an icici account) . The funds should reach in 2-3 working days

After registering with the service you set up a transaction to an indian bank account. They then give you a unique reference number for the transaction.and quote a GBP amount . You then have to do the GBP transfer from your UK bank account to the UK bank account of the service provider tagged with the reference number they give. Once the funds are cleared they transfer it to the Indian bank account you have entered.

One issue with this is that if you decide to cancel your trip and need your funds back it can be a hassle.

The other thing is that I have only used this service to transfer funds to my own non resident icici bank account in india . However i did not see any restriction on transferring to any account. You probably have to check if it is possible to tag the transaction so that the hotel knows that it is coming from you..


PS: I have not used this for a few years ( I now have a HSBC UK and HSBC India accounts which are linked and transfers happen in seconds) . Interestingly the customer service rep from money2India had called me yesterday and gave me two codes which apparantly can reduce the transaction fee by 30% . The promo codes he gave me were MORE and WINUK. I suspect that these are generic codes for the UK and anyone who wants to try these can use it. Please post if they work.
#4 Aug 13th, 2018, 05:11
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I am sure there is no scam in this instance, simply that I had no idea how to set up such a transfer, it is not a "normal" part of my financial activities.

The advice from UK doctor is welcome, but it still seems a mad way to pay for a hotel booking!

(I ran my own small business for 30 years, but never needed to use a "bank transfer"...)

Ed.
#5 Aug 13th, 2018, 05:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I am sure there is no scam in this instance, simply that I had no idea how to set up such a transfer, it is not a "normal" part of my financial activities.

The advice from UK doctor is welcome, but it still seems a mad way to pay for a hotel booking!

(I ran my own small business for 30 years, but never needed to use a "bank transfer"...)

Ed.
I think it is just because the hotel does not have the facility to charge your card remotely. The hotel could still have a card reader but that obviously needs a physical card

They probably want some security so that they are not in a loss if you cancel.

The other option is to check if the hotel rooms are available online through a third party provider. Sometimes it is cheaper to book this way. Some of these websites may accept UK cards but be careful and ensure that the hotel does not rip you off by charging in INR a few days before check in time. (The conversion rate is poor and you may be hit with transaction charges if using a UK card ) . If going down this route you have to make sure that you pay in advance in GBP with all taxes included .

Alternatively you can use your UK card ( if accepted ) via 3rd party website as a guarantee and at the time of check in pay in cash in INR . I do not like using cards in India and usually give a cash deposit at check in instead of a card for guarantee and have never been refused ..

For example i just managed to book a room at a Delhi hotel(chain) for 2/3 of the price for a direct booking at the hotel website via Agoda uk . Paid in GBP with my UK card .

I have managed this several times with various other chain hotel groups ( i suspect these are dumped online via 3rd parties ) . Several times i have tried to get the front desk to match the online 3rd party rate (Leela hotels ) when i wanted to extend the stay but they said could not and I then booked it via 3rd party website paid in GBP . . Seems like crazy policy as they then have to pay a commision to the 3rd party .

However for another room in a small town in the south I have just done a bank transfer ( direct communication with the hotel as rooms sold out online and they requested one nights fee for a 3 night stay as deposit )
#6 Aug 13th, 2018, 05:55
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If you are already in india , it could be possible to deposit funds into the bank account of the hotel or get a Demand draft made for the same from a bank. Best is to use a branch of the same bank. I think you do not need any documentation if the amount in question is below 50k INR..
#7 Aug 13th, 2018, 06:55
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Thanks, UK Doctor.

I was looking at maybe reserving a room on booking.com, and they stated that after the booking the Indian hotel would contact me direct and request payment by bank transfer, so I was wondering how to work that.

Probably I need to try and move upmarket, away from the bargain basement hotels!

I do remember once phoning a hotel in Washington, D.C. direct and asking for a room at the same price as online, but they said no. Just went online and got it cheaper!

Cheers,

Ed.
#8 Aug 13th, 2018, 07:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post Thanks, UK Doctor.

I was looking at maybe reserving a room on booking.com, and they stated that after the booking the Indian hotel would contact me direct and request payment by bank transfer, so I was wondering how to work that.

Probably I need to try and move upmarket, away from the bargain basement hotels!

I do remember once phoning a hotel in Washington, D.C. direct and asking for a room at the same price as online, but they said no. Just went online and got it cheaper!

Cheers,

Ed.
Also try agoda or even makemytrip

Agoda is UK based..makemytrip even though Indian accepts international cards as far as I know.
#9 Aug 13th, 2018, 10:11
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Originally Posted by ukdoctor View Post Agoda is UK based..makemytrip even though Indian accepts international cards as far as I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukdoctor View Post Paid in GBP with my UK card .

I then booked it via 3rd party website paid in GBP
Agoda is Singapore based, and wholly owned subsidiary of the Priceline Group, who have changed their name to Booking Holdings, Inc now a Delaware registered Company

Common wisdom in frequent flyer circle is that one should never pay in one's own currency to any international transaction if possible. If a hotel normatively quotes in INR/SGD/GBP/EUR/VND.... I take it in local currency, and settle my bills in the currency of my card - USD etc. Hotels, Duty Free, and large departmental stores which offer USD or Local, make a killing in charging you in USD (or GBP)

Again, this all depends on the financial regulatory framework of the country where the credit card has been issued.
#10 Aug 13th, 2018, 12:21
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post Agoda is Singapore based, and wholly owned subsidiary of the Priceline Group, who have changed their name to Booking Holdings, Inc now a Delaware registered Company

Common wisdom in frequent flyer circle is that one should never pay in one's own currency to any international transaction if possible. If a hotel normatively quotes in INR/SGD/GBP/EUR/VND.... I take it in local currency, and settle my bills in the currency of my card - USD etc. Hotels, Duty Free, and large departmental stores which offer USD or Local, make a killing in charging you in USD (or GBP)

Again, this all depends on the financial regulatory framework of the country where the credit card has been issued.
You have a point as many hotels make money through DCC. I.e offer to allow you to pay in Your home currency and rip you off with poor exchange rates .

I was talking about bookings paid for before you stay. As far as I know DCC can only be done at the point of sale via a terminal i.e when you are at the hotel..They should offer both DCC and non DCC though they sometimes keep quiet and try to get you to do DCC to get the extra commission.

However the GBP rate quoted by agoda (including all local taxes GST etc etc) was far lower than the INR rate on any other website. This has been paid for in advance in GBP and there is no question of DCC.

The only issue with a third party service like agoda is that you may not get your hotel points /WiFi etc
#11 Aug 13th, 2018, 19:39
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Ed,I have used Booking.com many times in India with about 1 in 5 saying they would ask for a bank transfer. Not a single one has contacted me.I really wouldn"t worry about it. I look forward to reading about your travels. All the best Simon.
#12 Aug 13th, 2018, 19:49
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I have friends in Ladakh who started small travel agencies and they have found it difficult, in effect impossible, to set up their bank account to accept credit card payments. India makes it burdensome, maybe because the government wants more oversight of all money transfers. Bank transfers within India are instantaneous and free, so a lot of businesses use them. But a bank transfer from USA to India costs $40 or $50 (and the American bank's website may shut you down if you try it from India) so it's not functional for small transfers. I hear about or run into this problem frequently. Annoying.
#13 Aug 13th, 2018, 20:28
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One of the ways around this is to see if any friends can transfer the funds for you.

Even a friend in the UK can do this for you if they have an Indian bank account .

Most hotels are okay with a one or two night fee as a deposit
.
#14 Aug 13th, 2018, 21:08
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#14

Bank Transfers ?

Bank transfers are easy. Money2India was mentioned, and no you don't have to be Indian. It used to be free, but not any more.

I now use TransferWise. It's also easy.
These services do charge a fee. I don't know how hard it is for small businesses to set up for card payment, but since De-Mon, many tiny business do.

Sent from my phone: expect err ores
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#15 Aug 13th, 2018, 21:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Bank transfers are easy. Money2India was mentioned, and no you don't have to be Indian. It used to be free, but not any more.

I now use TransferWise. It's also easy.
These services do charge a fee. I don't know how hard it is for small businesses to set up for card payment, but since De-Mon, many tiny business do.

Sent from my phone: expect err ores
Nick you can try the codes I have posted above. They seem to be generic and I don't need them anyway. The m2india agent said that the code will give a 30% discount on the transfer fees.
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