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In a statement Airbnb said “We are excited this tool will help solve a problem that has plagued many groups while travelling together.”
The split payments feature will ease the financial burden on group trip organisers, and alleviate the pain for travellers to front costs associated with booking. Airbnb guests won’t have to chase their friends and family after a trip to pay them back. It’s simple to use — when a trip organiaer requests to book a listing that qualifies for splitting payments, the reservation is put in an “awaiting payment” state, with the organiaer’s portion of the booking charged on their credit card while the host’s calendar is blocked. The organizer can hold a reservation for up to 72 hours, giving time to others in the group to log on to Airbnb and pay their portion.
In using the split payments tool, groups will have even more listings to choose from that often fall outside of what an organizer can afford to reserve if they had to front the total cost.
According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, for those that have travelled with a group, two-fifths (38%) have experienced not receiving all the money owed from a group trip. Of these people, a whopping 43 percent have lost $1,000 or more in group trip repayments, and a stunning 18 percent of the most frequent group trip takers* report losses of $10,000 or more. Group trips often times mean one person fronting big costs. Fifty-two percent of group travellers report they’ve fronted $500 or more, and almost a third (31%) have fronted more than $1,000.”
You can learn more here.