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Specialist services

These tailored services are designed to meet the needs of specific industry sectors.

Cash advances / Bureaux de change

Cash advances and other facilities provided by bureaux de change differ from purchase with cash back transactions, as they can be given without the cardholder having to purchase any other goods or services.

This specialist service is primarily designed for a bureau de change that provides foreign currency or travellers’ cheques to cardholders.

An acquirer will provide details on the card schemes’ procedures that have to be followed when accepting this type of transaction.

Express checkout

The express checkout service has been specially designed for the hotel industry. When a guests are ready to leave, they return their keys and leave the hotel without waiting for their bill to be made up. This allows a merchant to make up the bill at a more convenient time in the day without their guest having to wait.

This service is available only for certain card schemes and an acquirer can provide further information and detail any other actions a merchant should take when accepting a hotel booking.

Guaranteed / assured reservations

The guaranteed / assured reservations service has been specially designed for the hotel industry. When hotel guests book a room and provide their card number the room is then guaranteed. If the guest does not arrive or cancels the room booking after an agreed deadline, the merchant is entitled to charge the card for one night’s stay. An acquirer can provide further information and detail any other actions a merchant should take when accepting this type of booking.

Pre-authorisations

These are primarily designed for the hotel industry or car rental companies. In the case of the hotel industry, the pre-authorisation service allows a merchant to estimate a guest’s final bill and reserve this amount against the available card account balance while the guest is staying with them.

Although the funds have been pre-authorised and the transaction has not yet been processed, this will earmark funds and reduce the amount that cardholders have available to spend on their card.

Since this is a specialised service, merchants will need to discuss with their acquirer the procedures to follow and how to process the final card transaction.

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