Home sharing site Airbnb is experimenting with paying hosts at the time of booking. Through the pilot, chosen hosts can get half of their total payout three days after a home is booked, according to TechCrunch.
Typically, hosts don’t receive their money until after a guest checks in. If a host takes an upfront payment from Airbnb and the booking gets canceled, Airbnb will subtract that payment from the host’s next booking. Airbnb has a range of cancellation policies, depending on the host’s preference. Even under a strict cancellation policy, guests can get a partial refund if they cancel seven days prior to their reservation.
This new payout service does not come free. Airbnb takes 1% of the fee for those who choose to get paid ahead of their guest’s arrival. In addition to giving Airbnb another way to pull value from its customers, the new payout product further establishes Airbnb as a platform that helps users make rent (or mortgage payments as the case may be). Airbnb has been testing an array of payment models for both hosts and guests since last year, including group payments.