Card payments : fast, secure, and easy with Stripe

Faster and more secure, Stripe is a brilliant online payment system which enables accommodation providers to take card payments – without the need for a merchant account or a payment gateway!

Access to an easy to use credit and debit card system can make life so much easier for our customers. Stripe enables you to accept card payments for your online and telephone bookings; payment made quick and simple for you AND your customers! All it takes is a click of a button to take balance payments and make any necessary refunds; no more chasing cheques or waiting for bank transfers – Stripe does it all for you!

Here are our top 5 reasons to use Stripe for card payments:

1. Quick and easy to setup

Just head over to the PAY tab in your freetobook account to get started!

2. Low Cost

In Europe, Stripe charges 1.4% for European cards (2.9% for International cards) and a mere 20p transaction fee!

3. No monthly charges 

Stripe charge per transaction, a simple pay-as-you-go system so you’re not out of pocket!

4. Secure 

PCI compliance fitted as standard, no lengthy forms to complete

5. 92% approval rating

freetobook customers using Stripe love it! We introduced Stripe in 2015 and have since had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the service. In fact, we are so sure it will be good for your business that we offer a 30 day money back guarantee on the freetobook integration charge.


Still not convinced that Stripe will work for your business? Take a look at what your fellow freetobookers are saying…. A staggering 92% of freetobook Stripe users are very happy with the service! Check out some of their feedback below:

“Absolutely love it (Stripe). It has changed my life. It is so easy, great when people cancel, works fantastic… Much less admin for me. It’s a win, win all the way” – Holly Tree Cottage

“Using it about 4 months now love it all automatic, and you know if cards securing reservations are valid cards, you can also charge guest stays using the system. Well done freetobook! It so easy to set up and maintain even older users like me have mastered it simply like all freetobook products we use…” – Avlon House B&B

At freetobook we’re positive that you’ll love using Stripe for your accommodation payments! But just in case, we offer a full refund within 30 days of paying your subscription. Freetobook charges an annual integration fee of £89 for providing you with this great payment functionality, which can be accessed quickly and easily through your freetobook account.

So what are you waiting for?! Improve the speed and ease of your payments today by adding freetobook Stripe integration! Click the PAY tab when logged in to your freetobook account.

FabPay – Payment Gateway for accommodation providers

Low cost pay as you go credit card payments

At freetobook we have created a low cost, pay as you go credit card handling system for UK accommodation owners.

Low Cost Card Payment
Credit Card Payment

FabPay offers full integration with your freetobook booking system, saving time and money when you switch to FabPay.

With FabPay, taking payments is no longer a complicated drawn out task. Just click the button and the payment is on it’s way to your bank !

Key Benefits:

1) Simple and quick – card payments made in seconds.

2) Secure and PCI compliant, all transactions are made on the SagePay gateway.

3) Simple to setup – You can run FabPay alongside your existing card payment system, no need to change.

4) NO monthly costs and NO tie in period, simply pay as you go.

5) Cost neutral, you can make a small charge to your customer for card handling so it costs you nothing.

6) It’s all connected, your online and phone payments are shown in each booking.

FabPay vs PayPal
FabPay vs PayPal

Many smaller properties use PayPal for card transactions, this could be very expensive compared to FabPay. If you are paying PayPal 3.4% on a debit card this could cost you £10.20 on a £300 booking. With FabPay a debit card transaction costs only 22 pence + a max gateway fee of 75 pence, a total of no more than 97 pence using FabPay. Massive saving !

The same £300 payment from a personal credit card with FabPay would be 1.35% + gateway fee i.e. £4.05 + 75 pence = £4.80 still less than half the price of PayPal. Click here for full cost comparison of FabPay vs PayPal

With FabPay there is a one off setup fee of £69. Credits are then bought to pay for each transaction (gateway fee). The more credits you buy the cheaper each transaction is (payment).

The most you ever pay is 75 pence but it you are using a larger number of transactions you could be paying as little as 24 pence per payment (gateway fee).

Find out more about FabPay at

Existing customers of freetobook can easily register for FabPay low cost payment system in Tab”Plus” and SubTab”FabPay” – start saving today !

If you do not yet use the freetobook Internet Booking Engine find out more at

PayPal Payments with freetobook

You can now collect payments from your customers at the time of booking using the new Paypal integration with freetobook.

PayPal integrated with freetobook
PayPal integrated with freetobook

At freetobook we’re always adapting and enhancing our system to offer great new functionality and make it even easier to use. Our latest innovation gives you the opportunity to take either full payment or a deposit from customers at the time of booking – saving you time by automating your payment process.

You’ll find this new functionality on the extra “Pay” tab of your freetobook account:

Freetobook menu bar
Freetobook menu bar

It doesn’t just enable you take full/partial payment, it also lets you decide what kind of deposit you want to specify, whether it’s a flat fee, a per room charge, a percentage of the total amount or a deposit for only a certain number of nights. So it suits all kinds of booking policies, as well as being fully automated and so simple to use.

If you don’t already have a PayPal account, you will need to sign up with PayPal. There is a “Sign Up” link at the top of the page on It’s free and you can use the “Website Payments Standard” solution (you do not need a Payments Pro account). Set up is very quick and easy, but it will take a few days to verify your account.

PayPal is one of the biggest payment processing companies in the world. It is a trusted brand, so your customers will feel comfortable and secure making payments to you through it. It certainly provides one of the simplest ways to accept online payments from all types of credit card. So, at the point of finalising the booking, your customer will be directed to PayPal. They simply enter their card details and payment will be taken (according to your policy). Now, you’ll get an email from PayPal confirming that the payment has been taken, as well as an email from us with the booking details.

Freetobook makes no charges for the integration, but PayPal has a sliding scale of charges dependent on your turnover. You need to check that you agree to its charges, which at their highest are 3.4% + 20p and decrease for larger monthly volumes.

Save money on credit card handling charges.

I won’t make any friends in the banking industry for saying this, but here goes.

If you already have a deal which is bad or average then it’s worth shopping
around now. You could save money, as your bank may be taking advantage of you.

A good credit card rate is between 1% and 1.5%.
An average credit card rate is between 1.4% and 1.9%.
A bad credit card rate is 2% and over.
(These rates are indications based on PDQ and virtual terminal. They will
be good for most B&Bs, guest houses, cottages or hotel businesses.)

So how do you do get the rate down ?

The first rule of dealing with bank credit card handling fees is negotiate. The second rule is negotiate and the third rule is negotiate. When it comes
to card charges, banks will try and get the highest charge they can
get away with. You can easily end up being charged 2.5% instead
of 1.5%. It’s a big difference and, let’s face it, in these times it pays to be
smart with costs. Who could ever feel bad about squeezing a bank?

We have been dealing with banks and their credit card charges for more
twelve years, so here are a few tips. I hope they lead to reducing your charges:

  1. When it comes to card charges, feel free to play banks off each against other. They
    all provide a similar service, so get at least three quotes from different banks.
  2. Let each one of them know you are shopping around for a good deal on your
    card business. If they want your account then they need to give you their
    best possible rates.
  3. Don’t feel you need to stick with the same bank you use for other services. Card transactions are mostly handled by completely different sections. They
    won’t do you any favours since card handling is mostly treated as an independent

What factors do they look for in calculating their charge ?

Risk: The lower your risk in the eyes of the banks the better rate they give and each bank
assesses risk differently (all the more reason to try different banks).

So what are the main risk factors?

  1. Time and Money: The time between taking payment and providing the service is a risk period to them. If you take a deposit in advance rather than full payment it will be a lower risk. Make sure the bank knows you are low risk (if you are). The more payment you take a greater time from arrival the higher the risk.
  2. Method: How you take the payment. If you use chip and pin, customer present, the risk is very low.  Taking payments over the phone – so-called card holder not present transactions – are a higher risk. Online card transactions are an even higher risk, but using online 3D secure can reduce the risk. You can expect a higher charge for online card transactions.
  3. Reputation: A good long trading history with a healthy set of accounts will reduce the risk that the bank sees in you and hence your charges.

Turnover: the higher your turnover the better the deal you can get. This is a simple volume calculation. If the bank can get 1.7% on 50,000 and your turnover increases to 70,000 you could get them down to 1.5% or lower; it’s worth a try.

Competition: They all have targets to meet and if they know you are shopping around for the best deal they won’t be tempted to over charge you and risk losing your account.

If anyone has any other tips or stories I would love to hear them. Happy hunting.

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