Your B & B Business and SCA

New Payment Security Measures that WILL Affect Your Business

SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) measures have now come into force as part of the Payment Services Directive II (PSD 2), a European law that all UK banks will be using (and yes this will remain in effect despite Brexit) to prevent fraud.

What does this mean? Overall these measures will significantly improve the security of payments. Sadly Some of the OTAs have misrepresented the situation for their own gain. It is important to note that SCA ONLY applies to cards typed in online by the customer, all other card transactions are exempt so you can continue payments in exactly the same way you did prior to SCA.

What’s ’strong’ about it?
The ’strong’ in ’Strong Customer Authentication’ means that the person using the card online has passed at least two of three ’proof points’ confirming they’re the owner of the account.

Those three points are:
Knowledge (knowing Password or PIN)
Possession (having their card or phone with them)
Inherence (being able to prove their identity through fingerprint or facial recognition).

Direct bookings via your website’s booking engine:
These are relatively straightforward, at the point of booking online the card issuing bank will now ask your guest for 2 of the 3 security points so you will be certain the payment was made by the owner of the card. Stripe and FabPay will take SCA details and confirm the identity of the card holder for you.

Channel bookings from Online Travel Agents (OTAs):
Where you get the customer’s card from the OTA this will be exempt from SCA. Any payments you take from the card will be Card Not Present (CNP) or Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO). These transactions are treated by the banks in the same way as they were before SCA so there is no change at all.

In the same way as channel bookings, payments where you type the card into a terminal or virtual terminal don’t fall under the new SCA measures as they are a Card Not Present (CNP) or Mail Order Telephone Order (MOTO) payments, that is to say they are exempt from SCA. These transactions are treated by the banks in the same way as they were before so there is no change.

Here at freetobook we offer property owners a number of secure payment options including Stripe and FabPay all of which are 100% SCA compliant for all types of payment.

 

 

The best hosts use messaging

Advanced Messaging
Advanced Messaging

At freetobook we really work hard and pride ourselves in the solutions we build to help accommodation owners manage and grow their businesses. Such a large part of that is the communication you have with your guests. We asked how can that be better? Much, much better?

We are super proud to release our latest piece of work which takes messaging between you and your guests to a new level. The best hosts focus on ways to make their customer’s stay amazing and memorable. That’s why they are the best, guests enjoy their stay so much they want to come back and love sharing the experience with others in reviews and recommendations, building reputation and brand.

The critical parts of the experience start with the anticipation and build-up followed by the stay itself and the after-departure feedback. From the moment they book to the end of their stay you will want your guests to have the maximum you can offer. When you put guest communication as a core part of the service at each point of their journey you increase the likelihood of a happy customer.

It’s about giving your guests the right information before they even ask for it and finding out what guests want from you in good time and in a way that suits them. Email just doesn’t cut it anymore, messaging makes communication more immediate and intimate and that makes guests feel special.

To say we have just created a messaging system is a massive understatement, advanced messaging is the first version of a happy guest generator which we will continue to build on. We are certain that using advanced messaging will grow your guest relations and boost your direct bookings.

Freetobook customers can setup advanced messaging in matter of seconds in the Tab “Plus”. For properties not yet using freetobook, why not signup today and enjoy all the marvelous solutions we provide for accommodation owners worldwide.

Messaging vs Email 

 

It’s easy to follow a message thread making communication natural, informative and fun.

(email is clunky and disjointed with no connection to what has already been said)

 

Messaging can be automated and include images, in the flow – so you look like a pro !

(email image attachments don’t look good and sometimes don’t even download)

 

Get more replies to messaging with the easy one click reply button. Your conversation flows and the best connection is made with your guest.

(email is tricky for customer to reply to, which email ? where did I put it ?)

 

It’s easy to know when a customer has opened your message, you can easily see if it has been read, or if the message failed.

(email is different on everyone’s browser so its difficult to know if your email has been received or not.)

 

Freetobook customers can setup advanced messaging in matter of seconds in the Tab “Plus”. For properties not yet using freetobook, why not signup today and enjoy all the marvelous solutions we provide for accommodation owners worldwide.

Savvy Tips For (Re) Designing Your Website

Our guest blog this month is from design and marketing company Ulka Media. Here they offer up some great tips and tricks when (re) designing your accommodation’s website.

www.ulkamedia.co.uk/website-design-ayrshire

As with most businesses, it’s important to portray yourself as professionally as possible and that extends to your property’s website. You only have a few moments to grab a user’s attention online so be sure to not squander the opportunity.

User Experience

When it comes to website design it’s vital to make a good first impression to stand out from the busy marketplace.

The whole user experience needs to be simple and alluring from start to finish to draw in prospective guests. Since 40% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, speed is critical so it’s important to employ techniques for faster loading such as browser caching or choosing the right hosting package.

Another factor to consider is how many clicks a user needs to get to the reservations stage and keep this to a minimum … 1 if possible, 3 at the absolute limit.

Responsive Layout

In 2018 Google deployed mobile-first indexing which emphasized the importance of mobile-friendly designs as users increasingly move to handheld devices for the web.  This is especially true in the travel industry as guests make bookings ‘on the go’. It is absolutely essential website usability on mobile devices is at the forefront of your website design, delivering great opportunities to reach your audience wherever they are.

Check to see if your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test here http://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly ).

SSL Certificate

An SSL Certificate can be setup and configured by any reputable hosting company. Without getting into the technical workings, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (promoting trust) when installed on a web server, allowing secure connections from a web server to a browser.

 

Quality Content

Is your content relevant? Is your property family-friendly or adults only? Have the rooms been recently refurbished? Have you won any awards? Are you located in a convenient location or close proximity to a popular visitor attraction? Do you offer free Wifi (if not, why?), is there an option for late check-out or any other benefits you can promote? You need to portray all of these points and any other Unique Selling Points to the website users to differentiate your property from all the others. You may also consider adding a location map or FAQs page to enhance the site.

Cohesive Branding

If you have a logo, stick with it on every medium (online and offline) from your website & social media accounts to your signage, brochures & stationary.

Your brand is not just your logo however, it’s also your colours and type face as well as your voice, reassuring your potential guests of the quality of your premises.

 

Loyalty

One of the most effective methods to promote direct bookings through your own website is to offer an attractive loyalty program.

Can you team up with local partners to provide discounts which guests can benefit from in return for loyalty points accrued?

 

Images

Photos of your property should not only be large and high resolution but they should also have good composition. Focus on guest rooms, restaurants and other amenities, not the exterior (unless you have a nice patio or balcony perhaps) especially on the home page. Hire a professional photographer if you can stretch the budget, the end result will be worth the investment to truly showcase your property.

Virtual Tours

Consider adopting a virtual tour to engage your customers with intuitive interactive content like pop-ups to provide additional detailed information or reservation links. This is like Google Street View for inside your business allowing you to replicate your premises in stunning details and provide your guests with a useful glimpse of your facilities from afar prior to making a booking.

Reviews

‘Social proof’ is the buzzword at the moment which includes engaging on social media and user-generated content. Most people (over 75%) read reviews before booking travel accommodation so it’s important to have them somewhere on your website – whether it’s a widget on the homepage or a dedicated landing page. Consider displaying TripAdvisor and Google reviews as these are more convincing than your own website testimonials.

Live Chat

Surpass your guest’s expectations with outstanding customer service instantly by engaging with them using live chat directly on the website. Online travel agencies like booking.com, etc cannot provide personalised guest service in this manner but you can.

NOTE: freetobook’s Messaging system is now up and running!

 

Calls to Action

To ensure your website is ‘conversion optimised’ it will require smart call-to-actions to usher guests through to the reservations page.

If you don’t do anything else on this list make sure your BOOK NOW button is displayed prominently on every page of the site. Once they have clicked the button to book don’t distract users with more CTAs.

Promote direct Bookings

Make it simple for your potential guest to book directly on your website (with a good booking engine like freetobook).

Display certification icons to encourage potential guests to book with confidence.

 

Local Events Calendar

Adding a local events calendar gives guests a reason to stay an extra night if they know the circus is in town the following evening or the flower show is at the weekend. Make sure to include dates, times, entry costs and any other pertinent details to help your visitors. In addition to upcoming events, list what activities are available locally whether it’s recreational activities such as golf or popular restaurants and visitor attractions like beaches, castles or theme parks.

Offers & Upsells

Can you offer a deal to first time guests who book direct or perhaps a free breakfast? Lure potential guests by offering certain deals available if they book before a certain date. Maybe you can upsell an afternoon tea as an extra on the booking confirmation page?

Urgency

Create a sense of urgency through the search and booking process by telling users when there are only a limited number of rooms available. This can instill a fear of losing out prompting users to click through and make a reservation rather than abandon. If that does occur, however, a clever website can ask users if they would like to save their search for another time. You can then retarget potential customers with the captured data.

Switch tips for new customers

Switching your booking system can be a lot easier than you think with our switch team.

User friendly websites
User friendly freetobook

Reliability, trust and cost savings can all make a big difference to your business and your happiness!

1. No Monthly standing charges

As a family business we believe all customers should pay for what they want and that nothing is hidden. Our pricing is optional, clear and openly listed on our website, it has always been this way. Prices and what you get for free

(other companies don’t show prices on their website because they want to charge you more or pay oily sales people high commissions to get the sale!)

2. No Minimum contract terms.

At freetobook we guarantee you will love our service, but just in case you don’t you’re not locked in, you can leave whenever you wish; we will never make it difficult, our customers stay because they want to.

(other companies tie you in to make it difficult to leave without penalty, that’s a trick we would never play – it just would not be trust worthy)

3. UK based support system

Customer service at freetobook is second to none – give us a ring and you will be connected straight to our expert support team in Glasgow.

4. Free online booking system

Unlike other booking systems we provide a high quality booking system free of charge so you get to fully use our system before you decide to opt in for any of the paid services which are completely optional and include a brilliant channel manager (Bookingcom reliability score 99.97% on 13 Jun 19) or a great low cost payment system.

5. You’re in control

Your business, your decisions. With freetobook you have control over all aspects of your online booking. You can decide to sell lower prices on your own website or have better availability on your direct booking channels…plus so much more.

 

” Wow this is amazing!! We have just reached 100 bookings in the last 30 days on the freetobook system. Thanks for starting it all off, and can you thank the ladies in the office for help setting up. I wish we had moved years ago!! ” (Adrian at Seed Hill)

Thinking about switching to freetobook ? why not try it out today …

Airbnb Channel Manager connection – Summer launch

A full two-way Airbnb Channel Manager connection is being developed for freetobook customers. Airbnb will soon join the many other channels available on freetobook including Bookingcom, Expedia, Hotelscom, TripAdvisor, Agoda, Hostelworld and many more.

Over the last few years we have watched Airbnb grow. Many freetobook customers are already using Airbnb and more would probably like to.

This month we started a full integration for a two-way channel manager exchange so that bookings, rates and conditions on your Airbnb account can be managed from within freetobook.

We expect to be ready with the Airbnb integration within two months so if you are interested in connecting keep an eye on our emails and sign up for a listing if you don’t have an Airbnb account.

Recent releases

New group booking process is live. When you go to add manual bookings in your freetobook diary you will find a slick new process to add bookings for any number of units making it quick and easy to add single unit or group booking.

 

Mobile app for Apple and Android will notify you of new bookings, modifications and cancellations. While the mobile app is very simple (it’s a first release) it’s perfect if all you want is to get booking alerts on your smart phone.

Other developments 

We also have a fabulous automated messaging system in the development queue for release in the next few months. The new messaging system will enhance your ability to communicate with your guests and save you invaluable time with automated messages.

 

International Women’s Day 2019 – part 2

On the 8th March 2019, across the globe individuals and companies are celebrating International Women’s Day. It’s a day to recognise and celebrate women’s contributions to business and society, and presents an opportunity to discuss gender equality around the world.

At freetobook we’re immensely proud of all of our staff and customers, and we would like to celebrate International Women’s Day by introducing you to a few of the brilliant women we work with on a daily basis.

Part 2 – Inspiring Women Behind the Scenes at freetobook

 

Lucy Mosha – People and Project Manager 

Lucy has two degrees – Bachelors in Geography and Anthropology, and a Master’s in Business Management. First gaining experience working at an initiative called the Botswana Business Coalition on HIV AIDS, Lucy then spent 17 years as a Director at Information Solutions, before moving with her family to Scotland and joining freetobook as People and Project Manager.

 

So what’s a People and Project Manager?

I basically look at how to attract and retain the best possible people we can, and develop business processes that we can repeat to get a similar or expected outcome.

What got you into this type of career?

I’ve always been interested in people and why people behave in a certain way… it’s just my passion to look at how people can engage better, do things better. I believe very strongly that happy people are good for business. It’s just been something that I’ve always loved.

What advice would you give to aspiring women who have their sights set on people management?

When it comes to people management, always follow your gut. You can read every manual out there about what’s good management and how to manage people etc. but at the end of the day people are people whether they’re in work or out of work or you’re at a party with them. That is what differentiates really good project managers from ones that are doing it just because it’s a business role to do – people management is about people relationships.

On International Women’s Day, what’s the most important message you want to send to young women thinking about their careers?

I truly believe that people should be happy at work, you should be happy in your life…if you’re not happy in life or in the biggest part of your life, do something about it, change it. And that is especially true for work.

 

Eleanor Wares – Product Manager  

Eleanor left school at 16, immediately going to work on a building site whilst going to college on a block-release basis, gaining an HNC in Construction Management. She later worked for the Tourist Board, earning another HNC in Tourism Services. Eleanor eventually moved to freetobook, where she’s been since we began! Her role has evolved over the years and she is a truly integral part of company, well known and loved  by her customers and colleagues.

 

What is your role at freetobook?

When I started I was here pretty much on my own doing the customer service, helping hotels set up and answering all the phone calls and emails. As time went on we took on extra staff and I’ve moved slightly out of customer services and work more in project development and troubleshooting -that’s when there’s an issue with something and I try to work out what the issue is.

I really do love my job –  I just like what I do!

How do you balance your work and home life?

I am very fortunate in that my husband is a stay-at-home dad and that is a decision that we made when I was pregnant with our first child because I thoroughly enjoy my job and he thoroughly hated his job! So we decided that he would quit his job to be a full-time stay-at-home dad and I would work full-time.

What advice would you give to young women at the start of their careers?

Just do it. Don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do something just because you’re a girl. Just decide what you want to do and just run with it. It may not always work out but you won’t know unless you try!

How have other women in work inspired you?

My old boss Delia was really inspiring – she really encouraged us to fight our way in the world. She inspired you, she made us all really think about what we wanted to do with our lives, not just come to work every day and do stuff. It’s important for women to lift each other up.

 

Emma Stewart – Accounts Manager 

Emma has a degree in Ecology and started out her career doing environmental work and  Geographic   Information   Systems.   She   worked   in   Botswana   for   9   years   for   an environmental consulting company and then returned to the UK to do a Master’s degree in Remote Sensing. She then set up and ran an environmental consulting business in England before taking a break to start a family and moving to Scotland.

 

When husband Iain set up freetobook with his brother, he asked Emma to look at the accounts as she had experience running her own business and doing the accounting –and she’s been here ever since!

What is your role at freetobook?

I keep the accounts software up to date and do the VAT returns.  I also manage the finances on the managed connections such as Expedia: making sure all the remittances and payments are correct.  There is also some R&D and liaising with developers on bits we’re trying to improve.  I also do a lot of data analysis which keeps the job interesting.

Running a family business, how much does work filter into home life?

We try not to discuss anything about work at home! Occasionally if one of us is bugged by something or stressing about something then we do talk about it, but we try not to discuss it at home too much.

On international women’s day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

To have confidence in what you want to do. Feel confident in just going for what you want to do and believing in your goals.

 

Sarah Houston – Developer 

Sarah studied Physics and Astronomy at university before pursuing her PhD in Particle Physics. After 2 years she left her PhD to have her son, before going to back to university 3 years later to achieve her Master’s in Software Development. After graduation, Sarah came to work at freetobook as a developer.

What made you decide to get into development after physics?

I had always found programming interesting during my work in physics, but my knowledge of it was quite basic, as I was only using it for data analysis.  After taking some time out from my career to look after my son, I was looking for a new challenge.  At first, I was unsure that I would be able to manage a demanding course while looking after a young child, but some friends of mine had gone back to university to study software development and encouraged me to do it.

What do you do as a developer at freetobook?

I help to write the code that runs the website. The development team discuss and plans how best to implement the new features and improvements that are being added to the website. Development is not just writing the code but is also gathering requirements, deciding what needs done and consulting with other members of the team to ensure the final product is as good as possible.

Do you have any advice for women aspiring to be a software developer?

Have confidence in yourself and don’t feel intimidated by being surrounded by guys! Currently most developers are men and as a woman you will probably be in the minority, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  As long as you have a supportive team around you, you will feel that your work is valued and know that support is there if you need it.  When I started working as a developer I often felt unsure of whether or not I was doing things the right way, but over time my confidence has grown.  I have realised even the most experienced people feel that way sometimes.

How important is it to get more women into the industry?

I think it’s really important as the wider the range of people in the industry, the better it can reflect the needs of society. I think just now it is quite a male dominated culture but I think having a broad range of people will get you a broader range of ideas and introduce new ways of doing things.

On International Women’s Day what’s the most important message you want to send to young women thinking about their careers?

Don’t let any preconceived ideas about industries like tech, engineering or science put you off pursuing a career in them.  You have the potential to succeed in any field and the power to make a positive change to any industry you join.

Read Part 1 – Women Bossing the B&B Business

International Women’s Day 2019 – Part 1

On the 8th March 2019, across the globe individuals and companies are celebrating International Women’s Day. It’s a day to recognise and celebrate women’s contributions to business and society, and presents an opportunity to discuss gender equality around the world.

At freetobook we’re immensely proud of all of our staff and customers, and we would like to celebrate International Women’s Day by introducing you to a few of the brilliant women we work with on a daily basis.

Part 1 – Women Bossing the B&B Business

 

Jane Herman, retired B&B owner 

Beechgrove Bed and Breakfast

Leaving school at 16 for a career in retailing, Jane has had a long career in developing service excellence. After a break to have her family, Jane worked as Training and Branch Manager for several brands (such as Country Casuals and Jaeger), and training became her favourite part of the job, whether that was introducing new management to the high company standards or empowering her own staff.

Believing strongly in life-long-learning, Jane qualified to teach further and adult education and gained a post-grad Diploma of Business Studies in her forties, later also qualifying in keyboard and computer skills.

Her years of training others to provide high quality service paid off in spades when she opened Beechgrove B&B in 2007. After 11 years of brilliant guest reviews, beautiful breakfasts and a cracking business facebook page, Jane has recently decided to close Beechgrove and enjoy her well-earned retirement.  We caught up to hear about the challenges and highlights of running her own business.

What were some of the challenges of running your own business?

In my late 50s learning book keeping, tax laws and social media skills! Big challenges. But the biggest challenge for me was bringing in guests. With my daughters help I built my own website and did a lot of successful marketing locally.

Your B&B business owning highlights:

Meeting interesting and delightful people from around the world, and sharing my home and experience with them to give them great memories! Expanding my skill base successfully, I love learning and particularly learning to value domestic skills, an unfashionable subject, and showcasing them successfully. Being valued personally has been lovely – freetobook and TripAdvisor reviews have been a great source of pride!

Do you have any advice for women aspiring to be B&B owners?

Set the standards you would want for yourself in accommodation. Steal ideas wherever you go to ensure best practice. Have a particular eye for detail – is the plug in the right place to be used properly, is the lighting good, do you put guests’ needs first?

On International Women’s Day, what message would you like to send to young women thinking about their careers?

Whether you’re a potato picker or a company director, be the best you can be and value yourself and your work. Aim to continuously improve standards and aim high to stretch yourself – whether you believe you will fail or succeed, you will be right!

 

Amanda Dunn, B&B owner 

Manor Farm-MK

Amanda spent much of her childhood on a farm, where she developed a passion for the countryside, ultimately graduating from agricultural college. After a period working and travelling in Europe, she settled in Bedfordshire to develop a grain storage and processing operation, where she “achieved more in those few years than I ever thought possible”.

 

After 4 years, she left to farm with her husband – taking on 600 acres! It was a memorable time for Amanda, but sadly they had to leave farming with heavy hearts in 2000. For the next 3 years Amanda concentrated on a freelance career writing for an agricultural journal and bringing up their young family.

In 2003, they purchased an old pit pony home with outbuildings and 40+ acres. They converted the buildings and have been there ever since, currently running four small businesses from the site including their B&B, Manor Farm-MK. When setting up the B&B Amanda did her research – she realised that there was a strong market in Milton Keynes for business guests, and so designed the B&B and business model around catering to executive guests. It’s been a huge success, with fabulous reviews on TripAdvisor and high guest-return rate.

Have you always wanted to have your own business?

I love running my own business, with a farmer as a father, being “your own boss” was all I ever really knew growing up! I couldn’t wait to get started.

What are some of the challenges of running your own B&B?

It’s offered plenty of different challenges – adapting to the market, adjusting and tweaking the business to ensure it not only works efficiently as a standalone operation but also effectively around the other enterprises on site, staying ahead of the game so there is always a “USP” that draws the business guest into the property – and then keeps them there!  Identifying ways that one can add value to the guest, yet maintain a close eye on costs incurred by the business.

Your B&B business owning highlights:

Highlights have been seeing a business grow, ideas develop and success achieved.  When I read a review from, or speak with, a visiting executive who comments on how our service makes a difference to his/her working life I feel that I have achieved something.

Do you have any advice for women aspiring to be B&B owners?

Be true to yourself, know where your strengths are and work those to the max, but be conscious of your weaknesses and adapt your business where you can to accommodate those.  Apply the highest attention to detail that you can affordably do.  Maintain a close eye on every penny spent – even the cost of bin liners should not be overlooked.  Go that extra mile as much as you possibly can and try not to take negative reviews personally, treat them as a positive.

 

Read Part 2 – Inspiring Women Behind the Scenes at freetobook

Special Offers – Three Top Tips

We all love getting a great deal – and the same goes for potential bookers on your website! The truth is Special Offers drive direct bookings; that’s why we make it super easy to create them in freetobook. Simply visit tab “Specials” and create a new offer; it’s live and available in seconds.

Here are Three Top Tips to help you create a successful Special Offer:

1. Keep the Offer Active – Special Offers help differentiate you, help you stand out against the competition….. so try to keep an offer running all the time.

2.Give a good deal – The best offers give guests a great deal, but don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget even a small amount can make all the difference.

3. Better deals in low season – If you think you have periods where you are not selling then focus your offers on those dates eg. off-season, weekdays or other low demand dates.

On freetobook you can easily open and close your offers (in Close-Outs under the tab “Availability”), so why not set-up a couple now and just open/close them when you need them most. Remember, if you don’t need to have the offers open on peak dates…. just close the high dates out.

Stripe card payments – fast, secure, easy

Stripe: online payments made easier, faster and more secure. Freetobook’s integration with Stripe makes payments possible at the click of a button, keeping things simple for you – and your customer. 

 

Thousands of freetobook customers use Stripe as their credit card payment system – this is one bandwagon you want to hop on!

 

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

Thousands of 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

“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

“It has reduced our costs and offers peace of mind.”

The Cardinal’s Hat

 

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?! Join thousands of freetobook users and 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.

#digibiz Award Win

 

The digital industry is booming in Scotland, with our small country becoming a world-leader in pushing technological boundaries. Since 2008, the Herald has been recognising and celebrating the most innovative, creative and commercially successful digital work in Scotland with the annual Scottish Digital Business Awards. Every year Scotland’s finest digital talent, companies and campaigns are honoured at a prestigious ceremony in Glasgow, where this year, for the first time, we were honoured to be finalists in the ‘business to business’ category!

The ‘business to business’ award is given to the organisation that can “best demonstrate the effective implementation of digital platforms and tools in a business capacity”, with judges looking for evidence of “how the technique was adopted and has delivered consistent results in unpredictable market conditions”.  At freetobook we constantly strive to deliver cutting edge technology to help independent accommodation providers thrive in their business – and we think we’ve been pretty successful so far! But we were up against some tough competition from Digital Parade, The Digital Age and xDesign, so we arrived at the awards night quietly confident and optimistic, but also thrilled just to be finalists in such hotly contested category.

The freetobook team got our glad rags on (not a common occurrence!) and joined more than 250 other guests from the Scottish digital sector at the Radisson Blu hotel for a champagne reception, dinner and (finally!) awards. The drinks were great, the food delicious, and then it was time for the results! Our category was first up, and to say we had butterflies is an understatement!

And the winner is….drumroll….freetobook!!

We were absolutely delighted, and the freetobook team were loudly celebrating as our co-founders Iain and Craig went up to accept the award. The rest of the night was a bit of blur for some of the team (not everyone, Iain had to fly to Isle of Wight in the morning for a Workshop!), but there were some excellent speeches (Michael Docherty from Skyscanner was particularly good), and it was really inspiring to hear about so many different kinds of companies thriving in the Scottish digital sector; we were honoured to be a part of the event amongst such talented company, and thrilled to win our category!

 

 

We’re a family company, and the values and business style that come from that are key to our business and success. But so is the technology that we bring to the table. At freetobook we’re constantly innovating and updating our system, connecting to new channels and delivering new services – this is our passion, and we’re thrilled that the digital business technology we provide to our freetobookers has been recognised at the Scottish Digital Business Awards.

Huge thank you to all our freetobookers for your support, well-wishes and congratulations – it honestly means the world to us!