Does BRM handle deposits?

The short answer is YES.  But let's take a closer look.

There are really two types of deposits relevant to bike rental:

  1. booking / reservation deposit - when someone reserves a bike, a booking deposit ensures the show up to take the bikes they've reserved, if not you keep the money, typically around 20% of the rental fee.
  2. security deposit - when someone takes your bikes, a security deposit is designed to ensure they bring it back again!  Furthermore if the do bring it back and there is a problem like they have broken something, you have some 'insurance' to help ensure they pay for any damage that may have been due to their negligence.

1.Booking/Reservation Deposit - BRM currently handles booking / reservation deposits in the following way.  When reservations are made, they are 'provisional' by default.  They only progress to confirmed when the customer pays the booking deposit, at which stage the progression is made, and the transaction recorded.

2. Security deposits are different however.  There is no real industry standard for handling them, and approaches include:

  • keeping a passport / drivers licence in the safe
  • taking a copy of the above
  • holding a credit card in a safe
  • taking credit card details / swipe and holding
  • taking a pre-authorisation of a card 
  • taking an actual payment against a card and refunding in the event of problems
  • nothing - wing and a prayer
  • storing credit card details online.  BRM fully integrates with Stripe to make this really smooth

BRM allows you to track any of the above, giving your point of sale staff crucial reminders, at the right time.  If you tell BRM that you're interested in tracking security deposits, which you do by checking this checkbox, then press "save":

 then it will prompt you on bike-checkout to enter in any references / details.  Then on bike return (checkin stage) it will remind you of the security notes so that any items can be returned.

This really helps with staff-training and manual error reduction.

Furthermore you can record security deposit information at any stage, and there is a dedicated button to access this at any stage:

The system also tracks ACTUAL security deposit amounts being held for a reservation.

It treats each payment IN and OUT as a transaction so you have full audit-trail.

(it's like a whole separate account for handling security payments, different from rental payments)

Taking a security Deposit - via the transaction dialog:

And it will update the 'Total Held' amount when do so..

Then to return security deposits:

and what about reconciling security payments vs rental payments?

we make it very obvious which is which by highlighting any security payments in blue:

and this principle is also carried through to the reconcile payments page:

related articles:

using Stripe to store credit card details

video demo of deposit handling