With the newly implemented change, when a trip organizer requests to book a listing that allows for split payments, the reservation is marked as “awaiting payment,” which acts like a hold. The organizer’s portion of the payment is charged to their card and then the remaining members of the group have 72 hours to log on to Airbnb and pay their part. The payments can be split with up to 16 people on a single reservation. If co-payers do not pay within the 72 hour window, there is an additional 24 hour grace period, after which the hold is released and those who have paid will be refunded.
Airbnb’s ability to split payments is a result of the company acquiring social payments startup Tilt earlier this year, perhaps prompted by the fact that the feature has consistently been one of the top requested for the platform over the past year.
Splitting payments not only solves a lot of user problems, but potentially opens up new ways for users to book: it avoids the headache of chasing after others for cash, and also allows for organizers to consider pricier listings that might have not been options if the entire cost fell to one person. Not all listings will be eligible for split payments, but Airbnb’s permanent rollout should make group trips much easier for an organizer’s well-being — and their wallet.
Correction November 28th, 1:27PM ET: The story has been corrected to note Airbnb misstated the hold feature. The ability to hold a listing for 72 hours is the same as the “awaiting payment” phase when conducting a group booking.