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Direct Premium guest verification
Direct Premium guest verification

Every Premium booking is verified by Autohost

Andrew Schorr avatar
Written by Andrew Schorr
Updated over a week ago

When you are just getting started with direct booking, it can be scary opening up your house to just anyone on the internet. One of Hospitable's goals with Direct Premium is to help make hosts feel comfortable with things like guest verification, damage protection, and chargeback protection.

Most short-term rentals don't have a face-to-face check-in desk, which hotels use to verify guests' identity and their credit card. Instead we use an online process to help protect you from fraud and damages, and to keep your community safe.

Guest verification

For every Direct Premium reservation, the primary guest is required to successfully complete an Autohost guest profile after submitting their booking request.

Although we notify you as soon as the booking request is completed, you will not be able to accept a reservation until the guest verification is complete. We will notify you again when the guest is verified and you can accept the booking. If you do not intend to accept the booking, you can always reject the booking at anytime, which may save your guest the hassle of completing guest verification, if they haven't already.

What the guest sees

  1. On the Review & Confirm screen of the Premium booking flow, one of the terms and conditions we highlight for the guest is that they are required to provide a valid ID.

  2. When they confirm their booking request, we generate a link on the next screen to their Autohost verification portal and tell them that their request is not complete until they verify. We also email the link to the guest at the same time and again several hours later if they have not completed the verification at that time.

  3. When the guest opens the link, they will first be asked to confirm their contact information, address, and date of birth.

  4. They then select the type of identification they want to use for the verification, including a driver license, passport, or national identity card, and whether they would like to upload images or use their phone camera. If they are not currently using their phone, they will have an option for "remote camera", which allows them to switch to their phone camera.

  5. They will need to upload or photograph the front side and, depending on the ID type, the back side too.

  6. They will then take a selfie.

  7. They finally select the their trip purpose (business, pleasure, or other) and what activities they are planning to do (sightseeing, party, concert, work, etc.) before confirming their submission.

Guest screening

In addition to the general screening of guest data, here are specific tests that are run on Direct Premium reservations:

  • ID verification
    Guest are required to upload the front and, depending on the ID type, the back of their ID to Autohost, where the ID will be machine read and analyzed for authenticity. The ID photo is compared to the guest selfie using photo recognition.

  • Fraud detection
    Examines the contact information, browser configuration, internet connection type, location, and more to surface fraud signals. Usually multiple signals would be required to have confidence a booking is fraudulant.

  • Social verification
    If the guest's email address is real, we would expect to see a number of profiles on different sites. Autohost reports all of the profiles they are able to find.

  • Sex offender search (USA only)
    Some communities have started to require a sex offender search on all short-term rental reservations. Autohost searches public sex offender databases for matches of the primary guest name and date of birth.

Automatic verification or manual review

After the guest completes the portal, Autohost will score the reservation on a color scale from green (least risk) to yellow, orange, or red (highest risk). Autohost will also determine whether the reservation can be automatically verified or whether it requires manual review.

If a reservation is marked red, Hospitable will block the booking as Autohost has communicated high confidence that the booking is fraudulent or dangerous. In our experience, fraud is more often seen on last-minute reservations, so all last-minute reservations are flagged for manual review by Hospitable's Direct support team.

As soon as the reservation is verified, either automatically or following manual review, Hospitable will notify you that you can take action. If you have enabled Instant Book and the reservation is scored as a green risk, it will be automatically accepted at that point.


Guest verification does add a bit of friction to the direct booking experience, but we believe it is necessary. Verification is critical to

  • help us protect you against fraud,

  • help defend you from chargebacks,

  • make damage protection possible and affordable, and

  • fulfill your duty of care to your neighbors.

Occasionally guests may have trouble successfully uploading their ID or selfie. There are several tips within the Autohost guest portal, but you can remind your guest to place their ID on a plain surface with good lighting. If they are having trouble getting the camera to recognize one type of ID, suggest trying an alternative form of ID, if they have access to one.

Moving forward, we have several items on our roadmap to improve the guest and host experience when it comes to guest verification.

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