Preparation complete for the PSD2/SCA regulation

With reference to our recent post on the topic, we're now happy to announce that we've completed all the changes required to meet the EU's upcoming PSD2 regulation. πŸ‘

If you're not using online payments through Skedda or you're not based in the European Economic Area, then you don't need to worry about this and you can stop reading now. Otherwise, read on!

The Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements of the PSD2 officially take effect on 14 September 2019. Some countries have however chosen to relax things with a "phase-in period" as discussed in this article.

Regardless of when the card-issuers of your customers start enforcing SCA, Skedda already has you covered and there's no action needed from your side πŸ‘.

Practically, your Skedda users won't notice any difference at all in the booking experience, except when their card-issuer explicitly requires them to complete authentication (e.g. with 3D-Secure technology). In these cases an additional authentication modal will appear on-page for completion. The booking experience remains smooth and fast in these cases (no messy page-reloads or redirects).

Rest assured that any relevant SCA exemptions will be automatically applied so that an authentication step is only required when absolutely necessary.

As always, we invite you to reach out to our support team if you have any questions about the PSD2 or SCA. Enjoy your weekend!

Quotas feature now available on all accounts

We've completed the roll-out of the new quotas feature we announced last week. It's now available for all venue accounts! πŸ‘

You can read detailed information about this feature in our new quotas support doc.

We hope you'll enjoy this new feature. As always, reach out to our support team if you have any questions!

Quotas (initially enabled for new signups)

Today we're very happy to announce the release of our most-wanted feature: the ability to manage quotas (a.k.a. usage limits, booking allowances). We've initially enabled this feature for new venue signups and will be turning it on for existing accounts over the next week or two.

In a nutshell, the feature allows the owner to define quota rules like these:

  • Limit individuals to a per-user maximum of 4 hours per day across all spaces.
  • Limit individuals with any of the tags [Student, Member] to a per-user maximum of 10 hours per week across [Room 101, Room 102].
  • Limit the group of users with the tag Third-Floor Tenant to a total group maximum of 50 hours per calendar month across [Meeting Room A, Meeting Room B].

These examples illustrate that it's possible to setup quota rules that vary by space, custom user tag, period (day, week or month) and quota kind (i.e. applied per user/individual or applied over a group).

Here's a video showing how the owner creates the example rules above in the dedicated quotas area of the venue settings:

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Once quota rules have been configured, non-admin users will see an informative error message if they attempt to make a booking that violates an applicable quota rule. Non-admin users can now also see their current usage for a selected date range under My bookings on the list view:

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This new quotas feature is part of our Pro Pack offering (which you can trial for 30 days at no charge if you haven't already)!

We hope that you'll enjoy the ability to further automate your booking processes and policies with quotas! As always, reach out to our support team if you have any questions, and have a great weekend!

Preparation for the EU's upcoming PSD2 regulation (Strong Customer Authentication)

The Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) will come into full effect in the EU on September 14, 2019. Today we'd like to share some comments on how this will affect Skedda users.

If you're not using online payments through Skedda or you're not based in the European Economic Area, then you don't need to worry about this and you can stop reading now πŸ‘. Otherwise, read on!

An important element of the PSD2 is the requirement for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) on the majority of electronic payments. If you're taking payments through Skedda, it will be through a Stripe account. Rest assured that Stripe is leading the industry with respect to the PSD2. Stripe is investing heavily to make sure that payment flows remain smooth and frictionless despite the additional requirements imposed by SCA.

To start, Stripe will automatically apply appropriate exemptions to avoid end-users having to complete an authentication step. For example, Stripe will perform a real-time risk analysis to determine whether the payment falls under the "low risk" category (based on the transaction amount and the percentage of your merchant's transactions that have been reported as fraudulent in the past). For the usual scenario where the booking amounts are relatively small and you're not a fraudulent merchant, such exemptions will likely be frequently applicable and accepted by banks.

In the hopefully-rare case that no exemption can be made and the bank requires the customer to complete an on-session authentication flow, there are two cases in Skedda to consider:

  • Customer-initiated transactions: This is the "upfront" payments approach in Skedda, whereby the customer pays immediately for their booking. If SCA is required for the payment to complete, a modal dialog will pop up with the relevant bank's authentication challenge for the customer to complete. There won't be any messy page-reloads or redirects in this process so the payment flow will remain smooth and enjoyable.

  • Merchant-initiated transactions: This is mainly applicable for the case where the venue is following the "book now, pay later" payments approach and it's a venue admin (i.e. the merchant) that initiates the payment when the customer is not "on-session". In these scenarios, when the customer first adds their payment method, they'll be asked to complete authentication and also agree to have their card charged by the merchant at a later time. We'll then mark admin-initiated charges as "merchant-initiated" so that the relevant bank doesn't require SCA. Stripe is currently finalizing the APIs for this particular scenario (expected to be available for Skedda to implement by July 1).

From the Skedda side, we're currently working hard to make sure that all the required changes are being made from our side well in advance of the deadline (namely upgrading to the latest APIs that support these SCA flows). We've already completed a significant portion of this work.

Skedda users can rest assured that they've chosen the correct products to work with (Stripe and Skedda) as we move together towards an even safer internet!

As usual, feel free to reach out to our support team if you have any questions on the PSD2 or SCA. We'll provide further updates on this topic in the upcoming months as events warrant.

Brand color

Today we're happy to announce that you can color your venue account with your organization's own brand color!! πŸ‘πŸ”΄πŸ”΅πŸ”ΆπŸ”ΊπŸŒžπŸ’ͺ

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To set your color, log in as the owner, navigate to Venue Settings -> Basics and either choose from one of our vibrant suggestions or enter a specific "hex" value. You'll then see the color change immediately and you're done!

We've invested considerable effort to make sure your brand color is deeply integrated into all the relevant parts of both the admin and user experience. For example, your brand color is used in:

  • the main navbar on desktop and mobile devices,
  • the home-screen launcher icons for our progressive app on mobile devices,
  • the various in-app modals (e.g. the new-booking modal),
  • the venue- and user-directed email notifications,
  • the login and registration pages, and
  • the various browser icons.

Here are a few more screenshots showing beautiful brand colors in action!

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This new brand-color feature is part of our Pro Pack offering (which you can trial for 30 days at no charge if you haven't already)!

A few final remarks on this new feature:

  • For optimal appearance in all scenarios, we require that your brand color is "dark enough" to form the background for white graphics and text. Skedda will warn you if you use a color that's too light, and in this case just choose one of the darker variants of your brand color!

  • Although we continue to generally support Internet Explorer 11 (which is almost six years old and nearing the end of its life), this brand-color feature isn't supported on this browser. If you're still using Internet Explorer 11, we strongly recommend updating to a modern browser like (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari).

We hope that you'll enjoy the fresh and customized new look of your Skedda account! As always, reach out to our support team if you have any questions!

Seamless user-registration through external providers; Further security enhancements

Users that follow a venue-provided invitation/register link can now choose to register with their existing Facebook, Google, Twitter or Microsoft account. This saves your users a bunch of time because they no longer need to manually type out their details nor complete the email-verification and login-setup flow (authentication is simply handled through the external provider) πŸ‘.

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In other news, we continue to invest significant amounts of energy to protect your data. Today we're happy to announce that we've deployed Advanced Threat-Protection Monitoring as well as Automated Periodic Vulnerability-Assessment Scans. You can find a discussion of these new security features in our comprehensive article on data security.

As always, feel free to reach out to the Skedda team if you have any questions!

Custom fields now enabled for all accounts

Today we're happy to announce that the Custom fields feature, which we began rolling out last week, is now available on all accounts. Check out last week's post or our support doc for all the details. Enjoy building your custom fields, let us know if you have any questions and enjoy your weekend!

Custom fields for bookings

TL/DR: We've completed the Custom fields feature: a powerful and flexible way to collect and manage additional information for bookings πŸ‘.

The details:

Today we're pretty excited to be announcing the release of the Custom fields feature. Initially, we've enabled it for new venue accounts only. We'll be progressively switching it on for existing accounts over the next couple of weeks.

This feature has been highly requested by our fans for some time now, and we've invested the time to make sure it's mighty flexible and powerful for addressing various needs!

Custom fields can be created by the venue owner on the Settings -> Custom booking fields page. Various field types can be created:

  • Single-line text
  • Multi-line text
  • Single-select dropdown
  • Multi-select dropdown
  • Number
  • Checkbox

Here's an owner creating a Multi-select dropdown field, for example:

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As shown, the field-builder includes a bunch of options and a handy real-time preview so that you can see the result immediately as you work your magic.

Custom fields support:

  • Labels, placeholders and help text (with the ability to add links).
  • The ability to specify that a field is required. For Multi-select dropdowns and Number fields, we even let you restrict the allowable selection count and number range.
  • The ability to specify that the field's values are for admin-eyes only.

Here's an example of how fields appear on the booking form after they've been created. In this example it's an admin creating the booking. The fields shown are the Multi-select dropdown from before as well as a Checkbox (with a link) that we've specified must be checked. They admin sees a validation error when they forget to check the box:

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This also shows how admins are able to add/remove fields from a booking as they choose. For non-admins, you're able to specify precisely which fields should be included when they create their self-service bookings (we call these the "inclusion conditions"). By default, all fields are always included, but you can override this to really customize things. For example, you might like to have

  • one text field that is admin-only,
  • one number field that is only included on bookings for certain spaces (e.g. Attendance count) , and
  • two dropdowns that are only included on bookings of the Unavailable type.

These are just some examples of the kinds of behavior you can achieve with this new feature. The options really are almost endless, and we're excited to see how you put them to work for you!

Of course, custom fields are respected in emails, exports, printouts, popovers, search fields, scheduler views and Zapier triggers, so the information collected will be consumable in all the ways you expect.

As always, feel free to reach out to our support team if you have any questions on this feature or if you'd like some help getting things setup!

Happy field-building!

Space-filtered venue iCal feeds

Today we're happy to announce that venue-level iCal feeds now support filtering by space πŸ‘.

Calendar feeds allow you to pull booking information from Skedda into your external calendars, like Google Calendar, Outlook and Apple Calendar. The new space-filtered iCal feeds allow you to more easily focus on the information you need in your external calendar, because each of the different sets of Skedda spaces that are important to you can now have a separate calendar feed. Most external calendars allow you to create a different color for each feed, and allow you to easily "show/hide" individual feeds with a click.

Venue owners can build their customized, space-filtered iCal links on the Integrations page of their Venue Settings area:

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We hope you find this feature useful and invite you as usual to reach out to us if you have any questions. Enjoy your weekend!

Choose who can repeat bookings; Accept repeating bookings with payments

Today we're happy to announce the availability of two new features πŸ‘.

1. Choose who can repeat bookings

Owners can now choose which users are able to create weekly-repeating bookings. For example, the owner can choose to give everyone this ability, grant it only to those users having one or more chosen tags, or grant it to nobody except admins. This can all be reviewed and changed from the owner-accessible Booking window & lock-in settings area.

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2. Accept repeating bookings with payments

The new controls discussed above imply that you can now also give online-paying users the ability repeat their bookings weekly.

For example, instead of having to create three separate bookings for three identical Monday sessions and pay for each one separately, a user can now create just one three-week repeating booking and pay the total series price in a single transaction. Here's how this looks in the booking flow for a venue with upfront payments setup:

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Rest assured that we've enabled these new features safely in an "opt-in" way. That is, unless the owner chooses to explicitly modify the settings, everyone will continue to be able to book the way they did previously. So nothing will change if you don't want it to.

As always, we invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the new features. Enjoy your weekend!

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