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Sharing economy giant Airbnb has announced that it will introduce functionality allowing users to split the cost of bookings and stagger payments.

The move is designed to reduce upfront costs when booking via the platform and means users will only need to pay 50 per cent of the cost of their stay to make a reservation.

“We understand it can be difficult to pay for all of your holiday upfront, especially in January when the purse-strings have to be held particularly tight,” said James McClure, the general manager of Airbnb in the UK and Ireland.

The Pay Less Up Front initiative is only available for reservations worth at least $250 and follows research by the tech company which showed that January was the month in which consumers said they most wanted to book a holiday, but that 30 per cent could not afford to do so.

“That’s why we’ve introduced our new feature which allows you to get holidays booked in advance – to make sure you don’t lose out when it comes to annual leave – then make the main payment for your holiday closer to your actual trip,” McClure added.

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