No one can dispute the fact that digital payments have moved into the mainstream, as businesses of all sizes and in a wide range of markets now give consumers a variety of digital options for completing purchases and handling their bills. Not surprisingly, there are several reasons why real estate management companies should be among those that accept digital payments from tenants online, in mobile mode, via text, and/or through a recurring credit and debit card payment solution.
1. Fewer late and missed payments
Some tenants simply forget to pay rent, monthly maintenance, or fees for services (e.g., water or trash collection) when due. Others know they have a bill to take care of but are late with or neglect payments because they dislike the hassle of accessing the necessary cash at the bank or writing a check, finding a stamp, putting the payment in the mail—and maybe even making a special trip to the post office to get the job done.
Digital payment options minimize or eliminate these problems. Tenants can make payments in real-time and with little to no effort, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. No excuses about a “closed” post office, bank, or real estate management company office or an inability to get out of the house to put a stamped envelope in the mail.
With text-based solutions, tenants cannot forget about payments and payment due dates because they receive a text reminder. Some solutions allow payments to then be made by return text, using stored payment information and a PIN number for which tenants have pre-registered. Forgetting payments is also impossible when real estate management companies have implemented recurring credit and debit card payment solutions because charges or debits occur automatically on a set date each month.
2. Faster payment collection
Checks can take two to three days to clear, and first-class mail can take up to three days to be delivered. Digital payment solutions close the time window.
3. Less effort to accept and monitor payments
Checks must, of course, be deposited in real estate management firms’ bank accounts, and payment records must be manually updated. All of this requires labor and effort. Digital payment solutions remove both factors from the equation.
What’s more, companies receive real-time notification or can easily check to see whether payments have been recorded—no paging through ledgers required. In addition to saving time and labor, digital payment solutions enable greater visibility of rent transaction status across multiple properties. They also minimize tenants’ use of the excuse that “the check is in the mail” or “must be lost in the mail” to explain missing or late payments that may never have been sent out in the first place.
4. Happier tenants
Many consumers are concerned that because checks display their account information, they will be easy targets for fraud should one of their payments be stolen or lost in the mail. Digital payment platforms remove this particular worry and offer a sense of security that makes for happier tenants.
Just as important, consumers are gravitating towards digital payments in general. According to Money magazine, millennials pay 61 percent of their bills online, and older consumers pay about 42 percent of their bills in the same way. Some tenants are even pushing their real estate management companies to implement one or more digital payment solutions. One firm with which E-Complish is familiar recently introduced online and text-based rent payment options in response to repeated requests from tenants to do so.