Don’t settle for workarounds; lockbox payments for HOA have evolved
Introducing new HOA lockbox payments that digitize paper-based payments, eliminate manual work, enable smoother operations, better visibility, higher productivity, and faster time-to-cash.
These days, you would never think to bring your checkbook to the gas station or the grocery store. That is, if you even own a checkbook anymore. For years, most property management companies and HOAs have offered online payment options. They have found that digital payments save their staff time, speed up cash flow, and create a better experience for their residents and homeowners.
But even with multiple convenient payment options such as AutoPay, CashPay, and Mobile CheckScan, it is still seemingly impossible to completely eliminate the acceptance of paper checks and money orders. According to a recent study by JP Morgan Chase & Co., checks and money orders account for 58% of rental payments, whereas electronic methods account for less than 17%.
For HOAs, homeowners looking to avoid writing checks will often sign up for BillPay through their bank. This may be a digital experience for them, but the banks are still sending you a paper check that you have to manually process on the back-end.
Common workarounds for paper check processing
Many HOAs are required by law to accept paper checks, or still have a large volume of homeowners who prefer to pay via check. For those HOAs, there are a few helpful solutions that have eased the manual burden of processing paper payments. However, the majority of these solutions bring a host of their own issues.
The check scanner conundrum
HOAs looking to deposit checks quickly and securely without having to make trips to the bank often invest in a desktop scanning solution. Check scanners allow you to digitally scan paper checks on-site. Then the system electronically transmits an image of the check to your bank. Depending on the scanning solution used, properties can considerably improve funding times, accelerating cash flow.
However, HOAs tend to discover a few common flaws with this type of solution:
- The risk of fraud and theft
Even though you are turning paper checks into digital transactions, with a desktop scanning solution you’re still collecting paper in-office. With any paper payments, you run the risk of fraud and theft. Franklin Management became a victim to a series of drop box thefts in their community. Thieves used wires to fish checks and money orders out of their drop box and stole $40,000 worth of payments.
- Time-consuming manual processes
Check scanning is certainly quicker than driving to the bank and manually keying payments into your accounting software. But it doesn’t completely eliminate the manual process of scanning checks.
- Clunky machinery
Unfortunately, check scanners are notoriously difficult to deal with. If you don’t take the time to calculate each batch correctly, or if you scan more than 30 checks per batch, or if you haven’t correctly assigned the right resident, you could end up wasting hours of your time troubleshooting.
- Imperfect reconciliation
It is rare that a batch of scanned checks reconciles perfectly with your payments platform and accounting software. Manual workarounds are almost always required.
Have you outgrown your desktop scanner?
We’ve put together a quick checklist to help you assess whether or not it’s time to look for a better solution for your check collection process.
- The volume of checks you receive is overwhelming
- Staff is spending multiple hours per week on manual payment processing
- Your current solution is not suitable to scale and grow your business
What is a HOA lockbox?
With HOA lockbox payments, homeowners simply mail their checks and money orders to a P.O. box, and the Lockbox vendor retrieves and digitally deposits those payments for you. Outsourcing paper check processing via lockbox saves your staff time, and reduces your risk of fraud and theft because you no longer have to deal with checks in-office.
However, Lockbox solutions are traditionally provided by banks that have a different set of goals and priorities. They don’t exclusively serve property management companies and HOAs, so their solutions tend to be one-size-fits-all instead of tailored to the industry.
If you have used a traditional Lockbox solution to eliminate the acceptance of paper checks in-office, you might recognize a few of these common issues:
- Off-the-shelf HOA lockbox payments do not integrate with your accounting software
- You have to log-in to multiple platforms just to get a clear view of your receivables
- It still requires some manual reconciliation on your part
- There are limited options for P.O. boxes that can delay your time-to-cash
Have you outgrown your current Lockbox solution?
Below is a quick checklist to help you assess whether or not you need a better Lockbox solution.
- Your staff is overwhelmed with manual reconciliation work
- Viewing all of your receivables requires you to log-in to multiple platforms and systems
- The solution isn’t suitable to scale and grow your business
A modern Lockbox solution built for the real estate industry
Now you can eliminate the hassle of accepting checks and money orders on-site with a modern, fully integrated Lockbox solution that was built for property management companies and HOAs. Zego Pay Lockbox lets you give homeowners and residents the flexibility of paying by check while automating the end-to-end receivables process.
Zego’s lockbox payments for HOA
Through our partnership with CheckAlt, the largest independent provider of receivables management, payment and deposit processing solutions in the U.S., we are able to help our customers outsource paper-based payments handling and achieve 100% digital payments.
Here’s how it works:
- We activate P.O. boxes for your property
- Your residents and homeowners mail their checks and money orders directly to the P.O. box
- We scan checks daily and match them to the homeowner and resident accounts in real-time
- You can log in directly through the Zego platform to review and reconcile any exceptions
- We process the payments and integrate them with your accounting software
- You have visibility into all of your receivables within the Zego platform
By rolling out Zego Pay Lockbox as part of our comprehensive payments platform, our goal is to provide you with a one stop shop for all of your receivables, and completely eliminate the burden of paper checks in-office once and for all.
How Zego Pay Lockbox is different from other solutions
Keeping track of multiple usernames and passwords for a million different platforms is frustrating and inefficient. With Zego, you don’t need to struggle between multiple platforms to get a clear view of your receivables. Our fully-integrated HOA lockbox solution gives you a consolidated workflow with one platform, one reporting system, and one rules engine.
One flexible rules engine helps you stay cohesive and reduce risk. For example, if you place a resident on a cash equivalent status within the Zego portal, that rule will be honored with Lockbox.
With our HOA Lockbox, homeowners get the flexibility to pay how they choose, while you enjoy an automated end-to-end receivables process. Freeing up time and eliminating the risks of fraud and theft associated with paper payments.
Traditional lockbox payments for HOA are off-the-shelf products that were not designed to meet the unique needs of HOAs. We built our solution to fit the specific needs of the real estate industry. Our expertise in integrations with most HOA softwares gives you a solution tailored for you instead of your bank.
Get rid of the hassle and risk of processing paper checks on-site, and finally reach 100% digital payments with a modern Lockbox solution built for you.