What is the best way to collect rent online?
There has been a shift in the digital rent payment paradigm. While we’re anxiously awaiting the world to reopen, our routines and lifestyles have undoubtedly changed. We’re relying on technology now more than ever. Zego data shows that the number of new user registrations for digital rent payments in April jumped up by 138% MoM from March. We saw the equivalent number of new user registrations for May. Credit card usage for processing lease payments was up 30% in April, and another 20% in May. Online rent payments are obviously a rapidly growing trend during this pandemic crisis. But when the masks come off, the restaurants reopen, and the home offices are dismantled, will the habitual tendencies formed during quarantine carry into our “new normal”? Will we still use the technology solutions we’ve become accustomed to? Or will we revert back to paying rent with a physical check?
No matter the outcome, why would any business rely solely on the acceptance of checks in this day and age? To stay ahead of the curve, you not only need to provide an online rent payment service to your residents, but you also need to offer multiple payment method options, including a cash payment alternative. If you’re looking for the best, safest, and easiest way to collect rent online, the more digital options you provide, the less cash, paper checks, and money orders you’ll receive. Convert all of your manual, paper-based payments to online payments in 3 steps.
Step 1: Offer all major payment types
The best online rent payment services offer multiple payment options including ACH, Debit, Credit, PayPal, and Masterpass. Residents appreciate this online rental payment flexibility. While they are out-and-about running errands, they should have the ability to pay via your community’s rent payment app, or at the very least, with a representative over the phone.
Step 2: Convert paper checks to digital with Check Scanning
While the best option, of course, is to eliminate paper altogether, check scanners have gained popularity (especially in senior-living communities) as a way to combat the time-consuming process of accepting paper-based payments. They have become a necessity for communities that still receive a large number of personal checks and certified funds. Check scanners convert checks and money orders into digital transactions, eliminating the time spent transporting checks to the bank, depositing them, and manually posting them to the resident ledgers.
However, check scanners can be tricky and are notorious for causing issues that can be avoided with digitally submitted payments. But if you must accept paper checks, we’ve put together a list of best practices to help you avoid the most common check scanning errors.
Step 3: Close the door on cash payments
Stop accepting cash and money orders altogether. Best-in-class payment providers will offer an alternative cash payment method for unbanked residents. Our Zego CashPay solution, for example, lets residents pay with cash or debit card at over 25,000 retail locations nationwide. The CashPay transactions appear in the Zego system instantaneously and integrate into your accounting software. Residents can even access their CashPay account number within the community engagement mobile app while they’re on the go. Now “the office was closed” or “the check got lost in the mail” are illegitimate excuses. With more payment options, residents are less likely to submit late payments, which ultimately improves your cash flow.
Property management companies that have been reluctant to adopt new technologies are now scrambling to automate manual processes in the midst of this pandemic crisis. But when the dust settles, online rent payments will persevere as the permanent solution to manual paper-based rent collection. And the best way to collect rent online is to encourage residents by offering multiple payment method options through your rent payment app or resident portal. Also, convert checks and money orders into digital transactions via check scanner, and find a digital cash payment alternative.