One of the business functions of a property manager is to collect rents, late fees, HOA dues and other charges. According to the National Property Management Association the majority of rents are still paid with paper checks. While this may be the accepted method of doing so, it is to the advantage of both the property management company and the tenants to set up online payments processing. Switching to electronic payments reduces transaction steps for the tenant all while increasing the speed of the transaction and providing the highest data security. If you are considering adding electronic payment processing, here are some payment processing solutions to consider.
Payment gateways enable businesses to securely accept payments from credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks and bank transfers (also called ACH payments). In addition, a payment gateway can store invoices, manage customer accounts and display payment history.
The important aspect to payment gateways is secure transactions. Both the gateway and processor must be Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant in order to ensure secure transmission and protection of the consumer’s financial information. All gateways and processors must be audited and certified annually to the most current PCI standard
Virtual Terminal for Online Credit Card Processing
A virtual terminal for credit card processing is the web alternative to physical credit card terminal or Point-of-Sale (POS) machines. It is a software application that is hosted online and can be accessed from any internet connected web-browser. To use it, the tenant simply logs in using a standard web browser, navigates to a menu to process the transaction and then manually enters their data into a transaction dashboard. Because the software runs online, a virtual terminal offers many distinct advantages over a physical terminal such as portability, instant financial reporting, automated billing and PCI data security compliance.
Interactive Voice Response
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a pay-by-phone payment solution that allows callers to interact with an automated telephone-payment system to make credit card, debit card and bank transfer (ACH) payments 24 hours a day.
IVR payment gateways are usually accessed through a toll-free number or they can be accessed from an existing telephone system. Upon arrival at the IVR system, callers are presented with pre-recorded scripts and pre-designed call flows that direct them as necessary to make their payments to the correct accounts. Many property managers will create scripts specific to their business in order to ensure proper brand recognition. Capturing IVR payments is simplified via touch-tone prompts and account-data validation.
Mobile Payment Processing
A majority of people carry mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) with them wherever they go. In addition, there are many apps for mobile that allow bill-paying; Google Wallet and Apple Pay are two examples. A mobile payment solution provides the tools and technologies to let people make payments through their mobile device.
Mobile payment solutions let tenants make their payments with their mobile devices. An advantage of mobile payments is that they are very secure. They must be PCI DSS secure and most of the apps have strong encryption software for twice the level of security.
These electronic payment processing solutions can be implemented individually or as a group to offer more options to your tenants. Before you decide on which you will add, consider the needs of your tenants as well as your own reporting needs and make your decision based upon the objectives you want to achieve.
BillingTree provides payment processing software that offers a wide variety of payment methods from web portals to mobile payments to IVR systems. To find out more, contact BillingTree or call us at 877-424-5587.