The convenience of setting up an automatic payment for an account online has been commonplace in various industries for several years. Paying utilities, phone/internet, mortgage and insurance bills every month automatically with a debit or credit card eliminates the possibility of paying late and incurring a late fee. As cutting-edge technology continues to advance, making transactions faster and more secure, payments with personal checks are becoming obsolete. In addition to being environmentally friendly and saving trees, electronic payments save more time for both parties to the transaction. Companies who receive online payments get paid faster, and it decreases the risk of errors while providing more transparency than manual processes. For Generation Z, now entering the workforce and renting their first apartments, paying with a personal check can be a strange concept. One industry that has not fully adopted digital forms of payment is property management. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend over the past year, making the benefits clear and prompting more firms to offer online payments to their residents and tenants.
In response to the safety concerns of 2020, some leasing offices closed their doors to the public and/or moved their office staff to work remotely, making it more difficult for tenants to send and property managers to accept paper checks in the office. Adding another layer of incipiency, United States Postal Service delays affected the timeliness of payments sent by mail getting delivered. Additionally, the pandemic disrupted daily routines causing late payments. For landlords, this created even more concern and uncertainty about receiving rent payments, on top of growing job losses and a stale economy that followed the COVID-19 outbreak. Online payments allow both property managers and tenants to feel more confident that payments will arrive on time since they are made in a digital environment and can be set up for auto-pay.
Now more than ever, leasing offices must be able to offer online payment options to keep up with the competition. Millennials are the highest-represented group among renters, with Generation Z steadily joining them. These generations expect online payment options. Recurring online payment eliminates the potential for late fees and postage fees for tenants. Property managers save time by not having to open piles of mail, manually enter payment information and go to a bank to deposit checks.
Choose a rent collection solution with a robust selection of payment options, including online and offline, via mobile app, credit or debit card, and ACH. SS&C SKYLINE offers streamlined automation of electronic cash receipts and collection of rent payments using ACH, while seamlessly integrating with payment processors to provide the largest suite of payment options available. To learn more about the impact of online payments, download our "A Guide to Paperless Transformation Strategies for Property Management Companies: Why Digitization is a Critical Factor to Success" whitepaper. To learn more about going paperless in the property management industry, read our virtual leasing blog post and digital invoicing blog post.
Written by Evan Schmidt
General Manager, SKYLINE