Digital payment options have transformed all kinds of consumer experiences, from buying groceries to paying for medical services. Now, the era of electronic payments is poised to take on another major consumer market: apartment rentals.
According to the NMHC-Kingsley Resident Preferences Study, nearly 80 percent of renters would rather pay rent with a credit or debit card online or by smartphone. For tenants, particularly millennials, who are accustomed to paying bills online, using debit or credit cards to pay rent is not only more convenient, it can help ensure timely payments and improve budgeting efforts.
Digitally processed payments can also be a boon to apartment managers. By eliminating clerical work, electronic payment technology helps free up staff, which can save time and money. In fact, data collected by Entrata, a property management software company, shows that properties using online payment technology could spend 65 percent less time processing rent and decrease rent delinquencies by 50 percent.
To encourage property managers to accept digital payments, Visa and Entrata launched a partnership that reduces the number of steps it takes to process electronic rent payments and lowers fees for Visa debit cardholders. The program is already benefiting early adopters like Trinity Property Consultants, a property management firm with over 23,000 units in 13 states.
Trinity had been accepting online payments since 2013, but with the goal of establishing a paperless office an increasing electronic payments adoption, Trinity participated in the Visa pilot program. Since using the new process, the firm says it has substantially increased the number of residents paying rent electronically and saved more than 51 employee hours a month. Trinity also reports that the program has helped them focus on providing their tenants with value-added services, which has increased customer and employee satisfaction.
To learn more about the partnership, check out this blog post by Bill Dobbins, Visa’s North American Head of Business Development.