5 Questions to Ask Your Electronic Payments Processing Vendor


According to a National Multi-Housing Council survey (Automated Payments: Progress and Challenges, 2009), 63 million households pay at least one bill online, including rent payments, and more than 75 percent made payments at the vendor’s website. As the trend toward online payments accelerates, property management companies are seeking vendor partners to provide electronic payment processing services.

But what makes a good electronic payments processor? A good place to start is by asking these five questions.

  1. Is the vendor’s payment solution fully integrated with your property management software?
    Being fully integrated enables you to post to all ledgers (deposit, rent, and miscellaneous accounts) in real time. Returns and applicable NSF fees should be automatically posted as well.
  2. Does the system validate against the resident ledger prior to accepting a payment?
    Validating against the resident ledger ensures you don’t accept payments from residents who are in eviction and that recurring payments from residents are stopped upon move-out.
  3. Do you have on-demand, real-time access to your data?
    You should have the ability to view transaction status at any time, which makes for easier reconciliation and cash management.
  4. Do residents have access to updated balance information when paying online?
    Real-time balance information for paying current, past due, and upcoming charges is an added convenience for your residents, and makes your community more marketable.
  5. Is the vendor industry compliant and are there certified payments experts on staff?
    Your electronic payments processor should adhere to all industry compliance standards, including NACHA and PCI. Moreover, an effective vendor will have certified payments experts on staff who can act as a bank liaison when resolving disputes as well as monitor daily transactions for better risk management.

How about you — what’s on your own personal “checklist” for asking electronic payments processors? Let us know in the comments.


Senior Vice President – Payments, Portals & CSM

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Kimberly has extensive expertise in rules and regulations to maintain compliance in support of the Payments system. She is certified by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) as an accredited ACH professional. She is also a member of the ACH Marketing Advisory Council Committee for SWACHA (a regional association of NACHA) and on Wells Fargo’s advisory board council. Before joining RealPage, she was the director of operations for RealPage’s payment partner, Select Payment (acquired by Jack Henry and Associates in 2006).

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