These days almost all large retail companies have online payment processing. Unfortunately smaller businesses, such as those which multiple investment properties do not often use this method. Why? Many feel that offering the online feature costs too much money. If fact, it doesn’t cost as much as you might think.
Some people feel that it is too complicated, but it actual pretty simple. Many companies that offer the service make it as easy as possible to transition your business to online payments and often include online tutorials as well as customer service via phone to walk you through any issues.
There are many good reasons why having an online payment option is the way to go. If you have multiple properties, online payments are a great way to keep track of who paid what and when. If a tenant drops a check in the mail, on different days of the month or simply hands you payment different days of the month it can get confusing. If you didn’t write it down in your ledger right away or enter it into your data entry form, then you may forget and things become complicated. If you allow online payments, you can check who paid, what they paid, when they paid and also keep a running list of it all at your fingertips. Another great thing about online payment is that the payment will not go through without available funds. How many times has a check from a tenant bounced? Online processing will eliminate that altogether.
Often you can see patterns. If someone is constantly late you can address the issue with warnings or late fees and have the online payments as proof. With a check or cash there is no way of knowing for sure when they exactly paid. Even if they write the date on the check, that is no sign they gave it to you on that date. Another issue with checks, corporate checks especially, is that companies often only process checks once a month and can delay the payment to you even more. Having the option to pay online could potentially help eliminate this as well.
We hope these tips have given you a little food for thought regarding online payment options for your business or real estate investments.