Online Options When Paying HOA Dues

Adult couple with a credit card, woman looking at a laptop screen

HOAs are moving into the modern era. What are the best methods for accepting HOA dues online?

The days of mailing a check to your HOA, or driving down to an office to pay in person, are long behind us. While some people still prefer to pay that way, most people enjoy the convenience of paying from their home computers, laptops, or even from their phones. It’s up to HOAs to make that process easy and efficient for them. Most property management software solutions allow you to send your HOA dues statement through a resident portal, so your residents know their HOA dues and can pay those dues online. This article will go over the general process of paying HOA dues and the best practices for handling those payments.

Online Payment Methods

Many online payment methods are available to residents these days, and they’re all popular among different people. We will go over those different payment methods in this section.

  • Credit Cards: Credit cards are one of the most common methods of payment. When an HOA accepts a credit card as a payment method online, they use the services of credit card processing providers who make the system work.
  • Debit Cards: Debit cards are a bit easier for HOAs to accept than credit cards because the money comes directly from the checking account instead of a promise to be paid later. When accepting debit card payments, HOAs work directly with debit card processing providers.
  • ACH: ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. This method uses debit transfers or electronic credits, allowing HOA members to pay for HOA dues from their bank accounts. This is usually a method for monthly or subscription-based charges, just like HOA dues. This is a preferred method compared to credit cards or debit cards.
  • eCheck: An eCheck is similar to a debit card payment in that the payment comes out of the checking account. It’s the online version of paying with a check. Often, while there is a fee associated with paying by credit or debit card, there is no fee associated with paying by eCheck. Many HOAs accept eChecks along with these other methods of payment.

Online Payment Platform Options

There are many different ways you can choose to accept payments online, and the way you choose to do so is up to you. These are the different ways that HOAs accept online payments.

  • Bank: Many banks can oversee online payments via bank transfers. If your bank already has an online platform that your residents can use, it may be easy to switch over. They may also be able to offer recurring payments and electronic withdrawals. However, there may be a requirement that your homeowners set up an account with your bank, which might be a drawback for your residents.
  • Payment Service Provider: There are a lot of payment service providers on the market who can assist you with accepting payments. The benefit of this option is that these payment providers allow you to accept any type of payment, including credit cards, debit cards, and e-checks. One thing that you must consider with a payment service provider is that they have adequate security. You need to ensure that your residents’ information is kept secure at all times when they are making payments through your portal.
  • In-House Online Payments: With an in-house payment system, you get the most control. However, this type of system requires the most work, and you need to have experts who can set up the necessary code to set up a secure server, build your payment page, and obtain SSL certification.

How to Pick a Payment Service Provider

Any payment platform you select will have pros and drawbacks, and you should consider them carefully before deciding on the one you choose. We have an article that goes over this topic in detail, called “Best Practices for HOA Payments.” However, we will touch on the basics here.

  • Consider Costs: Many payment platforms have costs associated with them. Banks have fees for setting up accounts, services have a per-transaction fee, and in-house systems have administrative fees to set up.
  • Reporting: With electronic records, you’ll easily be able to track all of your payments throughout the year. Pick an option that offers reporting for your payments to ease your accounting burden.
  • Transition: The transition to online payments can be challenging for those used to the old ways. Make sure that the method you choose is easy to learn for your residents, so you don’t face resistance and a long time while everyone gets used to the new interface.

Try Enumerate Central as your Payment Service Provider!

Enumerate Central offers all of the payment methods mentioned in this article and can help you streamline your payment process. With our advanced reporting, you can easily track your payments throughout the year and find yourself ahead of the game come tax season. Our accounting tools make it simple to handle your payments from the moment you receive them until you report them. Learn more about Enumerate Central online or try a demo to see what we offer.

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