Durham, NC, April 25, 2002 - In her article, "Visa Aiming Rent-Pay
Service at Landlords," published on April 11, 2002, American Banker
writer, Lavonne Kuykendall, writes that although Visa USA is trying
to introduce credit cards to the apartment rental industry, property
owners may want to think again before agreeing to accept them for rent
payments. With Visa USA charging on a percentage basis, their merchant
fees can be quite high (around 2.5% to 3% of rent amounts) thus making
credit cards a less attractive means to collect rent. Compared to credit
cards, ClearNow, Inc.'s automatic rent collection service is a cost-effective
tool that saves landlords and property managers time and money. ClearNow
automatically debits resident rents on a specific day each month and
directly deposits these rents to the property's checking account.
Because of the high merchant fees associated with credit cards, Visa
USA's strategy is to sell the concept to large properties that control
thousands of apartments. However, according to the US Census, individuals
own the majority of residential rental property - with the average ownership
of rental property being one to five units. ClearNow enables all landlords
and property managers to save time and money regardless of size. ClearNow
eliminates trips to the bank, provides owners and managers faster access
to funds, and relays prompt notification of residents who have paid.
Most importantly, ClearNow offers reasonable flat fee "pay-for-usage"
pricing. "The ACH payment network is by far the most cost-effective
and trusted way to electronically transfer rent from a resident's checking
account to his/her property's checking account," said Justin Yung,
Vice President of ClearNow, Inc. "Compared to credit cards which
bill on a percentage basis, ACH payments are significantly less expensive
and are billed on a flat-fee basis." ClearNow starts at just $14.95
for the first resident. Each subsequent resident is just an additional
$2 per month. In comparison, a 3% credit card fee on a single $1,000
rent would be $30.00.
Robert Cain is publisher of Rental Property Reporter, a newsletter
for apartment managers who own and manage less than 10 units. He does
not believe credit cards will catch on in the small owner market. In
addition to the high merchant fees, he believes landlords may face difficulty
in qualifying for merchant status to accept credit cards.
For more information on ClearNow, please contact:
Tel: (919) 680-4500
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