“How do I pay my HOA fees?” Homeowners often ask this question, but many HOAs only offer the same traditional method. But, there are a few different payment methods for HOA dues that associations can start adopting.
Convenient Online Payment Methods for HOA Dues
Many homeowners find difficulty with the current payment methods their HOA accepts. Typically, HOAs use traditional payment methods such as sending checks via mail or physically collecting homeowners association payments door-to-door. While such methods have proven effective and reliable, there are more convenient ways for dues payment. One such way is allowing homeowners to pay dues online.
Many payment providers offer online HOA dues collection services. These providers achieve this by connecting to acquiring banks, payment networks, and credit cards. As a result, homeowners can pay their dues conveniently right from their smart devices. But, what payment methods for HOA dues are available?
1. Credit Card
“Can I pay HOA fees with a credit card?” You have probably been asked this question by a new homeowner in your community.
If you already allow credit card payments, that’s great. But, if you have yet to offer it, now is the time to consider doing so.
Basically, using this payment method, any homeowner with a credit card can pay their dues online. Your HOA can start accepting online credit card payments with the help of credit card processing providers.
Some homeowners pay HOA with a credit card via the phone. This involves receiving calls from homeowners, asking for their credit card information, and manually entering the numbers in your system. Although there are HOAs that do this, it brings up the issue of security. Online credit card payments, on the other hand, use data encryption to protect homeowners’ financial information.
2. Debit Card
Credit cards are great, but they create debt for homeowners in the future. Sometimes, homeowners only want to spend the money they already have. This is where debit cards come into play.
Your HOA can start accepting debit cards as a payment method for HOA dues. Debit cards are essentially cash payments without the use of actual, physical money. Similar to credit card payments, your HOA can work with a debit card processing provider to make this happen.
3. Automated Clearing House (ACH)
ACH involves the use of electronic credits or debit transfers so that homeowners can make HOA payments online straight from their bank accounts. Many HOAs favor this method over the first two because it allows for automatic recurring payments. This works great for subscription-type transactions like monthly HOA dues.
Additionally, ACH eliminates the trouble for homeowners having to remember to make payments online themselves. Since it is automatic, all they need to do is set it up and let it work on its own. This can significantly reduce your HOA’s delinquency rate, too.
The only problem you might encounter with ACH is hesitance from homeowners. People are scared to give their bank information to the HOA, but it actually does not work that way. The bank gets their bank account information. Make sure to explain this clearly to homeowners so that you don’t encounter pushback.
When it comes to electronic payments for HOA dues, you can also use eChecks. This will also require homeowners to have a bank account, though, and provide you with the details. You also need the check number to make it work.
The Use of HOA Websites and Resident Portals
If your association decides to accept HOA online payments, you will need a platform from which to accept credit and debit card payments. Again, some HOAs allow such payments by manually entering the card details over the phone, but that is a security risk. The best way to collect HOA dues online is to set up an HOA website.
You can choose to hire someone to create the website for your homeowners association. But, there are also many online providers that offer websites as part of their services. These services usually come with a fee, either recurring or one-time, so it is a good idea to evaluate and adjust your budget accordingly.
Alternatively, many HOA management companies have online portals that residents can log in to. In addition to making online payments, homeowners can use such portals to file requests, submit complaints, and even download important HOA documents. If you already have an HOA management company, ask them if they have a resident portal. But, if you don’t have one yet, consider looking for one that offers it.
Bank Charges and Processing Fees
When it comes to how to pay HOA fees online, credit cards and debit cards certainly offer convenience. But, they also usually come with bank charges for each transaction. This is where ACH and eChecks have the advantage. Whereas credit and debit card payments charge a fee to the holder, ACH and eCheck payments are typically free.
Homeowners associations should also turn to their governing documents for guidance. If your governing documents allow you to charge a fee for accepting dues payments online, then you can certainly do so. But, make sure you inform all homeowners of this fee and how much it will cost. Moreover, your HOA should not use this as an opportunity to earn a profit. You should only use the fee to cover the cost of processing.
In addition to your usual communication channels, it is also worth disclosing the fee on the payment page itself. Let homeowners know that they need to pay the fee if they want to use online payment methods for HOA dues. That way, by proceeding with the transaction, they are agreeing to pay the fee.
How an HOA Management Software Can Help
Plenty of management software providers also offer online HOA payment processing as part of their product’s features. This includes payments made via credit card, debit card, and ACH. With ACH, all you need to do is link homeowners’ bank information to their accounts. From there, homeowners association dues collection can be done with just a few simple clicks, automatically generating a NACHA upload file that your bank can use to process the payments.
Additionally, with HOA software, you can streamline accounting processes and monitor your bank accounts all from one place. Tasks such as bank reconciliation, financial statement preparation, check printing, and general accounting are made easy.
Everyone Can Benefit from Online Payment Methods
For homeowners, dues payment can be a headache, especially if they need to physically mail in their checks or deposit their payments. Luckily, your HOA can make the entire process more convenient with the use of online payment methods for HOA dues. It works out great for your association, too, because collecting dues becomes less complicated. You might even reduce your delinquencies.
While HOA management companies can help with dues collection, not all associations can afford their fees. Investing in HOA management software, though, is a good move and will pay for itself in the long run. In addition to sophisticated management features, Condo Manager makes online payment processing a breeze. Call us today at 800-626-1267 or contact us online for more information. You can also request a free demo!
- How To Choose The Right HOA Management Software For Your Association
- The Importance Of An HOA Website And How To Design It
- Your Ultimate Guide to HOA Fees