Online banking is a great service. It enables consumers to manage their financial environment from anywhere in the world without ever stepping foot in a bank. I’m a fan. And one extension of online banking is online bill pay. While online bill payment through banking websites is a great service, it’s important to note that it comes with limitations and surprises.
For instance – Did you know that online banking payments typically result in the bank crediting your account and then cutting and mailing a paper check?!? Unless a merchant is large enough to warrant a direct integration with the bank networks, they receive paper. Seems crazy, huh? That’s precisely why banks typically recommend paying your bills 4-5 days in advance. They need the time to print and mail a check on your behalf (certainly not a good option for last minute payments).
And for property managers, all it does is increase the number of checks you need to deposit at the bank and enter into your accounting systems. The checks will not appear like they came from the bank – They’ll come from online banking technology providers like ORCC, Fiserv and FIS/Metavante. These are the companies who build the online bill pay platforms that banks use. So – the next time you see a check coming from these guys, know that it all start by a resident who thought they were sending an electronic payment to their property management company.