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Electronic rental-payment technology comes to tenants

By Terry Feinberg

Special to the Mercury News

You pay your heat, phone and gym membership electronically. Now you can settle your debt to God with an automatic funds transfer, too.

SEVERAL new programs may make it easier for paying rent and reducing the hassle of collection for housing providers.

Electronic Funds Corp. of Carson City, Nev., is providing technology for electronic transfer of funds to enable landlords and property management firms to offer their tenants an automatic payment program. Instead of writing, mailing and wondering if their monthly rent check will arrive on time, tenants can fill out a form once, and the rent payment will automatically be transferred each month from their bank account to the owner's account.

Transactions can only be for a pre-authorized amount, on specified dates. Each month, the payments are processed by the property on software provided by Electronic Funds Corp. and are tracked by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) division of the Federal Reserve Bank. The entire process is governed by the Funds Transfer Act of 1978.

Because of software automation and security encryption, the process could be safer than a written check.

For property owners, in two or three minutes, hundreds of rent payments can be processed, with the funds automatically deposited into the owner's account This will reduce the need for late notices and will dramatically reduce the need for collection efforts.

This story goes on to describe two other unrelated topics. If you have further interest in what they might be, you may contact us by e-mail and we will be happy to forward the entire story to you.

Terry Feinberg is chief executive officer of the Tri-County Apartment Association in Santa Clara County, California.

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Electronic Funds Corporation is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Payment Processing Service in Carson City NV

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