Mr Kenny KinakoMr Kenny Kinako

Paying monthly bills online is increasingly gaining foothold in Kenyan households. For rents, new payment platforms have now made it possible to remit directly without going the traditional way. Typically at end-month, a tenant may pay rent through standing orders, by depositing directly in the property manager’s bank account, or by taking cash to the property manager’s office.

In the current harsh economic times however, standing orders may not go through when you have insufficient funds in your account and late payment may attract penalties. For the other options, one walks into an ATM or banking hall, withdraws, and then queues at the specified bank to deposit or goes to the property manager’s office to pay. This process is not only time-consuming and inconveniencing but also insecure.

But a rent payment platform such as Versatel’s MRent (accessible on http://www.mrent.co.ke) simplifies the way tenants pay and how property managers and landlords collect rents for residential and commercial properties. This mode is more so set to take root as more property managers find it necessary to offer online rent payments and collections in order to effectively compete in the fast changing property management industry.

MRent operates on a unique ‘fee-for-service’ model where the user pays a transaction fee (standard network operator charges e.g. for M-Pesa) for the convenience. However, in most online payment applications, it’s the merchant who pays the entire cost of the transaction to the service provider. As a property manager or owner, the rent payment platform helps you monitor money deposited in your account and sends you notifications when a tenants pay rent.

Besides, MRent offers property agents and landlords additional benefits such as free property listing (automated property listing once a tenant vacates), an online real estate management system, SMS alerts to tenants paying through it, daily reports and transfer of rent funds to any account belonging to property managers.

The online rent payment and collection platform ensures property managers or landlords who manage their own properties rid of paper or manual receipting systems, cash collections and tracing payment trends by tenants. This way, it helps reduce the levels of arrears or delays as the convenience gives the tenants multiple options and is open 24/7 – no excuses for late payments. This means less time spent chasing after late payments.

For the property manager, landlord and tenant, online rent payment and collection platforms are the ultimate options for hassle free transactions and management. They are easy, affordable and convenient. With MRent for instance, so long as you have money in your M-Pesa you are good to go, since you can pay your rent anytime and anywhere. It’s so flexible that you can even have someone transact on your behalf depending on your arrangement.

As more banks partner with mobile money transfer platforms that allow customers to transfer funds from their bank accounts into their mobile accounts, tenants no longer have to visit several banks or agents just to pay a single bill! Mr Kinako is an E-Commerce professional.

Send your views, comments and enquiries on property to starproperty@radioafricagroup.co.ke

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