Developer Tracker: Changing the rental payment game

Blog Post created by johnstevens on Jan 11, 2017

Every month, Vantiv and team up to deliver the latest news in the developer space. Here's an overview of the Developer TrackerTM published in December 2016.


Paying rent with personal checks made sense not too long ago, before new payment methods started to change consumer expectations. But these days many renters, especially younger ones typically in the market for apartment rentals, want and expect more options.


A survey from the Federal Reserve reported that the number of checks in circulation declined by more than 50 percent from 2000 to 2012 as card payments and new payment methods more than tripled. Despite that, according to the same research from the Fed, checks still reign supreme when it comes to paying rent. But new players, like mobile rent-paying app YapStone, want to change the playing field.


The company is looking to answer renters’ requests for another way to pay by offering the most ubiquitous solution possible — one that accepts a wide range of payment types, according to Bruce Dragt, YapStone’s senior vice president of product. December’s Developer Tracker features an interview with Dragt discussing the payment platform and what he sees as a rent revolution.


Checks have been around for a long time, but they can be expensive and time-consuming for property management companies to process. Dragt explains that YapStone is looking to replace checks with more modern forms of payments such as credit/debit cards and mobile wallets. The company’s solution accepts not just modern methods like card and mobile payments, but also ACH Payment processing, international payments and other acceptance methods. Renters with roommates can also share or split payments across multiple accounts.


“We provide as many mechanisms as possible for renters to pay their rent so that it can be as simple and easy as possible for everyone to use the solution to make a payment,” Dragt says. “We also provide integration, backing and tools for the property management companies, so they can update their records and keep track of who has and has not paid.”


But the solution is not just designed for making payments on a full-time home. YapStone can be used to facilitate short-term rentals, such as a week at a beach house or a cottage on the slopes. The company has even powered payment processing for HomeAway, a popular vacation rental app and website, for over 10 years.


Most recently, the company announced a new integration and collaboration with Vantiv that will allow YapStone to offer single-touch payment acceptance for Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile wallet. Dragt said that the partnership was part of the company’s effort to add integrations for new payment methods as they become more widely used.


“The ability to add new payment methods to our platform is really important,” Dragt explains. “The operating model that we use to support all these different payment ecosystems and to add new payment types is to make it very simple and seamless for our end client. So we want to make it available to the consumer as quickly as possible without disrupting the core operating environment for property managers.”


Given the changing state of rental payments, perhaps it won’t be too long before checks are given a permanent eviction notice.


Here’s a snapshot of other notable developer-focused news items:

  • According to a report from Pew Charitable Trusts, mobile payments awareness reached all-time highs in the US. More than 40 percent of respondents said they were familiar with four different mobile payment capabilities. Despite this awareness, no more than 32 percent of consumers had performed any mobile payments action.
  • Apple recently announced it will partner with the Blackhawk Network to integrate gift and loyalty cards into its mobile payment system. Blackhawk will allow Apple Pay users to make payments using prepaid gift cards and to earn and use rewards/loyalty points from participating merchants.
  • Google recently launched its Android Pay mobile wallet in Ireland. The nation has been a fairly early adopter of mobile payments, with half of consumers using contactless payments, including 1.9 million customers a week.
  • Amazon unveiled its new grocery store design, Amazon Go. The store allows customers to enter the store using a paired smartphone app, pick up their items and exit the store without waiting in line or visiting a cashier. The app works with a variety of sensors to detect what shoppers have selected and charges their Amazon accounts for the items they take home.

Download the report