Rental payments platform PayProp says its technology will help eliminate fraud in the sector once and for all, as the company passes the 200-agent milestone in the UK.
PayProp’s platform enables agents, tenants and landlords to see when rental payments are due and when they have been paid and moreover track each payment through the system until it arrives in the landlord’s account via the agent’s client account.
“Our system enables it to be immediately obvious and transparent who has done what and when, during a payment,” says Chief Operating Officer Neil Cobbold (pictured, below).
“It’s a fully ‘track and trace’ process that enables agents and landlords to reconcile payment right down to zero – so everyone knows exactly how every rental payment or deposit has been applied.”
PayProp handles rental payments from 15,000 properties in the UK at the moment, and since launching two years ago PayProp has handled payments worth £200 million.
“We want to raise the transparency levels regarding the whole rental payment transaction; the way agents and banks have interacted until now has been a bit smoke and mirrors, and that’s allowed problems to develop,” he says.
PayProp, which originally launched in 2004 in South Africa before opening an operation here, says the main advantages of its automated service are that smaller agents can handle much larger portfolios that they would otherwise be able to.
Also, the secure nature of the system means it is impossible for rogue agents or members of staff to misappropriate rental payments or deposits without the system reporting it, the company says.
PayProp spent two years preparing PayProp for its launch in the UK, which included persuading RBS Natwest to become its UK banking partner for PayProp, and gaining Affinity Partner status from ARLA Propertymark.
Neil also says the platform is proving popular with franchised lettings agencies because head offices are able to track payments from their franchisees for each rental without having to rely on their CRM system or having to trust that they’re being transparent about their activity.
“It helps improve cashflow for the franchise group head office and helps ensure they have an accurate picture of what’s going on,” says Neil.
Neil also says his firm’s technology is a major advance in the war against money laundering, mainly because every transaction that goes through PayProp has an indelible digital stamp on it – and audit trail that can be used as evidence in a court of law.
PayProp, which is due to launch in Canada and soon possibly the US, is also preparing a mobile phone app that agent clients will able to offer tenants and landlords to enable them to track payments, with a likely release before February next year.