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Using Amazon Payments to collect rent
My roommates have always paid their rent in the form of check or cash.  I’ve never accepted credit cards, but that all recently changed thanks for Amazon Payments.  This service has been around for a while, but only recently begun to utilize it to receive payments, mainly from my roommates.  Amazon Payment is a service offered by Amazon.com, which allows you to send money funded from a verified bank account or credit card.   With the latter form, it’s essential having your roommate pay rent with a credit card.

I’ve only tried this form of payment for the past month.  So I don’t have too much experience with it, but here are my thoughts of the payment plan.

ADVANTAGES FOR ROOMMATES

As you man know, For those that are disciplined in paying off their credit card balance in full every month, they’re able to enjoy the benefits of the points system their credit card offers them.  So for my roommates that pay off their balance in full, they can enjoy the 1% cash back or 1 point for every dollar they spend.  That’s a pretty good incentive for using their credit cards for something they would already have to pay for.

ADVANTAGES FOR ME

When my roommates agree to rent one of my rooms, they agree to pay a fixed amount for rent each month.  By utilizing credit cards as their meth of payment, I instantly have the money (assuming my roommates didn’t exceed their credit line) while they’re obligated to pay their bank back.

This is a huge benefit for me.  For instance, say one of my roommates loses their job and has no cash to pay me rent, they could use their credit card and pay me rent via Amazon Payments.  They’ve effectively paying their rent for the month using their credit.  By doing so, their debt is no longer with me, but with thee bank of the issuing credit card company so that I don’t have to by my own collection agency – hounding my roommates to pay up.

NO TRANSACTION COST

Unlike traditional merchant accounts where they charge 2.9% per transaction, Amazon Payment does not impose this fee.  Essentially, it’s free send money to anyone that you owe money to.

DISADVANTAGES

If’ you’re trying to automate your finances by having all direct deposits and payments to be set on a certain day of the month, you’ll find Amazon Payments to a little bit of an annoyance.

When you receive money via Amazon Payments, your money is sitting in your Amazon Payments account until you manually withdraw money to your checking account.  Even though it’s just a matter of logging in and making a few mouse clicks, it’s the hassle to remember and do it every month.

With impending automatic payments scheduled, all it takes is to forget one month to cause havoc on your checking account.  As you can imagine the overdraft fees will kick in if you go below your available balance.

Bottom line, the Amazon Payment system creates an easy way to get paid at any hour of the night.  If you’re willing to make the convenience of credit card payments available to your roommate, Amazon Payments is an easy choice.  I’ll keep everyone updated if I do come across a problem with this method of payment.

Creative Commons License photo credit: sovietmole

{ 8 comments }
  • krantcents August 10, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Interesting, it could be the future of all payments.

    Reply
  • Jesse K. August 30, 2011, 1:04 pm

    How are they able to offer that service for free with no fees? Doesn’t the credit card company charge them money?

    Reply
    • Mike August 30, 2011, 9:15 pm

      It’s amazon, a big retailer. I’m sure they have some agreement with credit card companies.

      Reply
  • ryan September 25, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Couldn’t you theoretically just make payments to yourself through the Amazon system and reap the rewards from your credit card? Seems like they would charge to take the payments or have some kind of system in place to prevent this, no?

    Reply
    • Mike September 26, 2011, 7:10 pm

      Theoretically you could, but I’m sure Amazon has some kind of process in place to prevent it or shut you down.

      Reply
  • Bill November 23, 2011, 4:51 pm

    You can also do a similar system with PayPal, although the fees are higher. I typically only deal in cash, but use this service to pay deposits in advance.
    Also if people wish to use this service I pass the extra charges on to them.

    Bill

    Reply
  • Mike March 19, 2012, 11:29 pm

    You can also use Venmo (www.venmo.com). I use this with my roommate to settle rent and expenses monthly and it works great. Cheers!

    Reply
  • vicky May 9, 2013, 8:10 pm

    I notice they do charge i just went to research this? https://payments.amazon.com/sdui/sdui/helpTab/Checkout-by-Amazon/Creating-Managing-Your-Account/Amazon-Payments-Fees?ld=SPARKUSCBACHECKOUTGENRECAS

    am i right? did they change? am i reading it wrong? LOL

    Reply

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