Legally Compliant Online Payments for Housing Societies and Apartment Owners Associations

Background: Housing Societies and need for Payment Gateway

Housing societies, welfare associations and folks managing multi-tenancy buildings/ complexes keep collecting recurring dues from the members. Members usually pay their dues through Cheques, and these days transfer money through NEFT to the Society Bank Account. Non-resident owners also use one of these modes to pay their dues. However, keeping of track of payments from several members, validating the bank transfers, accurately issuing receipts is a big issue for the treasurers and accountants and the amount of money that lies in “Suspense” account head keeps increasing as mapping the payment received to the correct flat is quite time consuming. This triggers a chain of issues – complaints from members of not getting receipts, unable to accurately impose late payment charges properly, accurate defaulters reports and so on.

Advantages of an Online payment system where members can pay their maintenance dues and get an instant receipt from the are now obvious – in addition to getting money securely into the bank, treasurers/accountants can heave a sigh of relief due to tremendous savings in the reconciliation efforts and other issues mentioned earlier!

As everyone is aware – ApnaComplex offers a Payment Gateway module using which members of Housing Societies can pay their dues online and avoid all the reconciliation problems mentioned above.

A word of caution: Integrating with Payment Gateways and offering such a solution needs to be thorough, requires lots of due diligence to ensure safety of the money and comply with all relevant regulations. There have been providers in the market offering solutions for Housing Societies that were not fully legally compliant and were forced to change their solution. This has created a dent in the confidence of Housing Societies to go fully online. With the vast industry experience the founding team brings to the table, trust ApnaComplex to not offer services hastily without appropriate due diligence.

The online payment gateway platform offered by ApnaComplex is a reputed Payment Gateway operating in India since past 7 years and is compliant with PCI, ISO 27001 & RBI norms, whereby funds are settled directly to existing bank account of the society, via trusted banks in India for your society’s members to transact online with confidence.

Here is the detailed explanation on the online payment gateway integration in ApnaComplex.com that can clarify various questions we keep receiving from our prospects and customers. ApnaComplex is an alliance partner for one of the leading payment gateways in India who enables the online payment platform for Housing Societies.

Enabling Payment Gateway for a Society

As a first step, like any other business that collects money, the Housing Society or the RWA which is going to collect the funds electronically shall be setup with the Payment Gateway as a “Biller” (also referred as Merchant in Online Payments terminology). For this, the Society / RWA has to submit legal documentation related to AGM resolution authorizing the association to be a biller and other KYC documents. Once verification and scrutiny of the documents is done, the Payment Gateway shall register the Society/RWA as a ‘Biller/Merchant’. This entire process is co-ordinated by ApnaComplex.com with the society. Upon successful verification and merchant registration, merchant details are provided to the society by the Payment Gateway. The same merchant details shall be updated in the ApnaComplex portal, and the online payment facility is turned on for the society’s portal hosted on ApnaComplex.

Making a payment using Payment Gateway

  • A members logs into ApnaComplex.com and selects to make a payment using Payment Gateway.
  • ApnaComplex redirects the user to Payment Gateway along with the Merchant details of that society.
  • Member enters amount to be paid, and other credit card / net-banking details on the Payment Gateways’ pages and completes the transaction
  • The funds flow from the members account/credit card to the account of the Payment Gateway. This is an RBI monitored bank account.
  • Upon successful payment, the payment gateway redirects the member to ApnaComplex portal’s payment confirmation screen along with the amount paid
  • ApnaComplex mails a PDF receipt to the member and also updates the member’s ledgers and other accounts to reflect the payment
  • The payment gateway transfers the money to Society’s Bank Account directly.
  • It is important to note that the money paid by member NEVER comes to an account which is related to ApnaComplex.com in any way. The funds flow from the Member’s Account to the Society’s Bank Account using RBI approved and monitored channels – thus making this a fully legally compliant mechanism for making online payments.
Online payment process in ApnaComplex

Online payment process in ApnaComplex

Other options we had

Another way of offering the payment gateway to housing societies would have been to become payment aggregator ourselves. We have decided against that as that would deviate us from our core business and made us a electronic payments organization. Instead, we chose to partner with a well established and respected payment gateway player as it offers the following advantages:

  • Proven Technology Stack – No need to Re-invent the Wheel: The complete technology stack that processes your funds is used by thousands and thousands of merchants daily (including some of the leading e-commerce sites in India) and is owned by an organization which provides payment gateway functionality in around 50 countries around the world.
  • Fraud Detection: The complete system of managing the funds and getting them transferred is done by a leader in this area with sophisticated tools for fraud detection and risk management.
  • Easy Compliance: As the payment gateway is one of the leaders in the space, they keep their systems updated as per RBI guidelines that can change from time to time.
  • No Additional Benefit: There is no additional benefit that we can offer to our customers by we becoming a payment aggregator ourselves. Instead that exposes them to greater risk due of non-complaince and fraud due as mentioned in earlier points.

We have always valued legal compliance over business and are glad that we are providing the users of ApnaComplex.com an effective, compliant and with leading edge technology. If you have more questions, please feel free to Contact Us with your queries.

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