Time-consuming billing processes have been replaced with a modern, efficient solution at Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) after it used PfH’s Electronic Payment Services agreement via allpay.
MHA manages 3,600 homes, 290 leasehold properties and 1,500 garages in south east Wales. It has an above-average proportion of customers paying rent via direct debit – around 55%. The housing association wanted a more efficient way to manage these.
As a PfH Member, MHA was able to quickly access the fully compliant Electronic Payment Services agreement, benefiting from prices that are significantly below the market rate.
The set-up process was straightforward. No further competition or assessment was needed for MHA to begin using the framework, nor was it necessary due to the clear savings and efficiencies the solution had to offer.
PfH established the Electronic Payment Services agreement to support landlords as more residents now self-manage their finances following welfare reform. Housing associations can access a range of services from market leaders allpay and PayPoint, safe in the knowledge that solutions are compliant, highly efficient and offer strong value for money.
Previously, MHA had used a paper-based system which saw staff posting out direct debit mandates to customers and manually submitting payments to the bank.
Every year, the landlord would manually input payment profiles for all 2,500 customers into the HMS (Housing Management System). This took three staff members up to three weeks to complete and resulted in some rent payments having to be delayed.
Assisted by PfH and their account manager at allpay, MHA was able to quickly switch to a cloud-based system that allows staff to create and amend direct debits online or over the phone with tenants. Mandates no longer have to be posted, and because allpay offers a fully managed service, it sends out correspondence on MHA’s behalf.
The move has cut operational and headcount costs, freeing up staff to focus on other tasks because they no longer have to process paper mandates, file submissions and letters. MHA is also able to offer more payment options to customers, including any-day collection; something that is likely to increase customer uptake of direct debit payments in place of more expensive methods.
The landlord estimates over the next four years it will save more than £30,000 in staff time, postage, printing and processing.
Customers who don’t pay by direct debit or standing order have been sent an allpay card which they can use to pay their rent via a 24/7 automated phone line, via the allpay mobile app or via text message. MHA has also recently extended use of the allpay card to include payment in person at a Post Office or PayPoint outlet.
By using PfH’s Electronic Payment Services agreement, MHA is contributing towards one of its key objectives: to achieve efficiencies of 10% by maximising the use of technology and ensuring that value for money is an embedded principle.