6 Things to Look For in an Earnest Money Deposit Platform

An earnest money deposit platform is a safe, secure, and convenient way for buyers to send earnest money during a real estate transaction. Many real estate professionals already prefer using these platforms with their clients instead of banks. If you haven’t already made the switch, you’ll certainly think twice about using banks again once you see how easy it is.

But what isn’t easy is picking an earnest money deposit platform to use. There are a lot of them out there, and a quick search on the Internet not only reveals plenty of listings, but also several resources that compare dozens of these platforms. You’d think this would be helpful, but it is actually quite overwhelming and confusing, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

To help you find the right platform to suit your needs, consider the following things to look for in an earnest money deposit platform. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision.

Why an earnest money deposit platform is better than a bank

An earnest money deposit platform, which is actually an ACH transfer platform, is a much more viable resource for individuals to send money electronically than a bank. Understanding why is the first step in realizing why it’s much more suited to the real estate industry.

Essentially, banks charge higher fees, there are typically longer wait times between sending and receiving a transfer, and, of course, there is the necessary visit to the bank in order to conduct an electronic money transfer. The entire process can be tedious and time-consuming, and there is also increased potential for fraud.

ACH transfer platforms eliminate many of those issues — lower fees for the person sending the money, no need to go to the bank, quicker transfer times, and a high level of security are all benefits of using an ACH transfer platform for earnest money deposits — assuming you choose one that lives up to those standards. And that’s why you’ve got to look for the following in any earnest money deposit platform…

1. Security

The real estate industry is unfortunately subject to high levels of fraud. Cyber criminals seek to target both real estate professionals and buyers because of the constant exchange of personal information and the large amounts of funds involved in real estate transactions.

There are several different scams a cyber criminal might attempt, and earnest money fraud is one of the most popular. However, a secure ACH transfer platform significantly reduces the risk of fraud and ensures that users are actually who they say they are.

For the most secure ACH transfer platforms, look for those that utilize AES-256, which is one of the strongest levels of encryption available. This means that when a user is entering bank account information for the purpose of initiating an ACH transfer, the data cannot be compromised.

For extra levels of security, consider paymints.io, which uses a reputable third party owned by Visa to verify user’s identities. This ensures that all user identifiable information has been validated, eliminating fraud. As an extra precaution, paymints.io also does not store user passwords or bank account information, and all IP addresses are logged for each transaction, enabling real-time tracking of all earnest money transfers.

2. Cost-Effective Plans

Although the idea of paying a monthly fee for an earnest money deposit platform may not seem appealing, it’s worthwhile because you will be able to offer your clients a safe, convenient, and compliant method for making earnest money payments and other transactions.

Look for an ACH transfer platform that offers a choice of plans so that you can pick one that best suits your needs and your budget. Higher-tier plans also typically offer more features and services, which might be beneficial as well. And even if you don’t currently need some of the additional features that are offered with higher-tier plan options, you might want them in the future as your business grows. So choosing an ACH transfer platform that offers more with higher-tier plans is more cost effective than having to switch to another platform later.

Some of the features offered by ACH transfer platforms include email, chat, and phone support. Fees for transfers are also sometimes lower for when you subscribe to one of the higher-tier plans. And, most importantly, you need to see if the ACH transfer platform you are interested will allow you to perform all the transfers you need each month. Many platforms have limitations based on the plan you choose.

Some platforms, such as paymints.io, also let you put together a custom plan. This can be especially beneficial because you can tailor the plan exactly to your own specific needs, with pricing accordingly. It can be a great advantage to have such flexibility when choosing a plan.

3. Ease of Use

Some platforms have a steep learning curve, while others are very simple to use. Obviously, you want to choose a platform that is easy to use not just for the employees within your organization, but also for your clients that will be using the platform to initiate earnest money deposits and other transactions. Some platforms will enable you to schedule a demo so you can see for yourself how it works and whether it will be easy to grasp.

4. Compliance

An earnest money deposit platform isn’t going to be very useful if it isn’t compliant with many banks. You’ll want to ensure that the platform you are interested in works with a wide range of banks across the nation so that your clients will not have any difficulty in initiating a transfer.

5. Transfer Limits

An ACH transfer platform is supposed to be quicker than the bank. Check to see what the estimated time is for funds to be delivered into a bank account once a transfer has been made. You’ll also want to check what the maximum transfer limit is. If you are used to dealing with clients that often make high-dollar transactions, you’ll need to ensure that the ACH transfer platform will allow it.

6. Branding Options

Wouldn’t it be nice if a client signed in to the earnest money deposit platform and saw your branding? Some platforms will allow you to customize the look of the platform with your own logos and colors so that it appears as if the platform is your own product. This looks more professional and gives the client more confidence when they are initiating a transfer.

To learn more about earnest money deposit platforms and to schedule a free demo, contact paymints.io today. Paymints.io is safe, secure, and supports more than 12,000 banks across the nation. The platform also offers multiple plans as well as the option to build and customize your own plan. It is the ideal platform for the real estate industry.