Merchant Services for Community Associations
When your management company deposits with First Southern Bank, your associations can accept American Express, MasterCard, Discover and Visa without paying a dime in transaction fees. Association dues, payments for special assessments, payments for renting the clubhouse, and fees for miscellaneous items may all be paid online with plastic.
There are no setup fees, no monthly fees, no transaction fees and no account minimums.
Even if your management company doesn’t have a Web site, you can still utilize First Southern Bank Merchant Services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is there a cost to the management firm or the association? No, there is no cost to the management firm or the association. No setup fees, no monthly fees, no transaction fees and no account minimums. The service is completely supported through a nominal convenience fee charged to residents that pay online.
2. Will the association receive 100% of the assessment charged? Yes, the association will receive 100% of the assessment charged for the community. The collected assessments will be deposited directly into the association’s bank account on a daily basis. The payment service is also compliant with state statutes that require the association to receive 100% of the assessment charged.
3. Do I have to complete a lengthy application and provide association financials to be approved? There is no underwriting application, no association financials are required, and there will be no requests for Articles of Incorporation or other proof of organization to get started.
4. Does the Convenience Fee charged residents have to be the same for every association? No, the convenience fee can be set by association so those communities with a small assessment will not require their residents to pay higher convenience fees.
5. What Credit Cards are accepted? All major credit cards are accepted including VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX. For management firms, you’ll be glad to know that by accepting VISA you’ll have an advantage over your competition and Industry banks that can’t. The importance of the inclusion of VISA cannot be understated as approximately 63% of the credit card carrying public only has a VISA card.
6. What will display on a resident’s credit card statement? Resident’s will see the name of their association and the contact phone number of your choice that was entered during setup along with the total charged to their credit card. Note: the total charged will be the sum of the assessment plus the convenience fee. For example, if a resident owes $300 and the convenience fee is $9, the resident will see a total charge of $309 on their credit card statement.
7. How do we enter credit card transactions into our management system? First Southern Bank will post transactions into your lockbox payments or the management company will receive a daily report of payments.
8. What reporting is available for research of discrepancies and reconciliation of association bank accounts? Detailed transaction reports are provided nightly and include all successful transactions as well as any chargebacks if they occur. Reports can even be emailed to a management firm representative.
9. How will you handle charges that are disputed by residents? If a resident questions a charge, they will be able to call the number appearing on their credit card statement next to the association’s name. The number that appears is the number provided during setup of the association’s account. Although rare, if their credit card company does perform a chargeback, that chargeback will appear within your nightly reports and be debited from the association’s bank account. This is similar to a resident writing a bad check. In situations of chargebacks, your Accounting Department will need to enter the appropriate adjustments in your accounting system to reflect that the assessment has not actually been paid, enter appropriate Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fees, and depending on the timing of the collection policies for the association, you will want to begin those activities as you would any other unpaid delinquent balance.
10. How do you protect credit card information? Our payment service is 100% Payment Card Industry Level 1 Compliant. In fact, we’ve achieved the highest level of certification and compliance in the Industry with our Level 1 rating.