Gabriel Star are helping a number of housing associations improve their rent collection systems.
We would like to hear the best ideas that solve the problems of:
Within a hostel, housing association or student accommodation environment residents often visit the local office looking to pay their rent by plastic (visa debit card for example). Traditional terminals don’t allow the over-riding of the reference number which causes a problem at head office. Head office is situated miles away from where the payment is taken and when reconciling rent accounts find it hard to allocate an individual payment against a particular room or property. The accountant at head office sees is an automated reference number from the terminal which doesn’t related to a particular property. Thus leaving a difficult task in allocating that payment to the right room. (and subsequently not chasing the wrong person for payment when they’ve already paid)
We believe the problem could be solved in two ways (but we are also open to hearing ideas from the tech community).
1) A terminal that allows the inputting of a tenancy reference number that will show on the bank statements. Therefore as the payment is taken by debit / credit card, the automatically generated reference number from the terminal is over-written with the tenancy reference number. The cash is received and appears on the bank statement. The cash accounting team recognise this reference number as a tenancy reference and allocate the payment accordingly. In turn, Mr Smith is not wrongly chased for not paying his bill.
2) A live data capture system – possibly online. A system that allows various users to see the information and record sales. For example, when the office manager takes the payment, they pull up an online register of all the rooms available, they see that a balance is outstanding (having been linked to the system – an SQL database) and a payment can be recorded post transaction and a reference number recorded against that payment. This reference number maybe the automatically generated reference number from the terminal, and when the accounts team allocate the cash received to tenancy accounts, they can look up the number via a query, find the room, the payment related to and record it correctly.
If you have any ideas or to request further clarification of the problem – please post a comment.
Thanks for your time!
#DataDev #ukhousing #socialhousing