JPMorgan Platform Taps Into Demand for Paperless Rent Payments

J.P. Morgan Chase is rolling out a digital payment platform for landlords and tenants, tapping into a growing demand for paperless rent payments.

The bank is testing Story — a platform it designed for property managers and owners that automates online rent invoicing and receipts — with the hopes of turning it into an all-in-one property management tool, CNBC reported Monday (Oct. 31).

“The vast majority of rent payments are still done through checks,” Sam Yen, the bank’s chief innovation officer, told CNBC. “If you talk to residents to this day, they often say ‘The only reason I have a checkbook still is to pay my rent.’ So there are lots of opportunities to provide efficiencies there.”

The Wall Street bank is launching this platform at a moment when a resurgence in demand for rental properties has created an opening for FinTechs that offer digital payment products to make modern renting seamless, as PYMNTS reported over the summer.

Read more: Tough Rental Market Sees More Digital Payments, Cash Back, Discounts

In June, the Boston-based FinTech Rentdrop debuted a mobile app for digital rent payments, offering tenants and their landlords a choice in how rents are paid and received.

Based on the increasingly common practice of roommates splitting rents and the collection and payment issues that result, the app is designed to simplify an often-messy process by making it easier to collect digital payments.

Also in June, FinTech rental management platform Obligo teamed up with Wells Fargo to expand its product offerings, becoming the only security deposit alternative using bank-issued letters of credit for landlords and tenants.

Obligo uses open banking data to decide a user’s eligibility to rent without a traditional cash deposit, with the goal of making the rental process as “simple as checking in and out of a hotel,” as the company said on its website.

The summer also saw Venterra Realty, a Houston firm that owns and manages 70 communities and more than 20,000 apartment units around the country, roll out its Autopay Discount, giving renters a $20 monthly credit for automatic electronic rental payments upon enrollment.