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In a COVID-19 world, digital solutions aren’t just a nice benefit, they’re an absolute necessity. As you adapt your business by adding tools and services, remember the benefits of digital earnest money. Going virtual with earnest payments is a time-saver for you and your homebuyers and guarantees a contactless transaction. That’s the upside. The downside? Selecting the wrong digital earnest money service could result in losing hard-earned credibility or even losing clients if a transaction turns to fraud.

Here’s how to assess your digital earnest money solution:

Does your tool offer sufficient funds verification? Make sure your earnest money tool runs a preliminary check for sufficient funds in the homebuyer’s account of choice before completing the digital earnest money payment. For instance, a solid digital earnest money service detects when an account doesn’t have the proper amount of funds to complete the transaction, immediately prompting a buyer to add an alternate payment account and avoiding the pitfalls and delays of insufficient funds. Tools that don’t offer a sufficient funds review lead to a less than ideal experience for your homebuyer, as they could run into failed attempts to pay.

Does your tool provide good funds?
 Good funds are funds that are valid, available and usable. An earnest money service should prevent chargebacks and pullbacks by the homebuyer. Chargebacks and pullbacks have been the long-standing fault of traditional consumer ACH transfers, which allow for chargebacks and pullbacks for up to 60 days. The system you go with should not only be considered good funds, but should also be fully compliant, meeting the needs of existing NACHA guidelines for homebuyer protection. Earnnest, the largest digital earnest service in the U.S., has proprietary ACH technology that is considered “good funds” because it prevents chargebacks and pullbacks by the homebuyer.

Will you receive real-time notification on the status of every transaction?
 A good system provides the agent and homebuyer with simple yet secure earnest money payments that allow both parties to know exactly how the payment is progressing—in real-time. At each step of the transaction, email notifications should be sent to all parties involved, and automatic digital receipts should be conveniently auto-generated, ready to be filed and organized for quick, easy record keeping and reconciliation.

The risks of selecting the wrong digital earnest money partner are real. Any earnest money service you choose must be evaluated to avoid delays, failed payments or worse. A great partner like Earnnest provides significant advantages to your business, giving your buyer an easy way to complete what was once a tedious, manual process. A smooth and safe digital earnest money transaction elevates your earnest payment process—and client connection—in 2020 and beyond.

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