The new way to pay: fast, simple and secure

Earlier this year Nelson Alexander Real Estate in Victoria started piloting Macquarie’s DEFT Auction Pay. The mobile platform allows homebuyers to pay their deposit online on auction day – removing the need to organise a cheque in advance. It’s something both agents and homebuyers have been hoping for. 

We spoke to two of their sales agents, Mark Verrocchi and James Pilliner, about their experience using it.

“It’s been awesome, to be totally honest,” says Verrocchi. “For those buyers who’ve been struggling with last minute cheques and don’t know what to do, Auction Pay has just streamlined the whole process.”

He says it can also give them an advantage with vendors before they list. “We explain it as part of our listing service. With Auction Pay, vendors have more certainty on auction day. It’s also reassuring for both the agent and buyer when they receive an email confirming the transaction.”

Plus, buyers aren’t restricted by a pre-printed bank cheque limit if they want to make a higher bid on the day – for some buyers this could remove yet another barrier to purchase.

A trusted payment platform

Pilliner says they’ve been using Macquarie’s DEFT for some time. “We’ve been speaking to our relationship manager about the issues cheque deposits were causing homebuyers and knew we needed a better solution,” says Pilliner. “They already had the technology and now they’ve delivered.”

Verrocchi says people are now familiar with making online payments, so it’s a preferred option. “Auction Pay offers ease of access. Plus, they trust it – Macquarie is recognised as a large institution so it gives them confidence.”

“The only alternative, EFT (electronic funds transfer) is a pain – because the buyer has to increase their transfer limit before auction,” adds Pilliner. “Being able to do it effortlessly on the spot is so much better – plus it makes us look more professional.”

Paying by Auction Pay is a simple and straightforward process for both the agent and purchaser.

Using their mobile device, the sales agent enters a unique DEFT reference number, property address, sale price and deposit value. All the buyer needs is their bank account details and a valid email address – and enough funds in their account.

Once they’ve agreed to Auction Pay’s terms of use and confirmed the payment details, the transaction is submitted immediately. The agent and buyer then immediately receive a payment receipt by email – creating a digital record of the transaction.

Less admin, less hassle

“It’s just a fill in the blanks system and totally smooth every time.” says Pilliner. “It emails a receipt to all the necessary parties – it does everything you need it to do, very quickly.”

For administrative staff it means reconciling deposits has not only become paper-free but also pain-free, as all the payment records are now digital.

It also minimises room for human error. “We haven’t lost any cheques,” says Verrocchi. And when one payment was held up by insufficient funds in an account, “it was fine because we had the digital records to show the transaction history.”

For purchasers, Verrocchi says having Auction Pay “relieves a bit of tension and stress before the auction.”

Pilliner agrees. “Sometimes bidders haven’t been able to get a bank cheque on time. They call me asking how they can bid without a cheque and it’s great to say we can help them in that situation.”

So do they recommend Auction Pay to other agencies?

“I probably wouldn’t because I want to keep all the benefits to myself,” Verrocchi jokes. “But really, it’s so easy and it’s moving with the times. It streamlines the whole process and makes the industry look more professional.”

Pilliner thinks everyone should be using Auction Pay. “The overwhelming response from customers using it is very complimentary. Technology is changing in the real estate industry – the more we embrace it, the more we can figure out other ways to apply technology in our industry.”

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Unless stated otherwise, this material has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 237502 ("Macquarie") for general discussion purposes only, without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this general information, you must consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any accounting, tax or other professional advice, consultation or service.