The Dubai real estate industry has just reached another important milestone. Asteco, one of the leading property management service companies, announced that it has launched the Direct Debit System in the UAE for property payments. Post-dated cheques were the traditional rent payment method in the UAE. But now, tenants can pay rent by direct debit, simplifying the process for the parties involved.
This digital payment method is just one more way that new real estate technology has transformed the dynamics of the UAE property market. Bayut was in conversation with Asteco’s Managing Director, John Stevens. Watch as John breaks down the process of paying rent by direct debit in the UAE. And don't miss as he discusses the benefits for both tenants and landlords, and how Asteco’s partners are simplifying the transactions.
What is the Direct Debit System? How does it work for rental payments?
Launched in 2013, the Direct Debit System is a digital payment method introduced by the UAE Central Bank. Simply put, it’s a safe and convenient method to make regular payments, whether it’s fixed or variable amounts.
Now, Asteco is making waves for launching the direct debit service in the real estate sector, allowing tenants to pay rent by direct debit in the UAE. Even today, writing post-dated rent cheques is a common practice in the UAE, that Asteco deems outdated in today’s digital world. John says that paying rent through direct debit is secure, efficient and fully automated. More importantly, it allows tenants in the UAE to deposit payments into the landlord’s account on an agreed frequency – whether it’s a quarterly or monthly basis.
Asteco has partnered with the National Bank of Fujairah and Direct Debit System FZ LLE to launch direct debit payment for rent. The digital payment method has been successfully integrated into Asteco’s property management software and has been met by approval from landlords.
How do tenants and landlords sign up for direct debit payments in the UAE?
The first step requires the landlord to agree to use direct debit payments for rent on their properties in the UAE, with more doing so by the day. Then, instead of post-dated cheque, the tenant signs a Direct Debit Authority (DDA) document with Asteco as a one-time step. This will register them with the UAE Central Bank and the National Bank of Fujairah.
Once it’s set up, tenants will then be able to pay rent through direct debit. Payments will be debited from the tenant’s current or savings account – or even their credit card – on the agreed dates and frequency and deposited into the landlord’s account.
What are the benefits to pay rent by direct debit in the UAE?
Post-dated rent cheques are common in the UAE yet can create an issue for tenants. Having to pay in lesser frequency means taking out loans or saving up large amounts to meet rent obligations. Direct debit payments for tenants in the UAE can ease their cash flow, since it requires smaller, more frequent payments. It’s also a much-needed relief for those who are new to the UAE or have an outstanding bank loan.
Landlords benefit from the direct debit payments for rent, too. The smaller and more frequent payments mean landlords have the assurance of a stable income stream. It also helps landlords and developers meet banks’ repayment schedules. There’s already a growing trend for developers to offer monthly payment terms, among other schemes.
How secure is paying rent by direct debit in the UAE?
John assures that whole transaction is overseen by the highest levels in the financial industry when tenants pay rent by direct debit in the UAE, . The Direct Debit System is a robust financial tool backed by the Central Bank of the UAE. Signing the DDA document with Asteco registers the tenant with the Central Bank as well. The alternative payment method is also well established in Europe, US, Brazil and South Africa.
How are Asteco’s partners facilitating the process for direct debit payments in the UAE?
Each partner has brought something unique in the creation of direct debit payments in the UAE real estate industry, says John. Asteco, as a property management firm, has a portfolio of tenants and landlords. As the Direct Debit System is a banking tool, a partner in the financial sector was needed. This is where National Bank in Fujairah (NBF) comes in. The NBF has assisted in creating the DDA document and facilitating the payment process between the Central Bank and the transacting banks.
Finally, the Direct Debit System FZ LLE have innovated the tool that allows the communication between all the parties, allowing the creation of direct debit payments for rent. This final partner enables the integration of their software into Asteco’s property management system. This ensures a smooth process when creating the Direct Debit Authority document for tenants. It's resulted in a seamless system allowing tenants to pay rent by direct debit, which is already operational and welcomed by landlords.
ABOUT JOHN STEVENS
John Stevens in the Managing Director and Director of Asset Services at Asteco. Previously, John handled the operations for Asteco’s property management department across the region. He also holds 10 years of experience managing well-known property portfolios in South East Asia. Highly respected in his field, John has been a leader in the region for the establishment and development of management services.
Asteco is the leading real estate firm and property services company in the UAE, which has been in the industry for more than 30 years. They provide an array of services including development consultancy, valuation services, sales and leasing services, and asset and property management services.
What do you think about Asteco's new digital payment method for rent in the UAE? Let us know in the comments below. Are you a tenant in the UAE? Then take a look at our post on whether you should renew the tenancy contract or rent new property when your tenancy contract is up. And stay tuned to MyBayut for more insights into the UAE real estate market!