Let's Talk ACH Processing in TOPS [ONE]

    Posted by Mike Hardy on October 3, 2016

    TOPS [ONE] is a work in progress. From idea to design to architecting to engineering to refining the UX, we’ve been hard at work on this project now for about three years, and we expect to continue working on it for years to come.

    We knew that building a brand new application from the ground up gave us an opportunity to correct poor design choices in the past and rethink how we had done things.

    Our goal from day one: build the most modern, most dynamic, most flexible accounting and management application that could be found in any vertical, not just community management. 

    In addition to visual design, a modern interface must also consider security as a primary component. We are hyper-aware that our management company clients are entrusting the safety and security of the data of every homeowner in every community they manage. Considering this accounts for more than 6 million households in America, that is a pretty serious responsibility!

    One key design choice we made was to introduce a much more secure way of handling ACH direct debit payers in TOPS [ONE]. Like most other competing products in the CAM industry, TOPS Professional and TOPS iQ allowed users to store homeowner bank account information and used it to generate a NACHA file managers could send to the bank.

    While this certainly is convenient, it’s not an acceptable practice for us to continue in TOPS [ONE] as we look to help our clients secure homeowner PII (personally identifiable information). To learn more about the security concerns inherant to ACH, please watch this presentation:

    Laws have been passed at the state level and there is pending legislation at the federal and state levels related to PII that we need to be mindful of. Extra measures are required to secure and store this PII data as we move forward with TOPS [ONE] to ensure that our clients and our client’s clients (homeowners) are protected. 

    With consideration to security, convenience, and ease of use we made the choice in TOPS [ONE] to off-platform the ACH storage and processing to a payment processor: PayLease.

    This relationship will allow for a more feature rich experience for our clients and homeowners while also delivering industry best security to this data. With TOPS [ONE], homeowner’s will be able to: 

    • Manage their ACH enrollments in TOPS [ONE]’s embedded owner access feature

    • Have their ACH enrollment information tokenized and encrypted

    • Activate and deactivate direct debit on demand

    • Update their information as needed

    • Manage their contact information and other preferences

    There will be a small fee for this service of only $.50 per transaction that will be borne by the homeowner. This fee covers the cost to process the ACH file and for securing the transactions and the data.

    TOPS [ONE]