RentMoola’s rewarding partnerships

The rent payment service is partnering with big brands like Rogers and Uber, and getting in on the group buying game.

For most people under the age of 35, rent payment is their biggest financial commitment, but remains one that’s still done through outdated methods and with little benefit in return. With a relaunch of its web interface and more reward options, RentMoola is trying to change that.

RentMoola is a service that allows users to pay their rent (for both residential and commercial space) or condo fees by automatic credit card or direct debit payment instead of by paper cheque, which is how 90% of the $440 billion in annual rent payments are made in North America. The company started in 2013 and was mostly focused on providing functionality and security for both users and financial institutions, but is now on pace to reach one million global users by 2016 and is launching “RM 2.0,” featuring an improved, more user-friendly interface and an expansion of its “MoolaPerks” incentive program.

In addition to earning the points they normally would when paying with a rewards card, MoolaPerks gives users exclusive offers and discounts from over 50 partners including Telus, Rogers, Indochino, Frank & Oak, Uber and Contiki Holidays. Instead of the increasingly common loyalty program model, RentMoola leverages its scale to offer instant, group buying discounts to its users instead of making them wait to accumulate points.

Andrew Barrett, a marketing advisor for the company, says MoolaPerks are an important part of the company’s business model, as it receives a financial incentive from its partners for referring users. He adds that the goal is to have 85% of RentMoola’s users be between 25 and 35 years old, which provides a more targeted base to send offers to than something more mass-scale like Groupon. But on the user side, the perks help RentMoola differentiate itself from other services and payment options that are popping up by giving added value to its target user.

“We also want people to have a more regular engagement with the brand,” Barrett says. “You could set up regular payments and not necessarily have to come back to the site or engage with the brand. By having incentives that are constantly changing and being added to, it creates a great relationship with our consumer that can keep coming back and learning about what else they can get from it.”

Barrett was previously a VP of marketing at Samsung and LG and VP of business development at JWT, also working in an advisory capacity with Canadian Tire on its Ice Truck campaign and Cisco in its sponsorship of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

Barrett points out that MoolaPerks is very different from a loyalty program. Besides the difficulty and investment required to establish and maintain a loyalty program, he says offering users instant discounts instead is a more effective way to reach its target.

“We thought that was very important for that target that suddenly has big expenses to worry about on top of pre-existing things like paying student debt,” he says. “The last thing you need is having to wait to get your benefit.”

The relaunch is coming with a new spot being pushed through a small media buy on social media. The video, which was initially developed by Notch Video as a product explainer, attempts to position RentMoola as the solution to the frustration that comes during “that time of the month.”

While the company expects MoolaPerks to drive more long-term engagement, the spot remains focused on RentMoola’s core service as it attempts to establish itself as an alternative to traditional rent payment.

“We’re still in the process of establishing the brand, so we need to make sure people understood the core proposition of the brand first,” Barrett says. “Amongst a lot of young people, they don’t write a cheque for anything. It’s so archaic, and that remains our main value proposition and the pain point we are focusing on solving.”