Collecting Rent Through Zelle vs. Baselane: Which One is Better?

Collecting Rent Through Zelle vs. Baselane: Which One is Better?

If you’ve ever had to chase down rent payments, you know why 6 out of 10 landlords prefer to collect rent online. There are plenty of options for rent collection software, but only a handful deliver reliable payment processing. In this article, we will compare collecting rent through Zelle vs. Baselane.

See what Baselane can do for you.
Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress
Watch Demo

1. Zelle vs. Baselane: Overview

Both Zelle and Baselane make it easy for landlords to collect rent online. The comparison chart below summarizes payment options, fees, and features for Baselane vs. Zelle.

Payment OptionsDebit, Credit, Bank TransferBank transfer
Deposit Speed2-3 business daysWithin minutes
Fees Payments via bank transfer (ACH) are 100% free Payments via credit or debit card are free for landlords; tenants pay a small processing fee (2.99%)Mostly free; however, banks often charge their own monthly or one-time fees
Assess and Track Late Fees Automatically YesNo
Payment TrackingYesNo
Landlord NotificationsYes No
Tenant NotificationsYesNo
Transfer LimitsNoYes
Secure Payments256-bit bank-level SSL encryption256-bit bank-level SSL encryption

2. Zelle Overview

Zelle is a payment portal designed to send money between bank accounts. If you and your tenant both have banks that support Zelle, it can be an easy way to collect rent payments.

How it works: Money sent through Zelle is deposited within minutes. Zelle does not accept credit cards, and there is no option to set up automatic payments unless the bank offers this feature.

Payment Methods: Using Zelle for rent collection is not supported by every bank, and Zelle limits transfer amounts to $1,000 a day and $5,000 a month. If Zelle isn’t offered with the tenant’s bank, the weekly transfer limit is $500. Zelle does not allow tenants to make payments via credit cards.

Tracking: Zelle sends notifications when money is received. There is no option to track or set up fees for late rent payments. Zelle does not offer fraud protection or refunds if money is sent to the wrong person.

3. Baselane Overview

Baselane is an all-in-one financial and banking platform designed for landlords and real estate investors. Baselane offers rent collection, bookkeeping, banking, and analytics. By having all these tools in one platform, landlords can easily track their rental property income and ensure they are turning a profit.

How it works: Collect online payments for rent, security deposits, and other fees. Tenants can set up auto-payments and select flexible payment options. Tenants receive access to the Baselane Renter’s portal to manage their payments. Funds take two days to process.

Payment Methods: Tenants can link any banking institution, credit card, or debit card as a payment method. There are no limits for rent payments sent through Baselane. Unlike Zelle, Baselane is linked to a landlord’s bank account to eliminate the chance of money being sent to the wrong person.

Tracking: Baselane allows both tenants and landlords to view payment history and records. Landlords can set automatic late payment reminders to keep tenants on track.

Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress
Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress
Get Started - It's Free

4. Features: Zelle vs. Baselane

Before deciding if your tenants should be paying their rent with Zelle or Baselane, let’s take a closer look at what makes each payment option stand out.

Zelle Rent Collection Features

  • The transfer from a tenant account to the landlord account takes a few minutes
  • Integrates with supported mobile banking apps 
  • Zelle app is available for iOS and Android
  • Send money using an email address or U.S. mobile phone number
  • Payments are secure with 256-bit SSL bank-level encryption


Baselane Rent Collection Features

  • Quick and easy sign-up process, plus it’s free!
  • Payments for rent, security deposits, and fees are deposited directly in a landlord’s bank account within two business days
  • Tenants have the option of making one-time payments or setting up auto-pay for recurring payments debited from their bank account
  • Tenants can pay rent their way using their debit card, credit card, or direct from their bank account
  • Tenants can manage and pay rent from any device, desktop, mobile, or tablet
  • Automated reminders and payment confirmations are sent to tenants
  • Landlords can easily track payment history and any overdue payments
  • Landlords can receive real-time notifications
  • Payments are secure with 256-bit SSL bank-level encryption

Baselane is designed for landlords, offering more features for rental property finances to help track rent collection and manage cash flow all in one place. 

5. Collecting Rent: Zelle vs. Baselane

Baselane and Zelle offer flexible ways for tenants to pay rent online. The sign-up process is relatively the same, but there are some notable differences in functionality.

Collecting Rent with Zelle

If tenants ask, “Can I use Zelle to pay rent?” tell them it only takes three steps to get started:

  1. Access Zelle on their banking platform or download the Zelle app
  2. Enter the landlords’ email or phone number
  3. Choose the amount to send

While Zelle works, it’s only a payment gateway; funds are automatically deposited, and there is no option to cancel or stop payments like you can with Baselane. This creates an issue for evictions in some states. For example, if you are trying to evict a tenant for nonpayment in Texas, any partial payments received means you have to start the eviction process again.

Zelle also has limited options when it comes to tracking rent payments.

On the other hand, Baselane’s analytics and banking tools seamlessly connect with rent collection. This way, landlords can track their cash flows easily without having to use multiple tools or spreadsheets.

Collecting Rent with Baselane

Baselane makes collecting rent easy, secure, and flexible for tenants and landlords by following just a few steps:

  1. Sign up
  2. Connect a receiving bank account
  3. Add rent collection details and invite tenants
  4. Collect rent
  5. Track and manage payments

Instead of just telling you which platform is better for rent collection, we decided to ask a landlord who has used an app for rent collection and the most traditional method of collecting rent checks.

Clayton is a multi-unit real estate investor with four properties in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s been using rent checks to collect payments from tenants before switching to online rent collection. Clayton reported that “Baselane has transformed how I manage my properties because everything is automated in one place.”

6. Rental Property Management

Zelle only offers a solution for payment processing and no features for rental property management. This leaves you with dozens of logins and spreadsheets to track expenses. Baselane’s property management software brings all your rental property finances under one roof. In addition to online rent collection, Baslane offers:

  • Rental Property Bookkeeping
  • Rental property analytics and reporting
  • Expense management
  • Tenant monitoring
  • Landlord Banking
  • Marketplace for loans, insurance, and much more

7. Landlord Bookkeeping

Zelle does not offer or integrate with bookkeeping, forcing landlords to manually enter rent payments in a ledger. Baselane’s online rent collection comes fully integrated with a simple, consolidated ledger for all your transactions.

Baselane Bookkeeping features include:

  • Secure connection to bank accounts and credit cards
  • Transaction tags for Schedule E tax categories
  • Flexibility to add, hide, or split transactions
  • Bulk categorization

Key Takeaways: Zelle vs. Baselane

When comparing Baselane vs. Zelle, here are some considerations to keep in mind for rent payment collection:

  • Baselane has an auto-pay feature for setting up monthly recurring payments, and Zelle doesn’t.
  • Baselane can automatically notify tenants about when their rent is about to be due or overdue. Zelle can’t send these notifications.
  • Baselane can notify landlords of how many days rent is overdue or whether it’s been paid through a color-coded alert system. Zelle can’t send these alerts.
  • Baselane can automatically assess late fees when rent is overdue. In Zelle, late fees must be assessed manually through a separate transaction.
  • Baselane offers secure payments. Zelle relies on banking security features with no protection against fraud or sending money to the wrong person.
  • Money can be transferred instantly from Zelle to a bank account for free unless the banking institution charges transaction fees. Baselane takes two business days, and it’s free for landlords.
  • Adding contacts and signing up for an account with Zelle is easier than Baselane.


What should you look for in property management software?

When choosing property management software, you want all the tools you need to manage your finances in one place, including:

  • Rent collection
  • Payment tracking
  • Expense management
  • Property analytics
  • Landlord Banking
  • Marketplace products such as loans and insurance that save you time and money
Why use rental property software?

Rental property software replaces multiple solutions and spreadsheets with a unified platform. In addition to landlord banking and bookkeeping, rental property software provides a safer, more reliable way of obtaining rental income. It also allows tenants the flexibility of multiple payment methods, instant invoices, and payment reminders.

How can I sign up for Baselane?

Create a free Baselane account in minutes:

  • Sign up using an email, full name, and password
  • Follow the instructions in the confirmation email
  • Start exploring Baselane
In this article:
Rent Collection without the Stress
  • Easy to set up and free to use
  • Fast payments
  • Automated reminders and late fees
Avatar photo
Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
Share this article:
Collecting Rent Through Zelle vs. Baselane: Which One is Better?
Collecting Rent Through Zelle vs. Baselane: Which One is Better?