Syllabus / Legal & Finance 101
The Smart way to Pay Bolster for Your Renovation
To achieve your project goals, there's only one way to pay that is guaranteed not to jeopardize your finances--or your project. Read on to learn about the risks of paying by check or credit card, and the reason why paying by wire transfer is the only way to go.
Vulnerable to theft and loss, check payments come with substantial risks for project delays. Learn More
Paying by credit card can mean incurring hefty fees and delays, and can have repercussions for other projects too. Learn More
Why we do not accept Checks
Checks are prone to fraud. Rather than ensuring financial security, sending a check through the mail can be extremely dangerous. It means having an unsecured payment--often worth tens of thousands of dollars--just floating around, making yourself vulnerable to theft. Advances in digital technology mean it's easier than ever for criminals to alter checks, changing numbers and forging signatures on the document and then withdrawing your funds.
Checks can cause major delays to your project. When a contractor is slow to receive payment, industry standards deem it reasonable and fair for them to stop work. So whether your check is lost, stolen, or held back by your own choice, the ultimate result could be lengthy delays on your renovation.
One Bolster client whose renovation was then underway--and which they wanted complete in time to host a party--opted to submit a payment by check. Unfortunately, the check arrived 5 weeks after it was sent, and when the contractor wasn't paid in time for their work, they were forced to issue a change order that led to a 30-day delay which put an end to their party plans.
Why we do not accept Credit Cards
Credit cards fees are prohibitive. One downside of paying by card are the sky-high finance fees which our professionals may not accept or pass back to you.
Credit cards can delay your project. There are a number of scenarios in which your credit card payment could be significantly delayed. If you're traveling overseas when you make your payment, for instance, your credit card company may need to confirm with you before processing. And if the company suspects there's something fishy about your charge to Bolster, they'll withhold funds until all questions are resolved, delaying renovations that need that money to move forward.
Credit cards represent a systemic risk to all Bolster projects. If another Bolster customer disputes a charge for their renovation on their credit card, their actions can have serious repercussions for your project. When a customer has an issue with a charge, their credit card company will usually take their word for it and not only refund their money, but also issue the merchant a chargeback fee (i.e. your $50,000 could be withheld by the credit card company while they clear the dispute of another Bolster customer's $50,000 payment). Being fined, losing your funds that are needed for the next phase of your renovation, and having to devote valuable time to responding to credit card disputes, can all put a major strain on your contractor's resources, making it impossible for them to continue and complete on time.
Why Paying by Wire Transfer (or ACH) is the only way
Wires are fast, safe, and cheap. You went with Bolster for your renovation because you know that you'll be delivered a high-quality renovation, on time and on budget. So why risk that assurance by using a risky payment method? Wire transfers, which move payments from one bank to another electronically, are lightning quick, secure, and affordable, with no danger of failure.
Wires are risk free. Because these transactions between banks are sent through encrypted channels--and because payment can't be canceled--your money is secure and will arrive at its intended destination on time, which means your project is completely protected from delays.
We make wires easy for you. Bolster's relationship manager will spare you the headache of figuring things out by working with your bank to set up the transfer. Once that's done, you can pay online or over the phone, from anywhere in the world.
Troubleshooting typical issues with Wire Transfers.
To increase your daily limit. Most bank accounts come with a default daily limit (e.g. $25,000). To increase your daily limit, simply call your banker and ask them to increase your daily limit to an amount equal to or higher than the largest milestone payment on your payment schedule. If you do not have a banker, call your bank’s service line.
Avoiding Fees (Wire Transfer vs. ACH). Unless you have a premium bank account with your bank (e.g. Chase private Client), your bank may ask you to pay a fee (typically $20 to $35) to send a wire transfer. To avoid paying this fee you can choose to pay Bolster by ACH instead. This transaction has been around for some 40 years and are the type used when you use online bill pay or when you use your debit card. While these typically take a couple of days longer to clear and cannot be as easily reversed they are typically free and can be activated online, by phone or in person at one of your bank’s branches.