Miles for mortgages and rent? Sure. With an idea that has even been kicked around here at InsideFlyer, a new Web site promises to overcome the credit card acceptance rule and let you earn miles on all your bills. We chatted with Michael Wiseman, CEO of PayAnythingOnline.com
InsideFlyer: Where did this idea come from??
Michael Wiseman: It was created for a couple of people really, but we’ve had so much interest that we made a public Web site.
IF: What do you do in your real life?
Michael: I’m a corporate pilot by trade. I do have every frequent flyer card known to man.
IF: How long was your timeline to put this all together?
Michael: Six to eight months. I had some downfalls at first. But then I found the right people and they took it from zero to where we are right now.
IF: How difficult was it to find a credit card processor?
Michael: It was unbelievably hard! Our company was considered high risk. We have a few snags to work on to comply with bank secrecy. But we’re getting there.
IF: Where do you think this is going?
Michael: We now have an “apartment complex portal,” if you will. We deal with property management firms and property complexes nation wide. They can put a live payment applet on their site to have their tenant make payment through them.
The cool thing about our service is, it’s 100 percent free for them, the charge gets charged to the tenant-the user-and not to them, and they get 100 percent of the rent.
IF: That’s always been a popular question: How can I pay my mortgage or rent with a credit card? Do you know right now where your activity is coming from?
Michael: No, at my end I can’t tell. I would imagine that 40 percent of the people I have paying aren’t using it for the frequent flyer portion.
I have a lot of people that lean on the additional credit to get them through the month.
We have the savvy user that uses it for the frequent flyer benefit, and the other is the one that can’t pay the rent and needs to use their credit card.
IF: Is there a particular type of use?
Michael: It’s all over. I see a lot of student loans.
IF: You said a lot of the users aren’t using this for rewards. Do you think that will change over time?
Michael: I think it is what it is and won’t change.
IF: What’s been your biggest surprise?
Michael: I never would have thought that I would have to comply with so many different things, and I never thought there would be so many different avenues of security I would have to enable. What always surprises me is how little somebody pays. We’ve had customers pay a bill for $25 (and we have a $5 minimum fee for something like that) and another pay a mortgage off for $10,000.