THE BLOG

19
Sep

Things to consider when creating/ recreating a website for your business

As you are doing your homework, your first decision is which software company you are going to use to operate your business(LMS Loan management system).

Some programs provide you with a Total turn-key solution that includes a website template.  Some programs provide an interface that you can use to LINK your website directly into your LMS.

Before you sign the contract get the technical and interface specifications.  With these specifications, you can interview different web contractors and determine IF they can make the interface WORK.   If the LMS is using .NET (Microsoft based internet structure), then you need to find a .NET guy.

If you’re in a store front, it’s nice to have a website that can gather leads for you, and looks professional.  If you’re ONLINE?  Having that interface working perfectly is critical.

The LMS vendor will blame the web guy, and the web guy will blame the LMS company.

This is a long standing tradition in the tech industry.  But it leaves you out in the cold.  Whatever gets built for you, make sure that YOU test it.  You want to enter clients into the website and see how they turn up.  You want to try it on a fancy computer, Apple, Ipad, phone, etc.  You want to make certain that it works.  You can always make it pretty later.

Hire somebody that’s experienced.  Preferably a person that has done this type of job before.  Many computer guys “learn as they go”.  That’s awesome for them, but you don’t want to pay for somebody’s education.

 

For a small project, I hired a guy out of college.  He looked great on paper, and at only $40/hr a total bargain!   Can you guess what happened?   He spent 4 weeks doing a 2 day project, and when it was done, it was a steaming pile of crap.

 

Before you hire ANYBODY for any technical work, you have to understand and create a very specific and detailed project.  If YOU don’t know exactly what you want, then how will they know?

They’re going to nod politely, and promise the world to get the contract, but if what you need is OUTSIDE their ability?  You have to know.

This detail should include the programming language, the LMS information, as well as other interfaces that may be required.

For example:

AS a Title loan operator, you’re going to want to:

Interface to you LMS system

Capture client information

Have a window that clients can use to estimate their cars value

Have videos for marketing and client education

Have interactive maps for locations

Perhaps have a client interface where the client can view/change payment structures.

Send receive SMS messages.

 

I HIGHLY recommend that you view competitors’ websites.  At least 20-30 different sites.  Make notes of common elements.  What’s important.   Simplicity is beautiful.

When you write the text, write clearly.  Don’t expect the web design company to write the copy, and legal disclosures for you.  That’s not their job.  You want them focused on making your website work.

 

By the time you create a RFQ (request for quotation), you should have your entire website, and work flow mapped out on paper.  If you’re not organized, your website won’t be either.

You’re creating a technical, marketing and operations funnel for your business.  Make it good.

You want as few surprises and changes as possible.  Because any changes or issues are going to cost you extra $$$  and time.  If you’re building an online organization, you don’t want the whole project sitting while some computer guy is messing with code.

 

Should you use an offshore web design company?  That entirely depends on how capable and patient you are with project management.  If you’ve created a comprehensive plan, then your project won’t be that hard.

I’ve had mixed results with offshore.  Very capable and skilled programmers, but they are more interested in the money transfer than in completion of your project.  In any venture or business, the last 5% of a project is the hardest to get completed.  This happens most of all with this type of work.  Most will get you 95% of the way there, and then lose interest and wander off.

My suggestion is to find somebody that’s done these before, and if you can, find somebody local.  If you have to go to their house and pound on the door?  Then you can.

I use:  Tino Sebastiani

www.Techlands.com

954 529 7633

 

As a funny side note, Tino’s web page makes you answer a math question as part of the verification process.  I suspect he’s using this as a way to filter out potential clients that are very bad at math.

 

Final note:   Don’t pay until everything is 100%.  Keep at least HALF the money until you get that final 5% done.

10
Sep

Payday Loan Tsunami

The Payday Loan Tsunami, ACH, Virtual Wallet, Paytoo: Thoughts and Interpretations
By: Jer Ayler Trihouse

It’s Tuesday, Sept. 10th and I’m in Paris contemplating the TSUNAMI that hit the payday loan industry!

As YOU know, this is an incestuous industry. Billions $$ are at stake! We’re in the midst of a hurricane! Operators are bailing, consumers can’t get a loan – they’re calling out-of-state stores and literally begging for cash. Loan portfolios are being abandoned or sold at fire sale prices, call centers are shutting down right and left…

I’ve been on the phone 6 AM to past midnight with EVERYONE for the past 14+ days non-stop; Saturday’s & Sundays’ included. You know me! Until this firestorm hit, I woke-up whenever I felt like it :o ) Half the time, I was kayaking on the back-bay when I pontificated on our industry.

As you digest this, remember, “Disruption rarely comes from within.”

So what happened?

New York Banking Commissioner Lawsky launched a series of punches to banks and online payday loan lenders demanding they stop making loans to residents of New York. Additionally, he said all outstanding loan principals and fees with NY borrowers are “void and uncollectable.”

Then the NY AG piled on with more…..

ACH providers, NACHA and banks were attacked for enabling payday loan lenders to “skirt NY usury laws.” The Native American Financial Services Association walked the halls of Congress demanding the State of NY back-off on all this “ACH noise” and “end their attack on tribal sovereignty.” ACH providers reacted in knee-jerk fashion and began shutting-off lender access to the ACH system – virtually overnight without warning! Even state licensed payday loan lenders were cut-off!

The bottom line? The online payday loan industry had its business model cut-off-at-the-knees. Lacking the ability to utilize the (ACH) Automated Clearing House, the industry couldn’t deliver funds (debits/credits) to borrowers nation-wide.

Payday loan lenders having “bricks-n-sticks” were jubilant! Suddenly their online competitors – the offshore, the tribes, the choice of law lenders were out of business! Phone calls to stores by consumers “looking” for a loan increased 1000% overnight. Little payday loan stores in places like Lake Forest, California (Danny Verette – Paid2Day.com) were receiving 20, 30 40+ calls per day from consumers all over the country!

During this “firestorm” of attacks and, what APPEARED TO BE eminent destruction of the payday loan industry, a company called Paytoo arrived! What IS Paytoo you ask? Simple! A “virtual wallet.” Literally, a consumer’s financial purse or wallet “in the cloud.” Cash-in, cash-out and money management all from a mobile phone, a tablet, a computer, an ATM machine… The Paytoo virtual wallet platform enables a consumer to access ALL their financial data, bill pay, payroll loan request, transfer funds to friends, family, merchants, load a Discover or MasterCard, get cash at an ATM machine, create a virtual check, deposit payroll proceeds, manage their finances… Paytoo virtual wallet is literally a depository for a consumer’s dollars made available anytime, anywhere, 24/7 “LIVE.”

What’s this mean for consumers? NO need for the 30,000,000+ so-called “unbanked” to physically visit their local check casher and pay 3% – 9% of their net payroll proceeds to cash their check. Paytoo does this FREE! No one gives a crap about having a bank account. YOU NO LONGER NEED ONE! ASTOUNDING! Via Paytoo, a consumer can deliver money to merchants, family members (in Mexico City, San Diego, or Paris :o ) FREE! Cash savings with each “spend.” “Virtual” pay by check is featured. A consumer having a bank account, can choose to “tie” it to their “Wallet.” Paytoo’s platform subscribes to the philosophy of 1 wallet/1 consumer/1 lender. Paytoo brings “real-time” 24/7 comprehensive money management tools to the masses.

What’s this mean for lenders and the AFS industry? No more “check is in the mail.” No more waiting for an ACH to be batched, submitted and wait 2-4 days for transactions to clear. No more 3-5 days of “reserves” to be held by your ACH provider. The lender is at the “front-of-the-line” to be paid by the consumer. The Paytoo platform lowers your “scrubbing” and due-diligence costs on the front-end. Check cashers are DEAD! MoneyGram ?? Western Union?? The stored value cards we’ve all been trying to peddle with ridiculous consumer fees; DEAD! Implement the Paytoo API and launch today.

What’s this mean for Regulators? 1 consumer = 1 payday loan. (Hm.. appears to be a state data base “killer.” States may not be happy to lose the revenue many of them currently receive from Veritec. Think Florida for example.) KYC (Know Your Customer) issues? Solved. Paytoo Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of Paymotech Finance Corp., is a registered Money Service Business (“MSB”) with The U.S. Department of Treasury.

Mobile phone owners have already achieved “KYC.” Should Paytoo become the “de facto” payday loan lending platform, a federal solution to multiple, simultaneous PDL’s would be moot.

So, what’s been the reaction by the payday loan industry to the intro of the Paytoo platform? “Every lender wants to keep this for themselves.” Not possible. Could not keep the “lid” on this thing. All hell broke loose! It’s like a shark frenzy :o )

And, how is it that Paytoo just “happened to appear” on the scene at this moment in time? Just as this “ACH TSUNAMI” nearly annihilated a $50B industry?

Paytoo CEO Michael Poignant has been quietly laying the groundwork for the Paytoo virtual wallet “killer application” since 2005. Michel P. has been beating on our vertical for years! He was used, abused, disrespected, left waiting in lobbies…until “The Perfect Storm!”

You might ask at this juncture, why Jer finds himself in the enviable position of playing a role in helping Michael Poignant, Brett Hudson and the rest of the Paytoo Team re-introduce the Paytoo platform to the AFS industry? All I can say is, “Thank god I promptly responded respectfully (and with humor) to the communications Michel P. shot out to me over the past many, many months!

Those of us in the AFS industry who survive, and come out on the other side, bent but not broken, will be rare. The “Virtual Wallet” is the future. ACH will remain but there are better, cheaper options. Europe, S. America, Mexico… even Africa is ahead of the States with adoption of digital, virtual currency, bill pay, money transfer…

Is Paytoo the “killer app” for our space and more? Will Paytoo become the “default” $$ delivery platform for the AFS industry as Google is for search? How far along are Paytoo’s competitors? Can Paytoo scale fast enough to meet demand? Can DLLR, CSH, EZPW… or any other behemoth build/employ/scale as robust a platform as Paytoo has already deployed in Europe and S. America and now the USA? Paytoo is inundated with Demo Requests and “sandbox” setups for testing. Lenders with $100M + are testing now; they’ve only dipped their toe in the waters so far… afraid they could be eaten by a SHARK. Afraid of what happens to their data, their customer… Can Paytoo sell-out? Get eaten?

Remember: 1 wallet; 1 consumer; 1 lender. If Paytoo IS the “killer app,” lenders better “jump-on board” and secure market share FAST! Are you listening Al Goldstein., Mark C., CSH, DLLR, EZPW, FCFS, OLA, CFSA, FISCA, NAFSA…?

Paytoo has 4.5M world-wide consumers currently using the Paytoo virtual wallet! Only 300,000 are U.S. based. These numbers are increasing daily. Who wants to partner with Paytoo? Who wants to do business with Paytoo in the USA NOW?

“Apple will sell a few to its fans but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the [financial services] industry.” Bloomberg, January 14, 2007. (THX to Bank 3.0 by Brett King. Attention: READ THIS BOOK or die! Better! Buy Brett’s book and bring it to FISCA for his autograph :o )

No single Lender has a large enough market share to slow adoption/integration with the “virtual wallet.” A complete and irreversible DISRUPTION is upon us. Fail to embrace the “Wallet” and your business will perish. We are in the midst of a MAJOR SHIFT in financial services. The $$ distribution system HAS changed.

Today’s consumer has grown-up with Facebook, Twitter, iPhones… Lenders who fail to figure out this new paradigm will soon be irrelevant. As a lender, your costs will come down, your market share will increase, Big Data loan decisioning algorithms will improve your ROI, human loan officers will soon be archaic, consumer rates and fees will fall…

OK, ENOUGH NAME! Signing out from Paris. I’m hiding out from all the flack…  :o) Use this in its entirety!

Jer – Trihouse
Jer@TrihouseConsulting.com (Skype: 702-425-9106)
Brett Hudson  BHudson@Paytoo.com 954-465-7202
Michel Poignant m@Paytoo.com

You’re kidding me? You’re a lender and YOU STILL have not seen the “Paytoo Wallet demo?”
GO HERE: http://trihouse.wufoo.com/forms/request-for-demo-of-wallet-via-trihouse-consulting/

WHAT? You’ve demo’ed the Paytoo Wallet and you’re still on the side lines? Then get out of the way. You are about to be crushed.

Read more: http://paydayloanindustryblog.com/the-payday-loan-tsunami-ach-virtual-wallet-paytoo-thoughts-and-interpretations/#ixzz2eWzeskrv