Add Value to Your Product Mix with Bi-Weekly Payment Plans

By: Toni McQuilken

Add Value to Your Product Mix with Bi-Weekly Payment Plans

Bi-weekly payment plans have been around the automotive industry from more than a decade, but like many F&I products, they have grown and adapted through the years. Today, “bi-weekly” is something of a misnomer, since the companies who offer it often have more payment options than just that one; however the term itself has stuck, and continues to be used to classify a category that covers the ability to break payments up in a variety of ways.

The benefits to this type of plan for consumers are numerous, and include making cars more affordable since they can tailor the payments to be paid automatically as paychecks come in. Many of the plans are automated, so consumers do not have to worry about missing payments, or racking up late fees if they forget one month. They can also consider more F&I products, since this type of plan can help keep a larger total amount to a more manageable payment amount.

And that last point is one of the prime benefits for F&I managers. For many consumers, especially in today’s market, budget is a major concern. The car loan by itself can stretch them to the financial limit; trying to add additional products can be a difficult sell. By including bi-weekly payment options in the “bag of tricks,” the F&I manager can offer a product that is presented as being almost solely for the convenience of the consumer, generating good will. That can then open up an opportunity to talk about other products that can benefit them as well, and be affordable at the same time.

For agents, this is an important tool to give to the dealers and F&I managers they work with. Most, if not all, of the bi-weekly payment options are sold through agents, and while the product has been around for a while, it has not yet achieved a high penetration rate, mostly due to dealers not being exposed to it. This offers agents an opportunity and a strong selling point with which to go in to both new and established clients.

What options are out there? We talked to two of the biggest providers in the bi-weekly space, and asked them about their products, what sets them apart, and where they see bi-weekly payments going. This is a good place to start researching if you are looking to add this powerful and valuable service to your product mix.

Bi-Weekly Payments

Economic Advantage Corp.

Lynn Simmons, President
Economic Advantage Corp.

Can you give me a bit of your company history? How did you become involved in the smart payment category?
EAC has been offering the biweekly payment alternative since 1989. We began with the mortgage industry and we are the company that introduced this alternative payment method to the auto industry in the year 2000. We were also the first to offer a fully web-based version of this program. We have longevity, which brings with it maximum experience which keeps us at the forefront of our industry.

Read More »

SMART Payment Plan

Rod Tobiason, Principal
SMART Payment Plan

Can you give me a bit of your company history? How did you become involved in the smart payment category?
We have been servicing customers primarily in the car industry for over a decade. We help customers budget by matching a smaller payment to their payday in order to pay off their loan 5 to 8 months sooner, and build equity faster. We help both the customer and the dealership.

Read More »

This article was written by:

- has written 845 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Toni McQuilken is the managing editor for AE Magazine and P&A Magazine. She has a decade of editorial experience in the trade publishing world, across several industries, including print and graphics, as well as hospitality and technology. To contact her, e-mail tmcquilken@mgigmedia.com.

Contact the author

The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Agent Entrepreneur or any employee thereof.

One Response to “Add Value to Your Product Mix with Bi-Weekly Payment Plans”

  1. Jim Ganther says:

    I think the recent news of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigating Ally Financial and at least three other indirect lenders in the automotive space has a tremendous impact on this particular product. The CFPB will find “disparate impact” flowing from the very concept of dealer reserve. This will result in hearings, notices of proposed final rulemaking and, ultimately, the outlawing of profit from arranging financing at the dealership. While I may sound like Chicken Little, the sky is, indeed, falling. The “F” in “F&I” is about to disappear.

    So what does this have to do with bi-weekly payment programs? Simply this: by selling a bi-weekly program in connection with dealer-arranged financing, a dealer can still make money on that effort even if direct mark-up on the financing is severely capped or prohibitted entirely. And the payment reduction bi-weekly programs create leaves room to sell more product.

    No, I don’t own stock in a bi-weekly company. But given the Government’s growing hostility to dealers making money in connection with financing, I wish I did.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

*