Tag Archive | "SMART Payment Plan"

SMART Payment Plan Wins The 2015 Platinum Dealer’s Choice Award


NAPLES, Fla. – The publishers of Auto Dealer Monthly magazine announced the winners of the 11th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. SMART Payment Plan is proud to win the 2015 Platinum Dealer’s Choice Award. “This marks our third consecutive year of being recognized as a leader in automotive payments services. We are proud to have earned our dealers’ and dealership personnel’s praise and loyalty. This recognition is a result of the commitment of our agents and customer support operations in providing exceptional service,” explains David Engelman, CEO of SMART Payment Plan.

Dealership personnel recognized the industry’s best product and service providers by submitting their votes. This year’s awards featured 29 categories. In each category, the dealership voters had to write in the name of their provider and score them on the product or service itself, customer support, service, value, and whether they would recommend the company to other dealerships. SMART Payment Plan’s Chief Sales Officer, Rod Tobiason, will be happy to receive the award on behalf of the company at the ceremony on Sept. 10, 2015, at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

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SMART Payment Plan Announces The Appointment Of Jackson Bigham As Its Chief Compliance Officer


NAPLES, Fla. – SMART Payment Plan announces the appointment of Jackson Bigham as its Chief Compliance Officer. Jackson will be responsible for managing SMART’s state and federal regulatory compliance, regulatory reporting, and all legal and compliance activities. “Jackson’s role at SMART will fully utilize his deep understanding and experience in complex compliance and consumer protection matters. In today’s regulatory environment, it’s important to have a knowledgeable and independent Chief Compliance Officer to oversee all consumer matters and to interact with state and federal regulators,” states David Engelman, CEO.

“In today’s regulatory environment, it is not enough to provide exceptional customer service and have high ethics and values in serving our customers. We must also demonstrate and prove the same level of commitment to satisfying regulators at the state and federal level who often focus on other details,” said Engelman. In light of the financial sector’s increasingly demanding compliance and regulatory nature, SMART Payment Plan considers the appointment of Jackson Bigham timely and value-added. Bigham’s ten years of experience working with the FTC and state Attorney Generals in prosecuting consumer protection claims significantly bolsters SMART’s regulatory compliance and risk management.

Bigham previously was a Consumer Law and Anti-trust Attorney at Morrison Sund. He graduated at University of Minnesota Law School with his Juris Doctorate (with honors) and received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (magna cum laude).

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Smart Payment Plan Surpasses $1 Billion of Consumer Loan Payment Processing


Austin, Texas – SMART Payment Plan, the financial technology company that, since 2003, has helped customers shave years off of mortgages and months off of student, auto and credit card loans, today announced a milestone achievement – it has processed more than one billion dollars in consumer loan payments.

“On average, Americans owe more than $147,000 on their home, are paying towards a $30,000 auto loan and carry a balance of more than $15,000 on one or more credit cards, so finding ways to more quickly pay off debt is a major concern,” said David Engelman, CEO. “We are proud of the response we’ve received from customers who look to us for simple, safe and smart strategies that help them save money and accelerate equity.”

SMART Payment Plan helps Americans by simplifying the bill paying process. SMART automatically deducts smaller bill and loan payments from a customer’s bank account on a timetable that matches their pay schedule – whether weekly, every two weeks, twice a month or monthly. Smaller, more frequent payments allow customers to pay off debt more quickly and save money by reducing the amount of interest charged over the life of a loan. Customers are relieved of bill paying hassles and benefit from improved cash flow. SMART Payment Plan works with customers to pay down fixed consumer loans, including vehicle and boat loans, home mortgages, educational loans and credit cards.

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SMART Payment Plan Receives Dealers’ Choice Award


Austin, Texas — SMART Payment Plan, a financial technology firm specializing in consumer bill payments, received the Diamond Award for outstanding customer support, service and value in the ninth annual Auto Dealer Monthly Dealers’ Choice Awards.

The award, presented in the Bi-Weekly Payment category, was officially announced in the magazine’s April issue.

“For 10 years, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of customers simplify their lives, ease budgeting, improve cash flow, payoff loans faster, and save money,” said David Engelman, CEO of SMART Payment Plan. “We are excited that Auto Dealer Monthly has recognized us as a market leader for our ability to help dealers sell more vehicles and create happier repeat customers who return faster and in better equity positions.”

SMART Payment Plan has simplified the bill-paying process by automatically deducting smaller bill and loan payments from a customer’s bank account on a schedule that coincides with their pay schedule. By making smaller and more frequent payments, customers are able to pay off debt faster and save money by reducing the amount of interest they are charged. SMART Payment Plan works to pay down automobile loans, boat and student loans, as well as home mortgages, credit cards and other types of debt, Engelman said.

The Diamond Dealers’ Choice Award is presented annually to the automotive industry’s highest rated vendors, suppliers and financial companies based upon their products or services, customer service, their overall value, and on whether auto dealers would recommend their product or service to customers or other dealers.

Three awards are given in each category: Diamond, the highest, Platinum and Gold. To win, dealership personnel who have first-hand knowledge and experience with a nominee must rate them among the top three highest performing companies in each category.

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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.

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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.

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SMART Payment Plan


Rod Tobiason, Principal

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.

The executives prior to SMART Payment Plan successfully ran a financial company helping customers in financial hardship.

What makes your product different from others on the market? How do you differentiate it?

Other payment services have a platform for only debiting customers payments bi-weekly, and they need to start on one particular date regardless of how they get paid or when they get paid. Our service allows the customer to choose a cycle weekly, twice a month or every two weeks based on how the customer gets paid. We also have multiple start dates for them to choose from. We differentiate our service by matching a smaller payment to paydays.

What is your primary sales channel? How do you market to that channel?

Our primary sales channel is the automobile dealerships. Our experienced employees called SMART reps are consulting with them and supporting them.

What are the biggest advantages to this type of payment plan? What would you say the disadvantages are?

The biggest advantages to this type of payment plan for the customer is the convenience, ease of budgeting and paying their loan off faster. For the dealerships, the advantages are customer retention, closing more deals and using our service to sell more products. We don’t believe there is a disadvantage.

In your opinion, where is the greatest growth potential for the smart payment category?

The greatest growth potential is in both the independent dealerships and franchise dealerships.

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