Tag: fisca


Tales from the Payday Loan Trenches

A guy I know, we’ll call him Bob, opened a payday loan store roughly 3 years ago in a state having decent payday loan legislation in place. Now at the time, Bob knew doodly-squat about a payday loan business! His brother in-law had mentioned the fact that he had to go down to the local payday loan store and make a payment on his loan.

Bob decided to tag along with his brother-in-law. Needless to say, my friend Bob was blown away by what he saw! A 450 square foot office with 6 customers waitng to either get a loan or make a payment.

Bob did his research and opened his first location. Roughly a year and a half later, he opened a second in the same town.

So… today, Bob calls me. He wants to “run some numbers by me.” I say, “Sure Bob, go ahead. I’ll give you my 2 cents worth.”

Bob’s two stores are “netting $50,000 a month before taxes.” He’s got a default rate of less than 3%. (Bob’s a little maniacal. He visits his late payers at their home! 3 years on the job are required to qualify for a loan from him.)

Bob asks me, “Are my numbers good?”

“Are they good?”, I say! “Damn%^&* they’re good!”

Bob’s so deep in the trenches running his biz he’s got no idea! He wants to know how he compares with his payday loan brethren! When he called me he admitted he was behind the counter in his store!

Bob’s not going to the CFSA Convention. Bob’s never been to a FISCA Convention. He’s never heard of OLA. Bob’s running his payday loan biz and making good money doing it. $50,000 a month net before taxes! With 2 stores and a 3rd on the way!! In 3 years!!!

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in MY DEALS (Sovereign Nation Model, Offshore Model, smart phone aps, call centers, lead providers, consulting… ) I forget what it’s like to actually run a store. It’s been a while!

My point with this is that it’s still doable. There are guys like my friend Bob who are doing their research, entering the biz and making great money!

Bob just needed a little positive feedback! He’s so damn busy running and building his business he’s not able to sniff the air. He doesn’t have time to network or find out what’s the latest and greatest new widget/strategy/solution.

Bob’s just patiently plugging away making MONEY! Bob’s like hundreds of other payday loan, car title lenders and check cashers. They’re staying under the radar and building wealth! AND working HARD!

Bob, all I can say is, “You’re doing great! Now back to work!”

And Bob, keep up with the industry by reading my ramblings :o)

PS: Yeah, I know. The consumer protectionists and the legislators are gonna jump all over this! They’re going to say Bob is making too much $$ or charging too high a fee to his customers. Like Bob told me, “Tell them it’s guys like me whose taxes and licensing fees pay their salaries.” Tell them, “My customers are just glad I’m here for them when they need me.” And finally ask them, “How many actual payday loan customers complained about me or the industry?”

And yes, I did make up the “brother-in-law” part of this story. But the numbers are reported EXACTLY!

Comments? Thoughts? Attacks? Ideas?



Annual Payday Loan Convention – Fisca

Let’s discuss the annual payday loan and check cashing convention at the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas, organized by FISCA, the Financial Service Centers of America. This was certainly one of the most positive, uplifting FISCA Conventions I’ve attended in many years! For the most part, the “doom and gloom” of past FISCA Conventions simply was not present; really, really nice!

annual payday loan FISCA Convention

annual payday loan FISCA Convention

The dominant tone throughout the Payday Loan Convention was one of optimism; that we will survive and prosper. Sure… our products and services must evolve, but regulators and others who think they know what’s best for our customers cannot regulate into oblivion consumer demand for our products! Our customers desire and NEED US!!

Attendance was good. There were many, many exhibitors. The workshops were improved and audience participation was much better than at previous conventions.

Regarding the workshops, we were pleasantly surprised that Internet topics were included. FISCA has come a LONG WAY since the early 2000’s when I was told by a FISCA Board member I was an “Internet bandit and could look forward to a prison sentence.” (Seriously folks! Even though we were using the “payday loan state licensing model” at the time!!)

Anyway…on to the Financial Service Centers of America Convention.

General Sessions:
Bob Wolfberg, President of PLS Financial Services, gave a really exceptional presentation; extremely upbeat and positive! He received a thundering round of applause and deservedly so. Inspirational!! The future is ours! Our Industry will not only survive but PROSPER MIGHTILY!! We’ll attempt to get a copy of his presentation for your review in the future!!

Our friend, Hillary Miller, also participated in the FISCA General Sessions! You may recall the wonderfully positive piece he wrote for the Financial Services Industry that appeared on our Payday Loan Industry Bog here: “Impact of Title X, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.”

Additionally, other speakers participating in the General Sessions, discussed industry lobbying efforts, compliance issues, our customer demographics, check discontinuance, marketing research, FinCEN, money transfer, risk management, Internet and mobile payments and much, much more! (We’ll get into details over the coming weeks.)

FISCA Workshops are typically moderated by people “with an axe to grind” because they generally have a product or service to sell. So, we were delighted to note that many moderators and presenters appeared to be present simply to provide their experiences, knowledge, and thoughts on our industry. Some really good questions and comments from the audience added to the presentations.

FISCA workshops covered the gamut from collections, marketing, Internet strategies, revenue builders, industry best practices, compliance, bank relationships, new products and services implementation, harnessing in-store and mobile marketing, employer-employee relationships, store operations and a lot more!

Again, we’ll discuss the specifics of several of the Workshops in future Newsletters. (NOTE: new strategies, tactics and services introduced at the FISCA Convention are already included in our latest version of our Payday Loan Startup & Training Manual and in our “Payday Loan Internet Report“)

Exhibit Hall:
Of course, there was the “usual cast of characters”… software providers, lead generators, insurance, bill pay, stored value, prepaid and debit card providers, employee verification, check cashing solutions, store layout, signage, safes, etc. You don’t want to overlook these companies simply because they’ve been around a while. They are constantly tweaking and improving their products and services. And… you can learn from them! Talk… ask… discuss… comment… learn… you may very well prosper as a result.

Interestingly, not only are there NEW payday loan, car title loan and check cashing software provider offerings BUT the existing software providers have improved their offerings. This is a big deal! These huge investments of time and money in, not only improving existing products and services for our industry, but the addition of new players is a major bet on our future by some very sophisticated investors and entrepreneurs! This bodes well for the future of ALL of us!

Finally, we can’t fail to mention a few new, or vastly improved, products and services for the financial services industry having exhibit booths in the FISCA Exhibit Hall. Scrap gold buying and car title loan services are just two of many we’ll discuss in future Newsletters to enable you to not only survive but profit substantially in micro-lending.

So, for specifics… look for our future Newsletters in the form of emails or check our Blog regularly at http://www.PaydayLoanIndustryBlog.com to gain access to new and exciting products, services, tactics and strategies for serving your customers and profiting in payday loans, car title loans, check cashing and scrap gold buying.