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August 2009, F&I and Showroom - WebXclusive

by Ashley Herndon

Early Warning Systems

So, if you are tired of the same old, same old, or your numbers are equal to the benchmark shown, read on. If not, thanks for your time and good selling. But if you are interested in further reducing losses and selling or financing more vehicles, then stay with me.

There are some pioneers and innovators in the payment assurance industry that have developed systems that not only help to modify behavior, but also increase the likelihood of collecting customer payments.

These proactive and preemptive communication systems employ automated text messages, e-mail, outgoing phone calls, and vehicle buzzers when situations escalate. Basically, these systems provide the early warnings to keep your customers current, and they do all the “heavy lifting” by handling all the communications when they’re not.

Users of these systems say they have increased their business by 20 percent. Some dealers even say these preemptive technologies have allowed them to go from 80 percent current to 92 to 97 percent current.

Payment assurance technology is definitely a key component to a special finance operation, but it’s only part of the equation. Remember, the key to special financing is making sure your customers are current on their payments, which is why a successful operation requires good underwriting practices and a preemptive communications system.

Ashley Herndon is a founding partner of the Irvine, Calif.-based payment assurance technology provider Crossbow Group Inc. E-mail him at

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