Posted on Tuesday 26 November 2019
While many Canadian short-term lenders are feeling the squeeze due to new government regulations restricting rate increases and tightening municipal bylaws aimed at limiting the number of physical storefronts, established lender My Canada Payday is seeing an increase in business, mainly due to the company’s longtime commitment to utilizing technology to make its service easy and accessible.
“We’ve always been a tech company,” says marketing director Dale Evans of the privately-owned Canadian company, which got its start in 2008. “We did originally build one small storefront in Surrey, but our goal has always been to be more of an online lender.”
My Canada Payday is licensed to operate in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. A key strength that sets the company apart from competitors is the ease with which its customers can navigate the application process.
“Our strength lies in the convenience of our service,” explains Evans. “We make it very easy to apply online and have your application reviewed quickly.”
The focus on continuing to build upon and enhance its automated loan application process has enabled My Canada Payday to grow significantly over the years without additional expense. “Today, we handle 10 to 20 times the amount of loans that we originally did when we started but we haven’t had a significant increase in staffing, nor have we had to incur expenses associated with building physical locations,” explains Evans. “Keeping our costs down means that we can consistently offer competitive lending rates.”
At My Canada Payday, customers can borrow as much as $1500 within 15 minutes. All that is required is a simple form to complete online. Customers can also call a 1-800 number if they prefer to speak to one of the company’s customer agents, who collect the necessary information within a few minutes and then, upon review and approval, transfer funds to an account within five minutes. State-of-the-art data encryption keeps customer information safe and secure.
Having a fully automated online system also allows My Canada Payday to expand its loan service to those with less-than-stellar credit scores. Evans explains that this is possible due to the company’s ability to quickly access information from many different sources to conduct more in-depth analyses of borrowers. “When we originally started, people were faxing in bank statements, which our staff would have to go through and basically do a hand score of their qualifications,” he explains.
“Now, we can look at data that can provide a better picture of spending behaviour, debt service ratios, and so on. This allows us to better estimate the chance of [a customer] defaulting.”
Credit reports can be helpful, says Evans, but they are typically used to provide a longer-term picture, such as whether someone can qualify for a 25-year mortgage. “When you are looking at a product where someone needs to pay within a couple of weeks, you need to be able to look at more recent banking data.”
A more sophisticated loan application review process translates into quicker turnaround time for customers. “It’s far less complicated than sending documents back and forth,” explains Evans.
Interestingly, most of My Canada Payday’s customers are in the middle-income range, with even some upper-income earners applying. “Applicants come from a wide range of professions and income brackets, with the common denominator being tech-savvy people with a need for fast and convenient access to cash that major banks aren’t willing or able to provide,” says Evans.
Evans advises those in the market for a short-term loan to be wary of unlicensed operations, which often engage in the practice of ‘rollovers’, whereby if a loan is unpaid by the end of its term, it is automatically renewed with additional interest. “This kind of loan can balloon without you even being aware of it,” he says.
He stresses that My Canada Payday is a “proud member” of the Canadian Consumer Financing Association which, according to its website, “works with federal, provincial and municipal governments to achieve regulations that balance consumer protection with maintaining access to safe credit to millions of Canadians who need it.”
My Canada Payday is accessible to customers seven days a week, with staff available to assist from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. For those customers who don’t have time to review contracts until after hours, funds can still be delivered to their accounts via Interac e-Transfer within minutes, once they have provided a digital signature.
This content was produced by Content Works, Postmedia’s custom content studio.