Effective March 15, 2018
Last Updated: July 17, 2022
Thank you for your participation in the PowerPay loan program (the “PowerPay Program” or the “Program”). We seek to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to offer credit to their customers with a fast point-of-sale solution.
POWERPAY, LLC (the “Company”) is a program administrator to federal and state chartered financial institutions that provide consumers loans under the PowerPay Program (the “Participating Lenders”). The Company is NOT a lender.
As the service provider and program administrator for the Participating Lenders, we publish these Service Provider Compliance Guidelines to set forth rules Service Providers, like you and your company, must follow when participating in the PowerPay Program. These Service Provider Compliance Guidelines are part of the Operating Instructions for the PowerPay Program and are incorporated into the PowerPay Service Provider Program Agreement (the “Program Agreement”). Failure to follow these guidelines may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Our Expectations Regarding Complaints Management
- We expect Service Providers participating in a PowerPay Program to treat their customers fairly and in a professional manner.
- We understand that bad feelings may arise or mistakes can happen from time to time through no fault of yours. But, when problems come up, our priority is to ensure that our mutual customers are treated with respect and proper consideration.
- We expect Service Providers participating in the Program to share our commitment to customer service and customer satisfaction.
Service Providers who have a high complaint rate or high severity complaints (such as allegations of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices or allegations of discrimination) or who do not cooperate with us in investigating and resolving customer complaints will be subject to termination from the Program.
We Take All Complaints Seriously and Will Investigate All Customer Complaints
- The Program Agreement requires you to cooperate with our investigation and remediation of a customer complaint. This cooperation includes providing any and all requested documentation. You should provide any requested documentation or information within five (5) business days of receiving our request.
- Your Program Agreement also requires you to report to us any complaint related to your participation in the Program that you receive from a customer or third party (such as the Better Business Bureau). You must report such complaints to us within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint.
Avoid Complaints by Ensuring Customer Authorization for Loan and Transactions
- You must ensure all loan applications and transactions you submit to the Program are authorized by customers in writing. You are not required to send us this documentation unless we request it from you.
- Application Authorization: Signed application authorization is required demonstrating that the customer intended to apply for a loan and received the application disclosures. This can be obtained in one of several ways:
- A PowerPay Loan Application Form completed and signed by the applicant(s). This form is available on our website at GetPowerPay.com.
- A PowerPay Paper Loan Application completed and signed by the applicant(s). This form is available on our website at GetPowerPay.com.
- A phone call to us by the customer to apply, thus authorizing the application, is also sufficient.Any other signed document that clearly indicates that the customer intended to apply for a PowerPay Program loan and received the appropriate PowerPay application disclosures at the time of application.
- We have also created the Credit Limit Increase Request Authorization form as a convenient way to capture a borrower’s written authorization for a credit limit increase request. This form is available on our website at GetPowerPay.com.
- Transaction Authorization: Written authorization must demonstrate the customer had received his/her loan agreement and intended to authorize a specific transaction for a specific amount at a specific point in time (e., on a specific date or upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as ordering materials).
- While you may use your own form, we have provided a Borrower Payment Authorization Certificate form as a convenient form to capture a borrower’s written authorization for a transaction. This form is available on our website at GetPowerPay.
o The PowerPay application is an actual application for credit. We do not offer pre-approvals or pre-screens for credit.
- Upon approval, the customer will have an established account.
- After the customer authorizes a transaction on the account, the customer will have an obligation to repay the Program for the amount
- If we receive complaints from your customers, we may contact other customers to learn more about their experience.
We Will Contact Customers to Verify Purchases
- We conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys to gather customer feedback regarding the sales process and to confirm customers authorized applications and transactions.
- Our customer satisfaction contacts are designed to verify the following:
- Customers ordered the goods and services provided in connection with their PowerPay Program account.
O Customer understands the terms of their Program account and corresponding loan agreement.
- Customer is satisfied with you, the Service Provider, and us, the Program Administrator
Protect Vulnerable Consumers and Customers
Our Expectations Regarding Vulnerable Consumers and Customers
We expect Service Providers participating in a PowerPay Program to offer their products and services and the PowerPay Program in a way that does not take advantage of or put undue pressure on customers. This is especially true when working with customers who are in vulnerable population groups, such as the elderly or disabled. We are committed to protecting vulnerable consumers and customers from abusive sales practices.
What is this about?
- Abuse of vulnerable adults includes the illegal or improper use of an older or disabled adult’s funds, property or assets.
- Vulnerable adults may be targets of exploitation by family, caregivers, and home repair contractors.
- We want to ensure that all customers are treated fairly and are not subject to unfair, deceptive, or abusive sales tactics. This includes by Program employees, Service Providers participating in a Program, and family members or caregivers of Program customers.
- Service Providers found to be engaged in vulnerable population abuse are subject to being terminated from participating in the Programs.
Who is a “vulnerable consumer or customer”?
- Adults over 60 years old
- Mentally or physically disabled adults
Tips to Avoid Allegations of Abuse
- Do not pressure a customer into purchasing goods or services or submitting a credit application. Give your customers time to consider whether they would like to submit a credit application to pay for their project.
- Check ID at the time of the application and transactions to make sure the person authorizing the interaction is the person listed on the application or account.
- Don’t condition prices and deals on customers paying immediately or by using a PowerPay Program loan.
o This type of pressure can be too much for members of the vulnerable population to handle and can lead to allegations of abuse.
- Don’t overcharge your customers.
- Be cautious of situations where your contact is through or controlled by a third-party (including a family member) and direct access to the customer is limited.
A consumer must be legally competent to agree to submit an application and process a transaction. You have a responsibility to ensure that your customer is competent to execute and submit a credit application. The following elements are required to establish legal competency:
- Age: The customer must be of legal age to submit an application and process a transaction.
- Applicants in the Programs must be 18 years old (19 years old in Alabama or Nebraska).
- Mental Competency: The customer must have the mental capacity to read and understand the application and to intend to submit an application and/or transaction
For example: If a customer is exhibiting signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s or other mental illness, the person may not be mentally competent to execute a credit application
Power of Attorney, Conservatorships, and Guardianships cannot be used to Submit Applications
We understand that a person’s circumstances may change and that he or she may need the assistance of a third-party in handling his or her financial affairs. That’s why we will work with a customer who needs to establish an account contact, Power of Attorney, Conservator, or Guardian to help the customer manage the servicing and repayment of a loan.
The PowerPay Program does not, however, accept applications or transactions submitted on behalf of a person by another person claiming to hold a Power of Attorney, Conservatorship or Guardianship relationship. These situations raise concerns about potentially vulnerable adult abuse. Please do not submit any applications or transactions from persons authorized as a Power of Attorney, Conservator, or Guardian for another. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this policy.
Do Not Discriminate
Our Expectations Regarding Non-Discrimination
We expect all participants in the PowerPay Programs (our employees, the Participating Lenders, and Service Providers) to operate in a manner that does not illegally discriminate against consumers, applicants, or borrowers.
The PowerPay Program Policy on Anti-Discrimination
The PowerPay Programs will be conducted in a manner that complies with the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), Regulation B, and other applicable federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
The PowerPay Programs, the Participating Banks, and Service Providers participating in the Programs SHALL NOT illegally discriminate against a potential customer or customer during any part of a credit transaction based on prohibited categories or characteristics.
You Must Not Illegally Discriminate Against Consumers, Applicants, or Borrowers
Federal and state laws, such as the ECOA and Regulation B, make it illegal for you to discriminate in any aspect of a credit transaction based on certain personal characteristics of a prospective applicant.
Specifically, federal law prohibits you from treating customers differently or discriminating based on the following:
- National Origin
- Sex or Marital Status
- Receipt of income from public assistance program
- Good faith exercises of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act
State law may also protect other categories, such as sexual orientation. You are responsible for knowing and complying with all anti-discrimination laws in your state and locality applicable to your business.
We will take steps to ensure you are complying with anti-discrimination laws in working with your customers and the PowerPay Programs. For example, we may conduct statistical sampling of your customer base to determine whether there is potential intentional or unintentional discrimination occurring.
Service Providers who illegally discriminate against consumers, applicants, or borrowers are subject to termination from the Programs.
Customers May Use Translators
We will only service customers in English. Customers who speak other languages, however, can use their own translators to understand Service Provider sales presentations or the products offered by the PowerPay Programs. But, Service Providers should only speak to customers about the PowerPay Programs in English. If a customer uses a translator, Service Providers should verify and record the identity of the translator like they would any customer.
Protect Your Customer; Know Your Customer
Our Expectations Regarding Fraudulent Applications and Transactions
- We expect Service Providers in the PowerPay Programs to take appropriate steps to ensure that the applications and transactions they submit to the Programs are legitimate and do not involve fraud, including, but not limited to, identity theft. To help protect the Programs, the Participating Banks, our Service Providers, and consumers from fraud, we have implemented an anti-fraud program that is designed to identify and block fraudulent applications and transactions. Service Providers are at the frontline of our anti-fraud defenses.
- We expect a Service Provider participating in the Programs to:
- Verify the identity of a person submitting a credit application to the Program or requesting a transaction on a Program loan;
- Decline to accept an application or refuse to process a transaction if the Service Provider has any question about the identity of the person or is concerned that the application/transaction is related to fraudulent activity; and
- Report any such suspicious interaction to PowerPay by calling customer service at (800) 397-4485 or by emailing [email protected]
How to Verify a Person’s Identity
- Review a copy of the person’s government-issued identification document/card, such as driver’s license or passport.
- Verify that the person’s physical appearance and information provided in the application/transaction request matches the information in the government-issued ID document/card.
- Don’t submit an application or transaction if:
- The person’s physical appearance or application/transaction information do not match the ID; or
- The ID documents appear to be forged or altered.
When to Verify Identity
- Before submitting a credit application
- Before processing each transaction
Protect Customer Information from Unauthorized Use, Theft, or Other Loss
Individuals – shoppers, applicants, and customers – may provide Service Providers with personal information in connection with their construction project and/or their PowerPay Program loan. Service Providers must take steps to protect the personal information they receive. If a Service Provider believes customer information has been compromised, contact us immediately!
Guide to Knowing the PowerPay Program Plans You Offer to Customers
Our Expectations Regarding Service Provider Familiarity with PowerPay Program Plans
- We expect Service Providers participating in the PowerPay Programs to understand the credit products and plans that they offer to customers.
- Service Providers should know the general category of the product, the general type of plan.
- We expect Service Providers to provide accurate, truthful, and complete information about the POWERpay Program loans their customers are interested in or call us to answer customer questions.
- If a customer has a question and you don’t know the answer, have the customer call us at (800) 397-4485. Don’t guess!
PowerPay Program Product Types
PowerPay offers installment (closed) ended loans from Lenders in specific territories.
“Installment Credit” is the type of credit typically associated with a loan that has a fixed number of repayments to be made over a fixed term (i.e. fixed # of years).
PowerPay Program installment loans – These plans are designed for customers who desire a fixed monthly payment to budget their purchase.
Marketing the PowerPay Programs
Our Expectations Regarding Service Provider Marketing Related to the PowerPay Programs
The PowerPay Programs include several different types of credit products to help your customers by giving them the flexibility to choose the credit terms that meet their needs.
- We expect Service Providers participating in the PowerPay Programs to be familiar with the products and plans they offer to their customers.
- We expect Service Providers to ensure that the advertisements and marketing materials used to advertise the availability of credit products are complete and accurate with the elements required by law.
- Pursuant to the requirements of the Program Agreement, we expect Service Providers to use PowerPay developed or approved marketing materials when advertising the availability of credit products.
- We require Service Providers to put a PowerPay “widget” or electronic link on their website in order to promote and help educate consumers on the benefits of PowerPay Programs.
- We conduct quarterly marketing reviews of various Service Provider We expect Service Providers to fully comply with the review and make any required changes to marketing materials promptly following our review.
The PowerPay Marketing Guidelines are designed to Help Service Providers Comply with the Law
To assist Service Providers in complying with the laws applicable to advertising credit products, we require Service Providers to use marketing materials that are provided by PowerPay or that we have reviewed and approved. We have created Service Provider Marketing Guidelines (the “Marketing Guidelines”). The Marketing Guidelines, which are included in the Operating Instructions available to all Service Providers, provide a brief description of the categories of the credit plans the Programs offer and pre-approved marketing language that may be used when advertising the availability of each type of plan. The Service Provider Marketing Guidelines are available in the Guidelines section of www.GetPowerPay.com .
Any sales or marketing materials that use language other than the approved language and required footnote disclosures from the Marketing Guidelines must be reviewed and approved in writing by PowerPay. You can submit materials for review to your PowerPay representative.
Energy Efficiency/Alternative Energy Service Provider Guidelines
Our Expectations for Energy Efficiency/Alternative Energy Service Providers
Energy efficiency and alternative energy (such as solar or geothermal) projects are often sold to consumers looking to save money on their utility bills. Although all Service Providers may be subject to claims of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, Service Providers who specialize in energy efficiency and alternative energy face additional risk from customers claiming deception during the sales process if they are not satisfied with the projects. Therefore, it is important for energy efficiency and alternative energy Service Providers to be more careful in their sales presentation and accurately and completely describe the project plans, the potential savings, and the financing plans.
- We expect energy efficiency and alternative energy Service Providers to clearly and accurately explain the construction project and the role of financing in the project.
- Specifically, customers should understand that the PowerPay Program and the lender are not responsible for tax credits, rebates, or other government incentives.
- We expect Service Providers to accurately (without exaggeration) describe the potential savings related to a project and describe the factors that can affect the savings.
- Finally, we expect Service Providers to accurately disclose to customers that Program loans must be repaid even if the customer does not get the expected credits, rebates, incentives, or utility savings.
Service Providers should not guarantee savings, tax rebates, tax credits, or government incentives
Important Documentation for You and Your Customers
Our Service Provider website provides samples of the various forms and documents referred to in the training materials and these compliance guidelines. Please contact your PowerPay sales representative or call us at (800) 397-4485 or visit our website at www.GetPowerPay.com to obtain pdfs of the forms and documents you need.