Cleveland, Tenn.-based Check Into Cash released a revamped website Tuesday that the company said is designed to target the growing online payday loan market.
While Check Into Cash is among the top five brick-and-mortar payday retailers in the nation, officials said they are working hard to gain market share online as well.
"We're the number 2, 3 or 4 as far as retail, but we're dramatically less than that online," said spokesman Martin Pippin.
To set Check Into Cash apart from competitors who release few details about themselves to customers, Pippin said that the new site is as transparent as the company can make it.
"We just wanted to make sure that what we did was as transparent as possible and to make sure that the people that came to our site didn't get swept up into the hidden details," Pippin said.
Unlike other sites that operate out of Bermuda or utilize the so-called "Sovereign Nation model" to escape rules and regulations, the new site allows loan seekers to view the company's lending certificate on a state-by-state basis, said John Weiss, vice president of the company's Internet payday lending division.
"We are trying to increase our presence and effort in cyberspace, recognizing that's the evolution of current day society," Weiss said.
The company also modifies its lending terms based on the rules of the state where the loan seeker lives, he said.
"Everything is homegrown here in the United States," Weiss said. "We operate under state law."
Despite the tough competition from a growing array of lenders operating multiple websites with different brand names, Weiss said Check Into Cash will stick with its current single-site model. He believes that government regulators eventually will shut down competitors that are operating outside of the rules, and that consumers will be drawn to Check Into Cash's lower, legal rates.
"We are just the good-old boys who are trying to do right by the rules and letting the chips lie where they may," Weiss said. "The people who are out there playing Internet game tricks and doing offshore models and things like that, eventually their business will be our business."
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...