Onbe, a leading corporate payouts platform, has officially launched a new digital-first consumer refund program, in partnership with Westlake Financial, the largest privately held finance company in the United States.
Westlake has replaced its check-based refund process with the Onbe payouts gateway, providing instant payments to recipients while eliminating internal program and labour costs.
According to Onbe’s Summer 2023 Auto Survey, 47 per cent of automotive customers name wait time as the leading cause of frustration with their payout experience. Refund checks can take weeks to be processed and delivered, and the Onbe survey found that more than half of consumers don’t get to choose an alternative payment option.
Checks are the most expensive way to issue a disbursement, costing up to $12 per payment when the cost of labour is factored in, according to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).
Westlake’s new refund process looks to replace checks with instant digital payments, offering its auto loan customers a choice of popular and cost-effective payment methods, including custom-branded virtual cards that can be accessed and spent immediately.
“Extending the consumer lending experience beyond the life of the loan”
John Mason, senior vice president of operations at Westlake Financial, explained how Onbe’s new solution has already improved its customer experience: “Onbe removed the internal costs and labour associated with our processes while creating a more user-friendly payment experience for our customers.
“Meeting customers’ expectations for a faster, more convenient payment experience was a goal, and Onbe’s digital refund solution decreased wait times dramatically.”
Fundamental to the efficiency of the program, Onbe’s proprietary escheatment management solution, StateSmartSM, eliminates Westlake’s compliance risk and reduces administrative burden.
Tracy Monson, chief product officer at Onbe, also discussed the significance of the partnership: “We are proud to work alongside Westlake to modernise its automotive loan overpayment refund program, reducing cost and risk while extending Westlake’s excellent consumer lending experience beyond the life of the loan.
“A transformed automotive refund process means Westlake can offer their customers modern and digital payout choices while operating with maximum efficiency – essential to keep pace with customers’ preference for payment speed, choice, and convenience.”