In my previous post, we discussed the perception of refund advances, good and bad, and focused on how it can be improved. The good represented the options it gives consumers. The bad revealed itself in how it was being executed. Whether you’re constantly keeping track of industry news or catch the occasional Facebook link, the purpose of the series is to provide real examples and thoughtful insights, so that you can form your own opinion.
With that said, let's talk about how and why Refundo introduced the Refundo NOW advance program for consumers.
As I mentioned before, refund advances have been around for quite some time. Until recently, it's been kept pretty quiet. That is to say, the tax industry viewed it as a headache, and the government, as a program that robbed people. This is me putting it mildly. From a consumer standpoint, refund advances kinda felt like trying to find a good mechanic.
“If I don’t fix the timing belt, wipers, and brakes, then I wont be able to guarantee my work”. “But sir, all I need is an oil change”.
It’s probably why they didn’t have the best reputation. So, you can imagine the endless talks we had as a company to pursue the NOW program.
So why would Refundo invest in a seemingly ill advised task? Traditionally, most companies would stay away from the bad perception. It’s pretty normal. Or is it? Let’s think about this for a second.
People often times find themselves stuck in situations where they rely on their words to instill trust. Why is that an issue? Well, once you condition someone to only trust what you say, it’s a matter of time before they get tired of hearing the same thing. You're more likely to trust someone for their actions as opposed to their words.
It’s human nature.
So to answer my initial question, Refundo aims to make an impact by using action, not words.
Preparation fees hindered taxpayers from completing taxes, so we used refund transfers to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses at filing.
Junk fees hurt the taxpayers, so we introduced a “No Junk Fees” refund transfers program.
With NOW, our focus is finding an alternative to help our communities, while instilling a different mindset. In order to do that, we had to trust the public and make sacrifices of our own. So, we proposed both $500 and $1000 refund advances and removed all fees from taxpayers.
Doer not a talker.
Now, even though being a “doer” sounds interesting, even a little cool, it does come with its challenges. As pioneers and innovators within the industry, we are bound to come across higher risk; even overcome hurdles that are unknown to other companies. It comes with the territory. But, when we give our objectives perspective, it's all worth it. Whether it’s a single mother putting food on the table, a family trying to make this month's rent, or an unemployed father looking for work, it's our goal to help. If it means taking on the risk I discussed, then, quite frankly, it has meaning.
Throughout the post, I’ve referenced a particular theme. Whether it's “don’t talk about it, be about it” ,the familiar “actions speak louder than words”, or Shakespeare’s “doer vs talker”, I hope the message is clear. With this in mind, isn’t it interesting that many disputes are often defended with one of these phrases? What does that say about us? We yearn to witness a change/action, and hate to feel confused or in limbo. In a similar way, Refundo aims to shake the industry with actions that help the public and promote awareness.
Even after so many years, it’s pretty interesting to see how Shakespeare’s message remains relevant. Happy coincidence? I’ll agree to disagree, for the sake of arguing.
It’s evident how refund advances create discussion. So much that, it helps identify those trying to make it better, and those who manipulate it in their favor. The next posts will depict how it affects both the tax professional and the taxpayer. Perhaps that will further our understanding and even heighten our perspective. Still, remember, that it’s our actions that will make the difference.