A Conversation with Orlando Zayas, President of TEMPOE

Orlando-Zayas-of-TEMPOEWe recently spoke with Orlando Zayas, President of TEMPOE. In this Q&A format we discuss the evolution of TEMPOE, its value proposition, FinTech activity, and the TEMPOE customer experience.

As the President of TEMPOE, Orlando Zayas is a proven leader and experienced general management executive with 20 years of increasing leadership responsibility. Orlando has worked in a variety of industries such as financial services, insurance, and automotive. He has held business leadership roles in GE Money, GE Capital, Wachovia, and multiple privately held corporations. Orlando has functional experience in marketing, sales, and operations, holds an EMBA from the University of Texas, and has a Six Sigma Black Belt.

TEMPOE is a leading provider of no credit required shopping. TEMPOE provides several flexible payment options with the opportunity of quick and economical ownership for consumers. TEMPOE was founded in 2009 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and serves the furniture, home electronics, appliance, jewelry, and automotive industries.

1. Can you provide a brief background on TEMPOE and its evolution to date?

TEMPOE was founded in 2009 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and was called WhyNotLeaseIt. Having expanded our offerings to include a full suite of alternative financial services, today TEMPOE is a preferred provider for retailers of all sizes. TEMPOE has multiple offices including Manchester, Cincinnati, Austin, Houston and more.

TEMPOE is a leading provider of no credit required shopping experiences offering a variety of alternative payment products, including leases and retail installment contracts. The key to TEMPOE’s success is giving both our retailers and their consumers a best-in-class shopping experience with flexible payment options to economically obtain ownership if they choose.

TEMPOE primarily serves the furniture, home electronics, appliance, jewelry, and automotive industries. Additionally, our SmartPay program provides leasing specifically designed for the cell phone/smartphone market.

2. At its core, what is the TEMPOE value proposition to consumers and retailers?

TEMPOE enables consumers to shop top brands from their favorite stores and best of all, take brand new merchandise home the same day. The value that a consumer gets from TEMPOE includes making small payments over a period of time while enjoying the merchandise. This is often the best option for those with no credit or limited disposable income so they can acquire the merchandise they want or need.

TEMPOE programs give the consumer the choice between continued payments and a path to ownership. Our programs provide multiple opportunities to choose either to stay in the agreement for varying lengths of time or end the lease and forever own the merchandise.

TEMPOE helps retailers capture business from consumers who may not have otherwise shopped in their stores. By making the process fast and easy, we help retailers drive incremental sales.

Additionally, TEMPOE is less expensive for retailers than 0% credit offers and is easy to use with nominal associate training. TEMPOE programs show a near immediate lift in sales for new retailers.

Another key factor is that TEMPOE helps drive repeat business for the retailer, creating consumers who are loyal to the retailer. Unlike other alternative payment providers, we market to our retail partners, not individual consumers so we don’t compete through rent-to-own stores or other direct-to-consumer channels. Our marketing programs are designed to drive incremental sales for every retail partner.

3. With increasing activity in FinTech and an array of alternative lending models, what differentiates TEMPOE?

TEMPOE was on the forefront of automated approval processes and POS integration for national retail chains. Our technology allows our clients to submit a consumer’s application via their own POS, web portal, kiosk, as a decline referral from another lender, and now with Text2Apply – a smartphone.

Providing a best-in-class consumer experience entails a completely paperless work stream. This ease of use is good for both the retailer and the consumer. TEMPOE does not ask for any documents from the consumers to make a decision, ever. If a consumer doesn’t happen to have their checking account or pay stub information on them at the time of purchase, it doesn’t hold them up like it would with a different provider.

4. What types of retailers are best suited for TEMPOE when demographics, average tickets and other factors are considered?

While TEMPOE clients include both e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers of all sizes, we are best suited to serve mid-market to national chains that have a desire to expand their customer reach and drive incremental sales. Offering “No Credit Required” programs increases floor traffic, improves margins and saves sales. Any retailer that has customers walk away because they are declined for credit or can’t afford to pay high discount rates to secondary lenders should offer TEMPOE’s alternative financial service lines.

Our products are designed for durable goods ranging from $250 to $2,500. Retailers can add delivery, installation, accessories and extended warranties, so any store selling items like furniture, appliances, electronics, jewelry, and automotive services are common users of TEMPOE’s programs. Additionally, our SmartPay program is a leasing option specifically designed for cell phone retailers to offer their consumers.

We are pursuing many new categories and testing a number of product concepts. With an increased demand for alternative financial services, the industry opportunities are endless.

5. How should retailers think about TEMPOE when it comes to the customer experience and any implementation considerations?

TEMPOE provides quick and easy associate training. Our application and transactions are paperless and we do not require consumers to provide documents upon applying. Further, our nationwide field team can always provide in-store, in-person assistance for our retailers.

Our ability to integrate with any retailer system (including POS, kiosk and e-commerce) means we conform to the retailers’ everyday practices, and don’t ask the retailers to conform to ours. We are PCI compliant, offering secure data transfer, customer privacy, etc.

TEMPOE invests in sophisticated marketing, focused on driving store traffic – benefiting the retailer.

6. What would you say to retailers that feel the lease consumer is not their customer or that it doesn’t fit with their brand image?

Many consumers who visit your stores are unable to make large purchases because they don’t qualify for traditional credit products. Fair Isaac reports that 32 percent of consumers have FICO scores below 650. This is a large segment of the population that retailers have an opportunity to reach.

In addition, millennials and other shoppers are looking for access to name brand merchandise without the burden of debt. Our products have moved into the mainstream and comprise a fast growing market segment that topped $9 billion in retail sales last year. Can any retailer afford to ignore these consumers?

TEMPOE provides best-in-class customer service and we always treat our retailers and consumers with dignity and respect. Our products increase loyalty and do not detract from the retailer’s brand.

To read the rest of this article, please subscribe to

The Navigator Newsletter