If consumer financing is at the top of your “confusing topics I wish I understood better so I could increase my bottom-line” list, then the online consumer financing solution Financeit is here to help.
Let me be up front here: to the ever-lasting frustration of my father (the accountant), finance is not my thing. However, when I sat down with Daniel Mayne, the Director of Customer Service at Financeit, I got it and that means it doesn’t get any easier than this.
Introduced to the U.S. in October 2014, Canadian-based Financeit offers an impressive, step-by-step yet flexible solution that enables small businesses to offer financing (i.e. loans) to customers when they’re making a purchase (e.g. buying a couch and paying it off over time).
On the whole, consumer financing is a very good thing — it can lead to better close rates and bigger transactions for your business. Until now however, there have been few solutions that cater to small business with low numbers of loan transactions. Financeit aims to fill that niche.
“Larger lenders want lots of transactions,” Mayne explained. “Financeit is ok if you only do one loan a year.”
Financeit breaks its offering into four business verticals: retail, auto, home improvement and health. With minimums as low as $500 for the retail vertical and $1,000 for the home improvement vertical, it’s clear that the service caters to small businesses.
Businesses that use the solution are called “Partners” and Financeit is committed to training and serving its partners well. This is apparent in its newly launched help area.
“We believe in giving everyone the tools necessary to succeed, ” said Mayne. “From 1-to-1 training to videos and webinars, we focus strongly on partner support.”
While service is a big plus, the most compelling arguments for becoming a Financeit partner are the low cost and risk levels.
On the cost side, unless a business offers special terms (e.g. 0 percent interest rate for 12 months), the solution is free to use. If a partner does offer special promotional terms, a flat, one-time administration fee is charged up-front.
Once a loan is approved and a purchase made, a partner receives payment within three business days. That’s it, end of story. No chasing after payments, no penalties to the business if a consumer defaults. Now, that’s the definition of low-risk.
As Financeit earns its money from the interest charged to the consumer, it provides full servicing of the loan, end-to-end. Despite this, Financeit is always sensitive to the reputation of its partner businesses.
As Mayne explained, “We always strive to provide good customer service throughout the loan payment process so the seller continues to be seen in a good light.”
The core of Financeit is the consumer application and approval process. It all starts with the customizable application form you see here:
Once the form is ready to go, a partner can either e-mail a link to the form to a customer (which they can access via a mobile device right in the store), post a link to the form on their website (using images like the ones below) or enable a customer to start their application process right in the store using a desktop or mobile device.
Once a customer clicks on the link, they’re taken to the application form:
After the form is submitted and a conditional approval is in place (which happens in seconds), both the merchant and customer see a screen like the one below:
The customer is then prompted to head into the store (if they’re not already there) to continue the loan application process.
On the partner end, they are shown the step-by-step loan approval screen (note the handy steps on the left):
It’s important to note that while the loan requested was $5,000, the amount approved was up to $10,000. This is worth highlighting because this is where a business can up-sell a customer with related products or even something completely different. The more they upsell, the bigger the final transaction price will be.
This wiggle room on the loan is one of the most positive benefits of using Financeit!
During the next step, the partner uses a photo ID of some type to identify the customer:
Once that’s out of the way, it’s time to sign the loan agreement, something that can be done on real paper or, as you can see below, via digital signature.
The final step before the loan process to complete is a manual review by Financeit’s underwriting team. This can happen quickly — if it’s during business hours and the form was digitally signed — and approval can take as little as two minutes!
Finally, as shown below, the process is complete. The customer goes home with their purchase(s) and the merchant partner is paid within three days.
Don’t you just love a happy ending?
The One Bit of Bad News
If you’re super excited to try Financeit out for your own business, I’m sorry to tell you that there may be a wait.
Thanks to pending approvals, the solution is only available to businesses in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Florida currently.
Financeit is adding more states as quickly as possible (you can use the, “Become a partner today!” information request form at the bottom of their home page to see if your state has been added) so hopefully your wait, if you have one, will not be long.
If you’ve been itching to offer financing to your customers, the free, low-risk and easy-to-use online solution Financeit just may be your key to better close rates and bigger transactions. The company rates highly in customer service, too.
All-in-all, whether you’re a finance whiz kid or a bit financially challenged like me, Financeit is going to change the way you do business and your bottom line will love you for giving it a try.