Guest Post: Alt-Lending – FinTech Disrupts POS Financing for Retailers

By Peter Kalen, Founder and CEO of Flexiti Financial

For retailers, point-of-sale (POS) financing isn’t new, but it has usually been used as a tool of last resort to save a sale. You may have used financing yourself when purchasing an expensive item. If you did, then chances are you went through a pretty cumbersome process. Typical POS financing requires a paper-based application and a long approval time that can take hours or even days. Risk-averse financial institutions don’t make it any easier, approving fewer people and making the completion of the sale a risky proposition for sales staff. Yet stats show that as much as 50-60 per cent of furniture, appliances, and electronics sales at large retailers can be driven by promotional financing offers. In an increasingly challenging and competitive retail industry, where every advantage and innovative edge is critical to drive sales and increase customer loyalty, POS financing is in desperate need of a refresh.

The evolution of POS Financing

During the global credit crisis, between 2009 and 2012, a number of large players in the consumer lending space exited the market or drastically reduced their activity in Canada. As a result, there was a significant shortage of sales financing supply for small and medium-sized retailers.

At the same time, advances in technology and a shifting marketplace resulted in the rise of FinTech companies that are redefining the banking and financial services industry. More than ever, customers expect choice and convenience related to financial transactions and will take their business elsewhere if they can’t get it. I founded Flexiti Financial to take advantage of what I saw as an opportunity in the market – help retailers grow sales and establish greater customer loyalty by redefining the value of POS financing through the innovative use of technology.

POS Financing Reimagined

Flexiti Financial’s sales financing platform was built to ensure retailers and their sales team are able to understand and reap the true benefits of POS financing. Today’s technology allows for higher approval rates, instant and paperless origination process and a focus on customer service. Retailers across Canada can now offer their customers instant financing on any device, anywhere, and instant credit approval in three minutes. This is done using a mobile application process and patented ID scanning technology, making the traditional paper process obsolete. Our advanced algorithm and customer service team are able to approve more customers, resulting in more sales. Customers can choose flexible payment plans with varying interest rates, and virtual QR codes can be transferred via cell phone, allowing customers to have their line of credit always accessible.

Customers want to buy now. They will choose financing so long as the transaction is easy and under transparent terms and conditions. Retailers want a solution that can easily integrate with their business, lacks complexity and can be quickly adopted by the sales team. By reimagining the process and inherent value in POS financing, it has become a very attractive and easy option for customers, and a proven sales driver for retailers.

 

Peter Kalen is Founder and CEO of Flexiti Financial, Canada’s leading POS Financing Platform for retailers. Peter is a seasoned credit card and retail executive with over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to founding Flexiti Financial, he served as EVP at Sears Financial and Home Services, SVP at President’s Choice Financial and SVP Citi Cards Canada. Peter received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2001.

 

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