July 6, 2022

Skyrocket Your Revenue: Add Business Lending To Your Service Offering

The secret to increasing your business’s bottom line isn’t much of a mystery: find ways to bring in more money than you spend.

A Temkin Group study underscores this point, revealing that the average company worth $1 billion can gain $775 million on average over a three-year period. The customer experience directly influences repurchasing rates, net promoter score, and customer loyalty.

Changing Demands of Customers

Whether your customer is an end consumer or distributor, a customer-centric mindset is essential for the success of your business. The RAIN Group examined the practices of successful sellers to identify which actions generated the greatest sales. They found that successful companies do the following:

  • Offer new perspectives and ideas to solve customer problems.
  • Work toward mutual goals with their customers.
  • Believe in their products and understand how they benefit customers.
  • Listen to the needs of the customer instead of inserting their own voice.
  • Take time to understand all of the customer’s needs.
  • Help customers minimize risk.
  • Use carefully crafted messaging to define and present solutions to customers.
  • Operate with transparency and honesty.
  • Connect with customers on a personal level.
  • Offer a solution that’s superior to the competition.

Most importantly, today’s customer expects real-time responsiveness and easy-to-use systems optimized for smartphones and other mobile devices. Personalized services go a long way toward building trust and loyalty between brands and their customers.

Understanding Co-Brand Lending Solutions

Co-brand lending solutions are one way to offer your customers the personalized service that’s increasingly more important in a post-pandemic world. During the pandemic, point of sale financing was the only unsecured-lending asset class to see double-digit growth. McKinsey expects that by 2023, point of sale financing will make up 13% to 15% of unsecured lending balances.

McKinsey also outlines five different business models in the “buy now pay later” space. They include:

  • Integratedph shopping apps: These super apps combine shopping, payment options, financing, and even banking products in a single platform. They engage the customer through the entire purchase process, from browsing to purchase.
  • Off-card financing: These financing solutions allow customers to pay for purchases in monthly installments. Customers are most likely to use this option to pay for midsize purchases like electronics, furniture, and sporting goods.
  • Virtual rent-to-own models: These financing options target consumers who may not qualify for more traditional financing.
  • Card-linked installment offerings: Credit card companies have started offering flex pay options for certain purchases. Although popular in Asia and Latin America, adoption rates are low in the US, where customers can find other solutions with a lower APR.
  • Vertical-focused larger-ticket plays: This space includes specialized financing for healthcare, veterinary, and home improvement costs.

Surprisingly, point-of-sale financing consumers aren’t restricted to those with low credit scores. More than half of the receivables generated through such services come from customers with a credit score higher than 700. It’s also not limited to individual consumers. Businesses also need access to point-of-sale financing options.

Images by Loanspark

Business Lending as a Service: Top Trend in the Financial Services Sector

The emerging trend of lending as a service is a growing segment of banking as a service. Technology has made it possible for banks and lenders to offer their services outside of traditional banking channels. Marketplace and point of sale lending have already gained traction in the B2C sector, where “buy now pay later” solutions have already outpaced private label credit cards in key metrics like customer engagement and return on assets.

Lending as a service is also trending in the B2B sector. Financial institutions have traditionally avoided lending to small businesses with less than two years of demonstrated revenue, creating a widening gap in business credit. As a result, less than half of small businesses are able to meet their financing needs through traditional channels despite the fact that more than half of them seek funding to expand the business and acquire assets needed for growth.

This gap has created an opportunity for companies willing to offer private label lending solutions. Nearly one-third of small businesses seek financing through online vendors. Most of these businesses wanted to borrow less than $100,000, and more than one-third of them were denied because of their credit scores. This is one reason why the lending as a service market was valued at $466.27 million in 2018, and analysts expect it to grow to $742.15 million by 2027. Although the gap—and the market—exists, Loanspark is the first to market in this space specifically for B2B, brokering, banking, marketing, and accounting companies.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your company signs up with Loanspark as a co-brand customer.
  2. You let your customers know they can now get financing directly from you when they place an order.
  3. Your customer applies for financing when they’re ready to purchase your product.

That’s it. Loanspark works behind the scenes by providing the technology and resources necessary to ensure a seamless and pleasant experience for you and your customer.

Benefits of Offering Business Lending Products

Business lending products, including co-brand lending solutions, provide several benefits for companies willing to offer them. Notably, they increase sales, revenue, and customer satisfaction, as detailed below.

1. Your Business Maintains Control of the Brand

Your brand is essential to the customer experience and your business’s success. If the customer experience is rooted in how your customers perceive your brand, then your brand is at the center of the customer experience. It creates and establishes what customers expect when interacting with your representatives, purchasing process, and product.

This is true especially in the B2B space. BCG and Google found that when companies ignore the importance of brand marketing, they see a lower return on marketing investment, customer advocacy, and employee satisfaction. Price and features aren’t the only factors businesses consider when making purchases. Yet, nearly 25% of B2B companies allocate less than 20% of the marketing budget to branding.

Top companies understand the value of branding. They have a clearly defined strategy that engages stakeholders and incorporates automated and integrated technologies. Their brand is activated across all channels, including — and especially — digital customer touchpoints. After making key investments in branding, they work hard to protect it.

Co-brand lending lets you keep wholesale control of the brand at a critical point in the process: the sale. You partner with a third party like Loanspark to leverage their knowledge and technology, but the customer sees your business name and logo. This helps generate product exclusivity while promoting brand loyalty and customer recognition.

2. You’re Able to Protect Your Resources

Designing and building lending as a service solution takes time and expertise that doesn’t end with the completed product ready for market. Quite frankly, it’s a pain if you don’t have the necessary resources to write code, test code, and maintain code, in addition to customer support for the platform. These platforms require regular maintenance to ensure they work properly and meet compliance needs.

Instead of making this investment, you can outsource the entire process. Let the experts handle the details. You don’t have to do anything more than tell your customers about the new lending service you’re offering. Loanspark handles updates and upgrades to the existing system to keep up with the quickly evolving technology and innovation.

This frees up your time (and your team’s time) to focus on what you do best, whether that’s generating leads, interacting with customers, or expanding the business. You won’t have to tie up your resources with a project that may be out of your area of expertise. Even worse, ignoring the importance of building and maintaining relationships with your customers can be considerably more costly than allocating those resources in other ways.

3. You Can Close More Deals and Increase Revenue

Offering your customers financing services creates opportunities to close more deals, which then increases revenue. First, you are differentiating yourself from your competitors who do not offer such services. A customer who wants the convenience of point of sale financing will choose you every time if yours is the only company offering it.

Second, you give your customers a reason to do — or keep doing — business with you. If they’re part of the group that doesn’t qualify for a business loan from a bank, they can still complete the purchase from your company without tying up their own lines of credit. This can be a tremendous advantage for a company that’s rapidly expanding and needs additional resources.

Your co-brand lending service gives you a key advantage because it gives you more control to help your customers when they need it. You won’t have to send them away to secure lending, and you’re offering them a service that allows them to have more money to spend with your company. As an added incentive, you’ll also receive a fee each time a loan closes, and this fee can scale as the loan scales.

4. You Can Increase Customer Loyalty

Your primary job is to build relationships with your customers, and you do this by offering an exceptional product and an unparalleled customer experience. When you do that, you create a foundation for customer loyalty. Unless you’re the only operator in your industry, your customers have other options. Give them a reason to choose you over the competition.

Although many marketers prioritize generating new leads, it costs less money to retain the customers you already have. There are three important steps you can take to boost customer loyalty, and co-brand financing aligns with each of them.

  • Accommodate the customer: Co-brand financing gives customers flexibility and choice so they can choose the products and services that best meet their needs.
  • Anticipate customer needs: You already know that many small and medium businesses don’t qualify for traditional bank financing. Co-brand financing offers them a service they need now.
  • Personalize the services: Co-brand financing is, by definition, a personal service that you’re offering to your customers to meet their needs.

Partnering with Loanspark also allows for consistency in the branding that you’ve worked for years to build - they see your brand through the entire process. At the same time, you benefit from Loanspark’s expertise and technology, which produces a service better than what you could build on your own. Let the industry experts put their well-oiled machine to work for you while you focus on what you do best.

Images by Loanspark

How They Work and What to Look for When Choosing a Partner

You already have some familiarity with co-brand financing: store credit cards. These cards carry the store’s name and logo. You can only use them in the named store or other stores owned by the parent company. It’s a win-win for the customer and the company. The customer gets access to special offers available only to cardholders. The company has access to an impressive amount of data about its customers and their shopping habits.

This segment of the co-brand lending sector is effective. Cardholders typically spend more and choose to shop with retailers branded on the cards. From 2016 to 2018, co-brand card purchases rose by 3%. Giving customers access to convenient financing increases both loyalty and total sales.

Co-brand business lending is similar. The details of how co-brand business lending providers operate can vary from company to company, but you will see some common practices.

  1. You provide an overview of your business to Loanspark. We need to understand your brand to create a solution that works best for your brand and customers.
  2. Loanspark creates a website for your company that includes the loan application for customers. Trying to do this on your own can take a considerable amount of time and money that could be better used in other parts of the business.
  3. Loanspark establishes a call center with your company’s brand. This means your team won’t have to field questions and calls about the service.
  4. You promote the new service to customers. Let them know about the exciting service you’re offering and how they can take advantage of it.
  5. You receive regular reports detailing how the program is working. The data you collect can help you monitor the program’s success and identify key trends in your customers’ purchasing habits. This information is useful as you expand the business to better meet and anticipate their needs.

When choosing a third-party company to collaborate with for your co-brand lending solution, you have several factors to consider. Key is the company’s history and track record within the industry. You want one that takes the time to understand your business and aligns with your brand.

Everyone Needs Loanspark

At Loanspark, we understand how important your brand is to your customers and your company. We offer a full-service business lending marketplace platform that allows any company to provide lending services to its customers. Our partners include banks, B2B service companies, internet-based companies, and more.

The Loanspark solution is a 100% turnkey solution that works out of the box. We provide call center sales and operations, the lending platform, and access to the marketplace with the lending capital options. All you have to do is tell your customers about the service and watch your sales grow. To learn more about our co-brand lending solutions, reach out to our representatives today.

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