By Karen Hamilton
We all want it and we want it now, regardless whether “it” is a new kitchen, main-floor powder room or upgraded electrical panel. If a contractor is able to provide financing on the spot or somehow make it easy for a potential customer to pay, their chances of closing the sale are dramatically higher. Now, mobile technologies in the point-of-sale financing market make it easy to do just that.
Nicknamed “the credit card killer”, FinanceIt, a slick made-in-Canada iPad app, offers instant approvals and guaranteed funding in less than 10 minutes. It’s easy to use – just scan the bar code on the back of a homeowners drivers’ license. Their personal information is uploaded and credit history is evaluated on the spot. Within seconds they will be approved for a loan. FinanceIt offers interest rates starting at 6.99% on loans up to $40,000. And as a merchant partner, you don’t pay any fees. Compared that to credit card payment processing fees which can cost in the neighbourhood of 3%!
Until recently, accepting payment by credit card meant investing in card-reading equipment, paying a setup fee, committing to contracts with a processing company and paying monthly fees whether or not you had any sales. It was a hassle and no one wanted to do it. But thanks to smartphones, iPads and companies like Square, anyone, including contractors, can easily accept credit cards these days. Square provides you with a free tiny half-inch reader attachment that snaps into your headphone jack. Square makes their money by charging you 2.75 percent of the total of each transaction you process, plus 15 cents. Square is currently only available in the United States but plans are in the works for a Canadian launch.
Similar to Square, Vancouver-based Payfirma lets you accept credit and debit card payments on your mobile device. Payfrma also charges a percentage of each transaction plus there is a monthly fee and an initial setup fee.
Karen Hamilton is part of the team at Hammerati. Hammerati is a professional network exclusively for the construction industry.