“Revenue and Loyalty: The Power of Personalized Financing Options” by Yaacov Martin via Total Retail

“Revenue and Loyalty: The Power of Personalized Financing Options” by Yaacov Martin via Total Retail

In today’s competitive retail landscape, providing a seamless customer experience is no longer enough. Consumers and businesses increasingly seek flexible and personalized financial solutions at the point of sale (POS).

Since 2018, POS lending products have experienced an annual growth rate of 20 percent, and the number of users of these services is expected to increase from 360 million to over 900 million worldwide by 2027.

Various POS financing options are available to customers, including split payments, installment loans and lines of credit. However, personalization goes further than matching different types of loans to the customer’s credit profile. True personalization means considering additional variables such as the product itself, ticket size and industry.

So, how does offering personalized financing options help merchants succeed in 2024?

Related story: AI for Retail Lending: What Does the Future Hold?

Increased Customer Acquisition and Loyalty

Research found that 46 percent of U.S. customers expect “personalized offers/discounts” in exchange for their brand loyalty. How can merchants and lenders provide this?

Merchants can boost customer loyalty and sales by working with a POS financing provider that tailors loan options based on various factors, including customer creditworthiness, product details and ticket size. Doing so removes financial barriers and gives the customer the most appropriate, attractive financing terms, thereby increasing sales, average transaction value (ATV) and customer lifetime value.

Additionally, long-term loans for larger purchases, like a 36-month loan for furniture, serve as ongoing touchpoints with the merchant, boosting brand awareness and ensuring the merchant remains top-of-mind.

Customers expect merchants to provide a variety of relevant traditional and alternative payment options. Offering personalized, flexible and transparent financing options from a trusted bank or lender builds brand loyalty, fosters trust, and encourages repeat business by demonstrating that the merchant is customer-centric and promotes customers’ best interests.

The seamless nature of embedded POS financing also ensures customer satisfaction. Moreover, positive experiences with personalized financing can convert customers into brand advocates, spreading word-of-mouth endorsements and attracting new customers.

Multi-lender financing is another way to boost brand loyalty: a single financing application cascades from bank to lender, increasing approval rates, driving higher conversions for the merchant, and giving customers a more positive user experience and outcome. However, while multi-lender financing is important, it needs to be implemented properly and responsibly. The focus shouldn’t be just on getting approvals and pushing loans without the proper assessment, particularly when not in the consumer’s long-term best interests.

Enhanced Revenue Growth

U.S. businesses that prioritize personalization could generate 40 percent more revenue than businesses that don’t.

Offering flexible payment options like installment loans, credit lines and pay-in-four means merchants address a significant customer pain point — cash flow. With manageable payment plans displayed upfront, consumers are more likely to complete their purchase, leading to higher conversion rates and ATV.

However, not all financing options suit every purchase. For instance, a pay-in-four plan isn’t suitable for large-ticket items like air conditioning systems. Matching the appropriate financing program to each use case can significantly boost revenue as consumers who secure the right loan for their credit profile and purchase scenario are more likely to make a purchase and increase their ATV.

Offering localized loan programs from local banks and lenders is crucial due to regional variations in lending regulations, interest rates and customer preferences. It’s also more appealing to customers when the lender is a familiar local brand and the user experience is localized.

Looking Ahead

Personalization is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Offering personalized financing at checkout goes beyond a means of closing a transaction — it’s a powerful tool that meets customers’ financial needs, enhances the buying experience, builds trust and fosters long-term loyalty, driving sustainable retail growth.

Yaacov Martin is the CEO of Jifiti, a fintech company that powers white-labeled embedded lending solutions for banks, lenders and merchants worldwide.

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