Is Amazon Lending Right for My Business?

Amazon Lending vs Accounts Receivable FactoringYou may have noticed Amazon Lending in the news recently. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has given out more than three billion dollars in loans since the inception of the Amazon Lending program in 2011, with one billion of those dollars being lent in the last twelve months. They have reportedly given loans to 20,000 businesses throughout the US, UK, and Japan in amounts ranging from $1000 to $750,000. Their loans supposedly carry a very modest APR between 6% and 14%, which would make them cheaper than most other Fintech lenders out there. But just like with PayPal Working Capital, there is a catch. While the APR may be low, Amazon makes up for this by taking a large sales commission. As a result, Amazon Lending may work for very small businesses, but if you’re ready to take the next step in growing your business, accounts receivable factoring may be the better option.

Who qualifies for Amazon Lending?

You can not request a loan from Amazon Lending, rather Amazon makes loan offers to sellers on Amazon Marketplace, and those sellers can either accept or ignore the offer. It is unknown what criteria is used to determine when a loan offer is made, how much the loan offer is for, what the term of the loan will be, or what the APR on the loan will be. However, Amazon bases the loan on the seller’s sales history on Amazon Marketplace, so you can probably assume that if you don’t have large and steady sales figures, you probably won’t be offered a loan. Furthermore, if you sell directly to Amazon, then you do not qualify for these loans.

What is the difference between Amazon and Amazon Marketplace?

While shoppers who use Amazon will see all the products available from both Amazon and Amazon Marketplace every time they search for something they want, the platforms are very different from a wholesale point of view. If you sell direct to Amazon, it is like selling to any other retailer. They give you a purchase order, you ship the merchandise and invoice them, and when the invoice is due Amazon pays you. However with Amazon Marketplace, it is kind of like selling your product on eBay. Amazon will list your product on their site, and will take a commission for each sale you make. If you would like your product to qualify for Amazon Prime, then you need to ship your product to Amazon warehouses, pay storage fees, and when the product sells, you are charged a shipping fee as well. Basically you are giving Amazon merchandise on consignment, and you may be paying them additional fees as well.

How much are Amazon Marketplace commissions and fees?

Commissions are based on what type of product you are selling. Commissions can be as low as 6% if you are selling computers, and as high as 45% if you are selling an accessory for an Amazon device, for example a Kindle cover. In general, commissions are typically around 15%. In addition to these commissions, Amazon may charge you either a monthly fee or a transaction fee on each sale. If you let Amazon warehouse your product so it qualifies for Prime, you will be paying storage fees and shipping fees as well. If you ship yourself, then you are responsible for paying for shipping. Additionally, Amazon will also charge you a closing fee for each item sold.

Should I accept a loan offer from Amazon Lending?

Only you can decide whether or not a loan is correct for you. If you sell your merchandise on Amazon Marketplace and wish to continue doing so for the term of the loan they offer you, then you are already paying their commissions and the loan may carry an attractive APR. The loan gets repaid automatically as you sell more merchandise through the Amazon Marketplace, so as long as sales volume remains steady you won’t need to worry about paying off the loan. However, if you would like to start selling directly to Amazon or any other retailers, then this loan probably isn’t right for you.

Are there other options for financing my small business?

Accounts receivable factoring is another form of alternative lending that works with small businesses. Unlike Amazon Lending, accounts receivable factoring works with companies who sell directly to Amazon or other retailers, both online and brick and mortar. With accounts receivable factoring you get funded for your receivables the same day you invoice your customers. Plus, since your factoring company is purchasing your receivables, you aren’t taking on any new debt.

What’s my next step?

Amazon Marketplace may be a great way to introduce your product to the market, and Amazon Lending might allow you to purchase more product to increase your sales volume. However, if you really want to grow your business and want to take the next step, you will have to start selling direct to Amazon and other retailers. If you are ready to take that next step, then give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and find out how we can help you fund your growing business.

How Accounts Receivable Factoring Fits Into the Fintech World

Accounts Receivable Factoring in many ways predates Fintech in the field of financial technology.It may seem strange that accounts receivable factoring, a form of financing that dates back further than the Silk Road, could fit into the modern world of Fintech, an industry that is less than a decade old. However, like any business that has survived since antiquity, accounts receivable factoring has constantly evolved with changing times and in many ways pioneered the path for the new Fintech industry. While you would be hard pressed to find an a true factoring company that only exists in the online realm, you would be just as hard pressed to find a traditional factoring company that doesn’t offer a large variety of online tools.

In the same way that online banking and ATM machines have made it so many Millennials never had to write a check or step inside a bank branch location, accounts receivable factoring can now provide your business with the financing that you need without needing to walk away from your computer. In fact, here at DSA Factors we’ve been offering online tools to our clients for over a decade now. So in many ways, we were a Fintech company before Fintech even existed. But unlike Fintech, we haven’t stripped down our factoring program to only offer the services and benefits that a web page can provide. Plus we are still happy to work with clients who prefer doing things the old fashioned way, via phone, mail, and fax.

Online Credit Approvals

For years now, offering online approvals has been a standard service that accounts receivable factoring companies have offered. What this means is that when you get a purchase order, you just login to your factoring company’s portal and request an approval. Often times the computer is able to make an actual credit decision on the spot and offer you an instant online approval. Of course, as in any business, there is a limit to what can be completely automated, so in the case where the computer can’t approve an order, it gets sent to your factoring company’s office for review. When this happens at DSA Factors, we do our best to get back to you with a credit decision within 30 minutes, and will e-mail the credit decision to you.

Real-time Aging Statements

Most factoring companies will provide their clients with aging statements each week so that they know where their accounts stand. At DSA Factors we take this one step farther. At any time our clients are able to login to our portal and view a real-time aging statement.

View Transmittal Sheets

Just like how banks and credit card companies allow you to view statements online, at DSA Factors we give our clients to view transmittal sheets from our online portal. And unlike banks or credit cards that may limit you to only one or two years of statements, here at DSA Factors you can go back as far as you want to that very first payment we sent you when you first started factoring.

Access to a Variety of Online Reports

In addition to aging statements and transmittal sheets, at DSA Factors we offer our clients a variety on online reporting options. This includes being able to pull account statements for any customer. Viewing all open or used approvals. Pulling sales reports that show you how much volume each of your customers gave you over a specified period of time. Plus, if there is a report that you would like to see on the portal, all you need to do is give us a call and we will do our best to create it for you. As a family owned business, we pride ourselves on the quality service we provide our clients with, and that extends to the online services we provide as well.

Allow Customers to Pay Online

At DSA Factors we don’t just extend online benefits to our clients, but also to their customers. At any time your customers may login into our portal with a login and password we provide at the bottom of every account statement we send them so that they can view a real-time statement and make payments online. After all, don’t your customers deserve access to the same online conveniences as you.

Why Choose Accounts Receivable Factoring Over Fintech?

If the online services that we offer at DSA Factors doesn’t seem like enough, keep in mind that we offer one huge benefit that no Fintech company is able to offer. At any time you are able to pick up a phone, give us a call, and one of our principals will be able to talk to you and help you come up with a solution that works for you. That isn’t something that you will get from a large Fintech company, that is something that you can only get from a family owned accounts receivable factoring company. And the value of being able to speak with someone who can actually help you and cares about your business, is much greater than the inconvenience of being limited to only the functions that a web page is able to handle.

If you want to improve your cash flow, outsource you accounts receivable, get credit insurance, and have the convenience of being able to work online, but still want the personalized service that you deserve, give us a call today at 773-248-9000. Or if you want to go “Fintech”, feel free to send us an e-mail at info@dsafactors.com or chat with us right now on this web page.

The Original Fintech Factoring Company

Fintech Factoring vs Traditional Accounts Receivable FactoringEveryone knows that accounts receivable factoring has been around for a while, in fact, if it wasn’t for factoring, in fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus wouldn’t have been able to sail the ocean blue. However, in recent years, in response to rapidly developing technology and an unwillingness by banks to lend money, a large number of fintech companies have emerged offering entrepreneurs a variety of ways to raise money for their businesses. These fintech companies offer everything from crowdfunding to factoring. However, it is important that you compare the services that these new fintech companies provide as well as the fees they charge to more established funding sources.

Crowdfunding vs Venture Capital

Crowdfunding is indeed an excellent alternative to venture capital. Companies like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow start-ups to raise money for their business through pre-sales, rather than receiving loans or giving up a percentage of ownership to venture capitalists. So not only does crowdfunding allow you to maintain ownership of your business without taking on new debt, but it also provides young companies with advertising and the chance to build up a large and enthusiastic customer base. Of course crowdfunding isn’t free, you will have to pay a commission on any funding you receive in addition to payment processing fees, but then again venture capital isn’t free either. The other big difference between crowdfunding and venture capital is the scale. Typically crowdfunding works on a much smaller scale, giving new start-ups the ability to raise thousands, tens of thousands, and occasionally hundreds of thousands dollars. Venture capital on the other hand isn’t always all that interested in such small investments, but could be a good place to start if you are looking for a million dollar deal.

While crowdfunding is a great way of getting your product seen and sold directly to consumers, it does not typically help you with funding large orders from retailers. For this, an excellent alternative to venture capital is purchase order financing, which is a service provided by many traditional accounts receivable factoring companies. With purchase order financing you can obtain a short term loan based on a purchase order, and then you pay back that loan by ultimately selling the invoice associated with that order to your factoring company.

Fintech Factoring vs Traditional Accounts Receivable Factoring

Factoring has always been an excellent alternative to getting a bank loan. However, fintech factoring companies haven’t really innovated the factoring industry, but rather offer short-term, high-interest small business loans that improve your cash flow, but don’t provide the other services that traditional factoring companies provide you with. Like traditional factoring, the fintech factoring companies are not too concerned with your business’s or your personal credit, meaning that companies that do not qualify for a traditional bank loan will qualify for a loan with them. However, coming from their IT backgrounds, the principals of these firms don’t have any real experience in the factoring industry, nor do they understand all of the benefits that traditional factoring offers small businesses.

In an interview with ABF Journal, George Bessenyei, director of 48 Factoring, stated “we are not coming from the financial space, we are coming from a technology space. I see us as a technology company that provides finance.” In another interview with ABF Journal, Eyal Lifshitz, CEO of BlueVine said “I was looking for a way to disrupt the lending industry. I started learning about factoring. I wanted to modernize it and make it a streamlined process where the borrowers can click a button and get money.” While it is true that these new fintech companies have streamlined the process of getting funded so it can be done entirely online, they also stripped-down factoring to its bare bones. Key aspects of factoring such as not taking on any new debt, outsourcing your credit checking and collections, insuring your receivables, and an unlimited potential for funding have been eliminated by the fintech factoring companies.

While fintech factoring may offer a faster, more streamlined approach to getting funded, and its rates mirror traditional accounts receivable factoring rates, they actually will cost you quite a bit more both timewise and financially than traditional factoring. Because fintech companies don’t handle your credit checking, you are still responsible for assessing the credit worthiness of your customers and will need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies in order to do so. You are also responsible for handling all the collection work, which as your company grows could eat up much of your time or require you to hire additional employees. Finally, without credit insurance, when a customer is unable to pay an invoice, you are out the money. While you could be very conservative in who you offer payment terms to, doing so will mean that you will be turning down a lot of business that a traditional factoring would most likely be willing to improve. Alternatively, for large orders, you can purchase credit insurance for an additional charge from insurance companies.

Technological Innovations Offered by Accounts Receivable Factoring Companies

It is true that accounts receivable factoring may be old, but that doesn’t mean that traditional factoring companies don’t innovate. The fact is, traditional factoring companies have been using innovative software and providing online tools to their clients for many years now. Nearly every traditional accounts receivable factoring company allows their customers to submit accounts for credit approval online, and oftentimes can provide their clients with instant approvals directly on the web page. Invoices can also be sent via e-mail to ensure speedy processing. Plus, your factoring company has the ability to pay you via ACH or wire so that funds are electronically deposited into your bank account as opposed to having to wait for a check to arrive in the mail and then take it to a bank. While the process might not be as streamlined as fintech factoring, accounts receivable factoring companies always pride themselves on speedy turnaround and funding you within 24 hours, if not the very same day that you submit your invoices to them.

Another common misconception that fintech factoring companies have about traditional factoring is that accounts receivable factoring companies are all owned by banks and only care about large accounts doing millions a year in sales. While it is true that many factoring companies are owned by banks and prefer not to deal with smaller businesses, this is not true of all factoring companies.

DSA Factors has always been family owned and operated, and we provide factoring to all businesses regardless of how much volume they do. At DSA Factors we have always been innovating ever since we started factoring in 1986 and programmed our very own factoring software using Basic on DOS 3.3 computers. While we have long ago moved on from our original software, we still continue to develop all of our own software and are continuously improving it in order to give our clients more options in how we finance their businesses. Today we offer online instant approvals to our clients along with a number of online reports including real-time aging statements as well as give them the ability to view previously paid transmittal sheets for as long as they have been factoring with us.  Additionally we provide your customers with a login where they can view an account statement and make payments online. We even welcome ideas from our clients on how to improve our online portal so that they can get the most out of our factoring services. So if you are looking for financing and want a factoring company that combines technology with knowledge, experience, and service, look no further than DSA Factors.  Give us a call today at 773-248-9000 and one of our principals will be more than happy to speak with you.

Factoring vs Fintech: Finance in the High Tech World

Finance in the High Tech WorldFor most small business owners, obtaining a line of credit from a bank has never been easy. In recent years a number of technology companies have discovered this problem and it has led to the emergence of fintech, a form of online lending. However, what many small business owners don’t realize is that there is another alternative to the banks, which is factoring. Factoring companies however offer a whole lot more than the fintech companies, but also have much more experience and knowledge, better customer service, and typically cost less.

Industry Knowledge

Fintech companies provide their customers, who don’t qualify for a small business loan from a bank, with short-term, high-interest loans using their receivables as collateral. Because they are using receivables as collateral, companies such as BlueVine claim that they provide accounts receivable factoring, but really they are just providing their customers with a loan. Other companies like Fundbox claim they provide invoice financing, which they differentiate from factoring. While it is true that they do not provide factoring, what they don’t realize is that invoice financing and accounts receivable financing mean the same as factoring. This demonstrates a very big difference between fintech and factoring. These fintech companies are really young IT start-ups with little or no experience in the industries that they serve; in fact, they may not even know basic industry terms. Factoring on the other hand has been around for hundreds of years, even Christopher Columbus used factoring. While most factoring companies haven’t been around quite that long, they all have quite a bit of experience and a background in the industries that they serve. For example, DSA Factors started off as the consumer finance arm of a retail furniture store under the same ownership. Eventually they decided to start offering factoring services to furniture and bedding wholesalers who they bought from. As the factoring business grew they started expanding out to other industries such as giftware, housewares, apparel, and trucking. Now, having factored for over 30 years, they are still helping small and medium sized businesses grow.

Improved Cash Flow – Debt vs No Debt

While the goal of both fintech and factoring is to help you improve your cash flow, perhaps the biggest difference between fintech and factoring is how they accomplish this. A fintech company provides you with a loan, meaning you are taking on debt. Furthermore, the loan has a very short term and if you offer extended terms, such as net 90 days, to your customers, it is quite possible that the loan will become due before you receive payment on the invoice that was used as collateral. With factoring, the factoring company is purchasing your accounts receivable, or invoices. The funds you receive from a factoring company are yours to keep and spend however you like. Even if one of your customers pays late, you don’t need to worry about paying back the funds you received.

Accounts Receivable Outsourcing

Of course services provided are another really big difference between fintech and factoring. Fintech companies seem to pride themselves on how they will never contact your customers; they seem to think that you will appreciate this. However, all that this means is that if your customers don’t pay them, they will come after you.  With fintech you still need to stay on top of your accounts receivable and send out statements and make collection calls. For a small business this means that the owner typically needs to spend a lot of time just trying to get paid by their customers. For medium sized businesses you will probably need to hire another employee just to manage your accounts receivable, meaning additional payroll. With factoring you are outsourcing your accounts receivable. Factoring companies have already invested heavily in the software necessary to manage A/R, and are able to do so because they manage A/R for many clients. They have professional and courteous collectors who are able to make the phone calls for you. Plus, because your customers may purchase from several other vendors who factor their receivables, a factoring company has a lot more leverage in collecting from a customer who may not be willing to pay. The fintech companies try to scare you by saying that factoring companies can ruin your relationship with your customers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Factoring companies are not collection agencies, they understand the importance of the relationship you have with your customers, after all, they have a similar relationship with you. As a result, your factoring company provides your customers with gentle reminders that payment is due, and always treats your customers with the respect they deserve.

Credit Insurance

Another big difference between fintech and factoring is the insurance they provide. With Fintech you receive no insurance on the invoices you put up as collateral, if the invoices don’t get paid, you still have to pay back the fintech company. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, provide non-recourse factoring, meaning that you are insured in the situation where one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems. Furthermore, since your factoring company is insuring your receivables, they also handle all of your credit checking for you, meaning that you don’t need to subscribe to expensive services such as Dun & Bradstreet. While it is possible to purchase credit insurance separately, it of course comes with additional fees, and typically only covers large orders for very creditworthy companies such as Amazon or Walmart. If your customers are mom and pop stores, or your invoices are smaller than five or six figures, credit insurance is not something that is readily available to you.

Purchase Order Financing

Of course, for many small companies simply getting funded for your invoices isn’t enough. For a company that has just received their first six figure purchase order, it may be very difficult to put that order together. To make matters worse, if you are unable to accept such a large order, it is unlikely that the company placing the order will come back to you in the future. If you manufacture in China you typically need to put 30% down to start production and then a month later when production is complete, pay the remaining 70% to get the merchandise put onto the boat. It will be another month before the container arrives in the US and you are able to ship and invoice your customers, and a fintech company will not provide you with a loan until you do so. For service companies you may need to hire additional labor and will need to meet payroll long before you complete the job and invoice your customer. If use fintech for your financing they won’t lend you the capital in advance, and you won’t be allowed to take out a loan with a bank. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, will provide their clients with purchase order financing, which is a short term loan based on the PO so that you can fulfill a large order.

Customer Service

Finally there is one more major difference between fintech and factoring companies, and that is customer service. Fintech companies are all about technology; they integrate with business software such as QuickBooks, and believe that customer service is about giving their customers fancy online tools. Of course this means that you too need to use QuickBooks or whatever other software they may integrate with. Factoring companies on the other hand realize that a big part of doing business is developing a relationship with the people they work with. Perhaps factoring companies don’t offer all the fancy technology and software integrations as the fintech companies do, but they aren’t dinosaurs. Nearly every factoring company has an online portal where their clients can login, request approvals, and view a variety of reports. While there are some large bank-owned factoring companies, there are also plenty of family-owned factoring companies such as DSA Factors. At DSA Factors you can always call and speak with a principal, no need to deal with account managers or low-level employees who can only answer simple questions. As a result, factoring companies are able to work with you creatively and aren’t restricted to just the 1’s and 0’s of the digital fintech world.

Choose Your Financing Carefully

When it comes to financing your small business it is important that you look at the big picture. While fintech may be new and exciting, you get a whole lot more with factoring. Plus, with factoring you most likely will save money as well!

If you would like to give factoring a chance, call DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and either Ben, Max, or Howard will be available and able to help you. There is no obligation or long-term commitment, and you can start receiving funds in as little as 24 hours.  Start growing your business today with a time-tested and proven method that works, accounts receivable factoring.

Traditional Factoring vs Fintech

Accounts Receivable Factoring vs FintechThere has been a lot of talk in the news about fintech (financial technology) lately.  Certainly there is a lot to be said about alternative approaches to financing over more traditional methods offered by the banks. However, accounts receivable factoring has always been an alternative financing method over what the banks offer, and has a long track record of success. In fact, many of the fintech companies even offer factoring programs, but they tend to be bare bones versions of factoring that only offer some of the benefits gained by factoring, and oftentimes even charge higher rates than traditional factoring companies.

The factoring industry has been around for a long time. It was well established in Europe when the original colonists brought it over to America. In fact, the king and queen of Spain offered a form of factoring to Christopher Columbus when he wanted to set sail for the “New World”. While this may seem antiquated in our modern technology driven world, the fact is that most factoring companies do take advantage of modern technologies, offering most of the benefits of fintech, but with much more experience, a proven track record of helping to grow small to medium sized businesses, and much lower rates.

To see the difference, the chart below compares traditional factoring with DSA Factors to similar programs with PayPal Working Capital, Bluevine, and Fundbox, three of the more popular fintech companies offering similar programs to invoice factoring.

 DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
Take on New DebtNo, the funds DSA provides you with are yours to keep.Yes, PayPal is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.Maybe, if your customers don't pay BlueVine, they will require you to pay them back after 90 days.Yes, Fundbox is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.
Credit LimitNo, with DSA Factors we will fund you for all of your receivables.Yes, the lesser of 18% of your annual sales on PayPal or $97,000.Yes, $20,000 to $500,000 based on your company's credit.Yes, $25,000.
Based on Your CreditNo, since DSA is giving your customers a line of credit, credit decisions are made based on your customer's good credit.No, the loan amount is based on your annual sales volume with PayPal.Yes, BlueVine will assign you a credit limit based on your credit worthiness.Yes, Fundbox determines your credit limit based on your credit worthiness.
Charges You InterestNo, DSA offers a flat rate factoring fee.Yes, the interest is charged to you up front when you get a loan, regardless of how long it takes to pay the loan off.No, BlueVine also offers a flat rate program, but at 10-15% their rates are at least triple or quadruple the rate that DSA offers.Yes, based on the size of the loan, Fundbox may charge you anywhere from 5-12% over the course of a 84 day loan.
Term LimitNo, DSA Factors has no problem working with extended terms.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days, with the full amount due in 540 days.Yes, if payment has not been received after 90 days, you are required to pay back BlueVine.Yes, you must pay off the loan in 12 weekly installments.
Collections OutsourcingYes, DSA Factors handles all of your collection work.No, your customers must make payments through PayPal, but PayPal does not help with collections.No, your customers are required to make payments to a BlueVine drop box or bank account, however BlueVine does not help you collect.No, Fundbox does not handle collections for you, it is strictly a loan that you need to pay back.
Insure Your ReceivablesYes, with DSA's non-recourse factoring your invoices are insured against non-payment.No, PayPal only does payment processing for you.No, if an invoice has not been paid after 90 days of being funded for it, you are required to pay back BlueVine.No, Fundbox is strictly a loan that must be paid back in 12 weekly installments.
Choose Which Invoices You FactorYes, DSA Factors does not require you to factor all of your receivables.No, a percentage of all payments made through PayPal will be applied towards your loan.Yes, you can choose which invoices you want to get funded on.Yes, however there is a $100 minimum in order to get funded for an invoice.
Minimum Volume RequirementNo, at DSA Factors you are not required to factor a certain amount, and there are no annual fees.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days if you aren't doing enough volume.No, BlueVine does not require you to fund a minimum amount each year.No, Fundbox does not require you to draw a minimum amount each year, however, they will not fund you if an invoice is worth less than $100.
Long Term CommitmentNo, with DSA Factors you can stop factoring at any time, but since many of our clients have been with us for over 20 years, we don't think that you will want to stop.No, once your loan with PayPal is paid off you can start looking for alternative sources of financing.No, BlueVine allows you to stop drawing on your line of credit at any time, but you will need to pay them back for any invoices that they have not received payment on.No, once you have paid off your loan with Fundbox, you are free to pursue other financing options.
Charge Payment Processing FeesNo, DSA will never charge you for processing a payment.Yes, you are required to accept payments through PayPal and pay their payment processing fees.No, although BlueVine will funnel all payments into their account without your customers knowing that BlueVine is receiving the payment.N/A, Fundbox does not process payments.
Available TechnologyDSA offers its clients an online portal where they can get automatic approvals, view agers, remittance reports, and other reports in real time. Your customers may also go online to make payments.With PayPal you get a loan online and customers make payments online.BlueVine requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.Fundbox requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.
Good Old Fashioned ServiceAs a family owned and operated business, you can call DSA at any time and speak with a principal who can come up with creative solutions to help grow your business.PayPal doesn't even list a phone number on their web site.BlueVine may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.Fundbox may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.

As you can see, traditional accounts receivable factoring with DSA Factors offers all of the benefits that the fintech companies offer, along with many more.  You still get an online portal where you can efficiently do business and your customers can make online payments, but you also can pick up a phone and speak with one of our principals at any time.  As a result, we can come up with creative solutions for your business that might not fit into a fintech company’s software, such as purchase order financing.  So if you are looking for ways to finance your business, go with a time-tested method that works, accounts receivable factoring.  Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.

Smartphones in a Smart Home

Smart HomeThere is no doubt that technology has changed the way we communicate and the way we shop, but smart technologies are starting to become a major part of the way we live as more and more household products become connected with smart technologies. In the same way that smartphones have had an impact on how we stay connected, soon our furniture and appliances will be connected as well.

Nearly three quarters of American adults own a smartphone, and over two thirds of US households have high speed internet connections according to Pew Research Center.  The iPhone alone has more than 75 million users in the US.

While the number of smartphone users and internet users may not come as too much of a surprise, you might be surprised by just how many of the products we find in our home are now connected to our smartphones.  The most popular item in the house connected to the smartphone is the TV.  Whether you are using the smartphone as a remote to change the channel, to record a show at home when you are at work, or to stream video off the internet, TVs offer far and away the most smart features of any product in the home.  65% of households with TVs have at least one TV that is connected to the internet.

After TVs, home security systems come next in connectivity, allowing you to monitor your home from your office, a ballgame, or even when your on vacation thousands of miles away.  Next comes audio systems which may use bluetooth technology to play music from your phone or stream music from Pandora or other popular apps.

The other most popular connected products are garage doors, indoor lights, thermostats, locks on doors, outside lights, detectors (such as smoke or carbon monoxide), and kitchen appliances.

The reasoning behind owning connected devices varies.  When it comes to TV and audio, certainly convenience plays a major factor in why consumers would want a connected product.  For home security and smoke detectors it less about convenience and more about safety.  In the case of a connected thermostat the goal might be cost savings.  But of course the most important thing to look at regardless of what product you are considering connecting is that it’s just fun!

According to HGTV, almost half of all consumers find it extremely important to have products in their home that utilize smart technologies, and over half of all homeowners would consider making their home a smart home in order to increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.  It should also come as no surprise that Millennials are 10 times more likely to make a smart home improvement than any other generation.

Despite the popularity of being connected, the furniture industry has lagged behind in integrating smart technologies into their products.  However, by offering smart technologies furniture companies have a lot to gain.  Over half of consumers under the age of 50, and nearly 3 in 10 consumers over the age of 50, would be interested in a couch that offers a smartphone docking station so that they can charge their phones while watching TV.  Over a third of consumers regardless of age would appreciate a couch that has integrated reading lights.  For those under the age of 50, one third would like a couch with integrated speakers, and a little more than a quarter would like bluetooth connectivity so that they can control motion features from their smartphone or tablet.

There is no doubt that technology is changing how we live our lives.  While many companies have been focusing a lot on eCommerce and social media, it is also important that they look beyond marketing and expand technology into the products themselves.

Whether you are looking to integrate smart technologies into your current products, or you are a new start-up that just invented pants with a smartphone controlled fly, it is important that you have the funds to not only develop your product, but to keep up with increased sales volume.  While many companies look for SBA loans or investors, with accounts receivable factoring you can get the cash flow you need without taking on any new debt or giving up any portion of your company.  Call DSA Factors today at 773-248-9000 and find out just how easy it can be to get the funds you need to grow your business.

What is the Chip?

EMV ChipBy now everyone probably has received new credit cards with an EMV chip in them.  That is because on October 1st the rules changed for how credit card fraud is handled.  As a consumer you have nothing worry to worry about as you are never responsible for fraud, but as a merchant or a bank it is important to understand how the new rules work.  As of October 1st, merchants are now responsible for fraud if they allow a customer to swipe a card using the magnetic strip when the card has a chip on it.  Banks however are still responsible for fraud on cards that do not have chips on them yet.  So it is important if you are a merchant that you purchase new readers and require your customers to use the chip if you don’t want to be responsible for fraudulent transactions.

The way the chip works is that it creates a unique transaction code every time it is inserted into a credit card reader, while the magnetic strip that we have always used simply contains static data that can easily be copied.  As a result, it is nearly impossible to counterfeit cards that use a chip.  Now of course there is a lot of expense to this new technology.  The credit card companies have been sending out new cards to all their customers, and these cards cost a lot more to produce than the old magnetic strip cards did.  For merchants the major expense will be in purchasing new card readers and training employees in how to use them.

Now if you are wondering just how serious credit card fraud is, in 2012 there were worldwide losses of $11.3 billion, with nearly half of that coming from the US.  That year in the US the banks lost $3.4 billion to fraud, while merchants lost another $1.9 billion.  The United States is the only country in the world where credit card fraud is growing each year.  So while these chips might be adding more expense to businesses, if it can reduce these losses then it would be well worth the investment.

If you are wondering if these chips really work, all you need to do is look at the data.  These chips have been in use since 1992 and are used in 80 countries.  Canada adopted the chips in 2008.  In 2009 they reported CAD$142 million in fraud, but by 2013 that number had dropped to only CAD$29.5 million.  The same effect was experienced in England where losses have decreased by 67% since chips were rolled out in 2004.

Of course there is also an added benefit to consumers when they use the chip.  Because it is tougher to create counterfeit cards, it is also harder to fall victim to identity theft.  So consumers can shop with more confidence, as they no longer need to worry about data breaches, such as the one that happened at Target in 2013.  While the Target breach got a lot of publicity, and several other big box stores got publicity as well with their breaches, the fact is there have many more breaches at smaller stores that don’t warrant the publicity of a big box store, but overall they have a much greater impact than just one big box store does.  Of course consumers only get this protection if they are shopping at stores that are able to accept chip technology.  This of course gives merchants one more reason to want to upgrade their credit card readers, their customers will probably feel safer shopping in their store if they offer this new technology.  So the next time you go shopping, it may take longer to check out with these new chips, but the added security should be well worth the hassle.

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