Everyone 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.