As an ecommerce seller, you’re likely thinking about growth for most of your day. Sure, you’re coming up with strategies that will make you more money, but are you also considering how you manage and use it? Thanks to the emerging financial technology industry (also known as fintech), making small tweaks to your money-management could make a big impact on your bottom line.
For example, it’s easier than ever to access the right financing solution for your business, so you can get the capital you need, when you need it, and start investing in growth opportunities right away. There are online-business banking options that offer more flexibility, high APY (annual purchase yields) and no fees, so you can make more money and pay less for it. And, tech-based currency conversion companies can offer you better exchange rates so you can pay overseas suppliers without a bank’s hefty fees.
But that’s not all. In this guide, we’re looking at how fintech solutions in financing, online banking, global currency exchange, and more can help you save money and scale your ecommerce business faster.
1. Business Financing
Before getting into how your business can benefit from online financing, let’s look at the traditional lending landscape.
For starters, banks are risk-averse organizations, which makes sense to a degree. After all, they’re handling a lot of other people’s money and must comply with countless federal regulations. Banks essentially “play it safe” with their services — especially when it comes to small business lending. What’s more, they’re built on antiquated systems that are almost entirely manual. The results look something like this:
- Loan applications are cumbersome: You’ll need to submit bank statements, financial statements, tax documents, business plans, and lots more paperwork (not to mention succumb to a credit pull).
- Review processes are long. All those documents you just submitted? Someone has to review them (often manually) and will likely want to come to your place of business for a site visit.
- Approval rates are low. At the end of the day, banks prefer to lend to large, established, brick-and-mortar businesses with a long track record of success. In their eyes, those are the only businesses that won’t default on a loan.
Now banks aren’t all bad, of course. In fact, they offer large loan amounts and low interest rates. The biggest price you’d pay is time and lost opportunity. In other words, if a supplier comes to you with a flash sale on inventory that would translate to higher margins for your business, you’re going to want to take advantage. But if you need financing to actually make the investment, you’re going to need a lender that will work within your short time frame.
This is where online lenders come into play. In the last 10+ years, fintech companies have emerged to make it easier and more efficient for businesses of all kinds (small, online, ecommerce, new, etc.) to get the financing they need, when they need it. In fact, there are solutions designed specifically for marketplace sellers like you. Take Payability, for example.
Payability understands the unique cash flow needs that ecommerce sellers face, like weeks-long payout delays, last-minute investment opportunities, and more. Their solutions — Instant Access, Instant Advance and The Seller Card — are designed with these in mind, so you can actually get paid daily on your sales, make large (and often last-minute) investments in growth opportunities, access your payments in real-time, on-the-go, and more.
Payability values the health of your business above all, which means decisions are based solely on your actual account health and sales performance (i.e. no credit pull required). If approved, you could get access to your funds within 24 hours.
2. Online Business Banking
If you do your business banking at a traditional bank, chances are you pay fees and have to deal with minimum deposit requirements. Part of the reason for this is because banks have a lot of overhead — just think about the number of physical bank branches there are, for example. You’re essentially helping to cover their real estate expenses.
Online banks, on the other hand, don’t have the same infrastructure, so they can offer high APY, charge low to no fees, and not require a minimum deposit. If you use an online bank, you will get more bang for your buck. After all, you’ll save on fees and make more on interest.
3. Global Currency Exchange
If you work with suppliers or freelancers overseas, then you have to deal with money transfers and currency exchange on a regular basis — not to mention hefty fees from traditional payment processors and/or banks (that are often hidden in their quoted exchange rate). Not only are traditional providers expensive, they’re not the most efficient. After all, banks offer global currency conversion services but they aren’t set up for large-scale, international ecommerce operations.
The good news is, online currency conversion companies can help with your global currency and money transfer needs for far less than it costs at a bank or traditional payment processor. And they offer more services to boot. Let’s take a look:
- Exchange Rates: You shouldn’t find any hidden fees in your quoted exchange rate from an online currency conversion company. Not only that, some of these companies also want to help your business manage through the currency market’s volatility. As you may have experienced, the exchange rate can change by as much as 2% every day, without warning. Fortunately, you can secure a flat exchange rate for a fixed period of time or amount of money to avoid the risk of sudden rate increase.
- On-Site Operations: Depending on how much business you do overseas, it might make sense to open a foreign bank account to send/receive payments in the local currency and avoid exchange rate fees altogether. Some currency conversion companies might be able to help set you up with one.
However you choose to manage your currency exchange needs, make sure you compare your vendor’s exchange rate to the current market rate — if it’s higher, they’re charging you a hidden fee that you might be able to negotiate down.
4. Other Options
The fintech landscape is vast, which is good news if you’re looking to streamline other financial areas of your ecommerce business. For example, there are fintech companies specializing in payment processing, mobile pay, cryptocurrency, accounting, ecommerce, and more.
At the end of the day, the best financial decision you can make for your business is an informed one and the more options you have the better. So think about the specific needs of your business, be it daily payments, no fee banking, or more streamlined currency conversion, then search for the provider that’s right for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Payability can help you scale your business, visit http://go.payability.com/Route and get a $250 sign on bonus when you sign up for Instant Access just for being referred by Route.
Disclaimer: This post is intended to introduce some of the most common fintech options for ecommerce businesses and how they work. Payability and Route do not intend to give financial advice. We always recommend that you conduct your own research before making a financial decision for your business.