Interest free credit is becoming increasingly popular as it allows consumers to spread the cost of an item over several months without the heavy interest charges. With Christmas just around the corner, many consumers will be feeling the financial burden and therefore will be looking to see whether a retailer can offer interest free payment options. Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance is the UK’s leading retail point of sale finance provider, and we speak to Jennifer Lister, to get answers to some of the frequently asked questions by our members.
Some CMJ members are unsure whether they meet the criteria to apply for Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, what is the criteria?
Many finance providers including ourselves have a minimum criteria that a retailer needs to meet in order to be eligible to apply, however many of these criteria have been removed for CMJ retailers, these include the following;
– No minimum turnover level
– No minimum balance sheet tangible net worth
– No minimum finance volume
– No minimum 2-year accounts (fledgling CMJ members can still apply)
If a customer is interested in applying, what is the application process? Is it a paper application?
No, as a CMJ member you will be given access to our brand-new system called Creditmaster3, which features a guaranteed 100% accurate soft search, tailored loans which gives you options for loans that would normally have been declined for affordability, and a fast and easy online process. You can process a customer’s finance application in under 3 minutes and our system is designed to give you an instant decision, however on the occasions we are unable to give a decision there and then, our dedicated underwriters will be able review the application manually.
Do our retail members need to hold a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) licence to apply?
No, Hitachi Capital can offer interest free up to 10 months without the retailer holding a licence. However, the jewellery sector has more of a demand for finance options than ever before, therefore we would suggest considering going down the route of a licence to allow you to offer terms beyond 10 months and interest-bearing options for watches, if applicable.
How long would it take to get a FCA licence is our members choose to go down this route?
We have been advised it can currently take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, therefore if you are wanting to offer longer terms, we would suggest setting a facility up with up to 10 months interest-free credit and applying for a licence in the interim. Hitachi Capital can add additional terms once the licence is confirmed.
How much will a facility with Hitachi Capital cost CMJ members? Is there a monthly fee?
No, we have removed the set-up cost for a facility and the facility fee for CMJ members. You will only be charged a subsidy rate or minimum charge of £25 whichever is higher on any successful applications. No charge is applied for declined applications.
When will CMJ members get paid?
Once the retailer has confirmed on the system that the goods have been collected, we will trigger the payment minus subsidy fees. For CMJ members we do this under Faster Payment.
A lot of our members have websites, can they offer finance online?
Yes, we have a dedicated team that support with integrations. There will be the retailers’ own developers cost to consider, however we offer many plug ins that will reduce the cost significantly. We currently have plug in for Magento, WordPress which uses Woo commerce, and Visualsoft are just finalising their solution.
Is there a lot of paperwork to complete?
No, we ask for one form to be completed and the following as part of the application:
– Proof of bank details
– Most recent annual accounts (ledging retailers are requested to provide forecasted accounts).
Does it make a difference if some of our members are a sole trader or partnership?
No, we can still look to provide you a facility. The same application form is used, please disregard any sections asking about limited information.
How long does it take for the facility to be set up?
If everything is provided at the same time, a facility can be set up as quick as a few weeks.
We have a lot of CMJ members in Ireland, can they still apply?
If you are registered in Northern Ireland, we are still able to provide you a facility if you wish one. Unfortunately, due to different regulations we are unable to provide a facility for CMJ members based in Southern Ireland.
If you are interested in Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, please contact the CMJ Account Manager Jennifer Lister on email@example.com.