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Has any consumer ever complained that there were too many payment options?

The recent government shutdown taught us that more people than we could ever imagine are one missed paycheck away from serious problems. They certainly don’t have disposable cash and often, traditional payment options just won’t cut it.
So, here’s what we know, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. And, according to a GoBankingRates survey, 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Even more alarming is who is living paycheck to paycheck. The same survey shows that 23 percent of respondents with incomes of $150,000 or more had less than $1,000 in an emergency fund. The major cause, debt is on the rise. Student loan debt, particularly among millennial , is at a record level. Couple that with rising credit card utilization and it could be brewing up the perfect storm for the next financial crisis.

So, for businesses, the time is now to button up payment options.

The time for a business accepting simply cash, check or maybe credit card are over particularly if the tickets run $1,000 or higher. And expecting customers to depend on the goodwill of friends and family in time of emergency, well, it appears that they are having issues too.

People are demanding better payment options, and they’re starting to get them.

For example, a simple search for “auto repair shops that finance near me” will give a consumer plenty of options. No longer can a business ignore the fact that people are more poor with less payment leverage than ever before. And the businesses that branch out are benefiting through increased traffic and higher revenue.

How many payment options should a business have?

How about, all of them! Everything possible should be on the table. If it works for the business’s model, it should be offered Customer Financing. Of course. Lay away. If it’s suitable. In-house payment plans. Why not, if it works. Lease-to-own. If you sell a product, of course. Barter for chickens if you consider that reasonable currency!

Businesses should always work towards a close.

It’s really that simple. So, is it always about the money? These days, almost always. Think about it. Most people do their research on-line before they even contact a business about a product or service. They know what they want before they make their first move. By the time they get to you, the ball is already in your court. And, if they need to finance it or require some sort of in-house payment plan, they are researching that as well. The good news is that if a business is getting a prospect, and they can’t put the sale together because of money, they must have something people want otherwise the opportunity wouldn’t be there in the first place.

The bad news is that businesses really have no idea how many opportunities never get to them, not because they don’t have the right product or service, but because they aren’t offering a payment path to a sale. Simply, they are not grabbing theirtheo attention. 

For fun with numbers, here’s a simple profitability calculator that will illustrate the possible impact of customer financing alone. For businesses, it’s really time to start thinking outside of the box. The most successful businesses are able to think and feel like their prospective customers. It’s much easier to grab their aspirations but much more difficult to feel their desperation. And that is where the line is between failure and success and between success and that next level we all aspire to reach.  

Bob Lovinger is the President and founder of Flexxbuy, a leading provider of customer financing solutions

Bob Lovinger is the President and co-founder of Flexxbuy a leading provider of customer financing and alternative payment solutions. He has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years in the financial services and financing space.