STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 43
Studies from payment vendors have
shown that the average order size of
purchases increase when a financing
option is available, and customers tend
to come back for future large purchases
to stores that offer financing. A study
commissioned by PayPal found that
average order values can increase by
15 percent or more for businesses that
offer financing options.
Retailers embrace alternative forms of
financing at the point of sale not only
as a convenience to their customers
but also as an engine for sales. Meader
attributes an increase in online sales
at the Guitar Sanctuary, in volume of
sales and average number of online
purchases, to the financing option
available through Blispay.
"It's one more easy way to pay,"
Meader says. "It's all about making it
that much easier for our customers to do
business with us. It removes one more
hurdle for them."
Greg Lisiewski, founder and chief
executive officer of Blispay, calls
micro- to mid-market retailers like The
Guitar Sanctuary "underserved" in the
While POS retail financing is hardly
a new concept, Lisiewski says Blispay
builds in flexibility for merchants and
consumers unavailable in traditional
financing programs for big-ticket
purchases. The core product offers a
deferred, no-payment, no-interest account
on all purchases over $199 if paid in full
in six months on credit line amounts of
up to $10,000 with a 2 percent cash-back
The account is issued as a Visa credit
card; once users have the account, they
can make purchases virtually anywhere.
Lisiewski says traditional POS
financing, while a valuable tool for
retailers, has "tended to skew toward
Smaller merchants "need a solution that
is simple and easy to deploy," Lisiewski
says, who previously served in executive
roles with Bill Me Later and PayPal.
"They are very, very busy people. They
don't have a lot of resources or back
Meader says traditional POS
financial programs tend to be
labor-intensive for merchants and
time-consuming for customers,
particularly for online consumers.
"If you are going to do their traditional
financing, it is all predicated on the
customer being right with you in the store
and being able to do address and identity
verification and you have to do a long
contract process," Meader says.
Blispay offers on-the-spot, real-time,
instant financing: Applications take a few
minutes to complete and credit decisions
are made within 15 to 20 seconds.
"A lot of time it isn't a matter of our
customers needing financing to be able
to make the purchase, but more of a
smarter use of their money," Meader
says. "A lot of our customers are looking
to take advantage of deferred interest or
same-as-cash programs where they can
kind of spread out the use of their money
a little longer."
Lisiewski says Blispay is showing
traction in the financial marketplace
because it exists as a "messagingonly" platform - meaning there is
no incremental cost and or technical
integration for merchants to deploy
"We are driven by the customer's
own device over the Visa platform, so
there is no payment, checkout or device
integration or back-office settlement or
wiring of funds," he says. "We empower
our customers because they can take
that financing offer with them and use it
everywhere they shop."
Lisiewski says POS retail financing
has been a difficult market for
merchants because the landscape is
dominated by a few major players,
notably banking companies, who set
financial terms and procedures as a
means for "building balances instead of
helping retailers sell more products."
He's under no illusions that a product
like Blispay will replace bank-issued
payment cards as the major form of
purchasing, expecting it instead to
add to the mix of options for those
consumers who want it.
"Methods of value exchange, how
to pay for a good and service, have
evolved over time," Lisiewski says.
"One never goes away. It just becomes
less and less of a share of how things
Over time, the Blispay platform
became so compelling to The Guitar
Sanctuary's business that its link resides
on the company's homepage and every
page that features a product for sale.
Meader says the average order value for
Blispay buyers is double than what is
typical for the Guitar Sanctuary.
"We had been on the lookout for a
financing partner that could help with
our online customers," he says. "When I
read about Blispay, it seemed like one of
those companies where they're ready for
the next-generation consumer that ... has
grown up with the internet."
M.V. Greene is an independent writer and editor
based in Owings Mills, Md., who covers business,
technology and retail.
STORES September 2017 43