Exclusive Interview With Bobbi Leach, CEO Of FuturePay, On The Future Of E-Commerce Financing Solutions And Alternative Payments OptionsOctober 13, 2015    By : Sofia
The LTP team recently had the pleasure of interviewing Bobbi Leach, the CEO of FuturePay, a payment option that enables consumers to shop online without a credit card. The main topic of our conversation was the future of e-commerce financing solutions and how providing alternative mobile and online payment options creates new streams of revenue and increases average cart size. Here’s an exclusive transcription of the interview with Bobbi:
LTP: Please tell us about the company and the services you offer. What is the experience and value you bring to your clients and their customers? Also, who are your biggest clients and how fast are you growing?
Bobbi Leach: FuturePay is a viable alternative to credit card financing that allows customers to buy now and pay later. FuturePay takes care of the tab and gives customers the flexibility to pay back on their own accord without high interest rates. Retailers can rest assured that their sale will be taken care of by FuturePay, and they won’t lose customers who might otherwise avoid a high-ticket purchase while shopping online. Consumers are increasingly going credit card-free as more and more people shop and buy on mobile devices. We bridge that gap between online retailers with limited financing options and consumers who want the convenience of buying on their terms without a credit card. As far as growth is concerned, FuturePay has more than doubled in size this past year with hundreds of retailers adding our payment option to their online store.
LTP: How would you describe the current situation with e-commerce financing? What are the industry trends, the latest innovations in this field? What is the future of e-commerce financing?
BL: I think you’ll start to see retailers moving away from the “Insert Credit Card Information Here” model. It’s cumbersome and becoming increasingly outdated in a mobilized world. Shoppers will abandon purchases in the cart because of the time it takes to complete the process and the hassle of using a card while on-the-go. One-click purchasing allows retailers to capture more sales and increases customer satisfaction. FuturePay provides a way for mobile and online retailers to compete with older, larger brick-and-mortar stores that traditionally have flexible financing options. Plus, with the growth in new buying behavior like shopping via social networks (social commerce) and using e-wallets, FuturePay is a natural payment option to be offered alongside credit cards.
LTP: What are the main challenges with existing e-commerce financing solutions and how is it different from other types of financing solutions?
BL: One of the main challenges is that financing options are inherently necessary for large-ticket items, and the typical way shoppers finance is either by using a credit card or applying for in-store financing. Credit cards, especially, can come with extremely high interest rates. And many online-only retailers don’t have the ability to provide their own financing solutions, or at least aren’t able to at this point. FuturePay only charges a flat fee of $5 per month per $500 on a customer’s tab. It removes a lot of the stress of financing, which is especially important with the holidays right around the corner.
LTP: Where does FuturePay stand in terms of implementing the latest innovations available in the alternative payments market?
BL: FuturePay brings innovation across our entire product offering. From a retailer perspective, we’ve made it easy to offer enterprise-grade financing to smaller online retailers. For shoppers, we’ve made the process of accessing new, affordable funds to buy something online or from a mobile device virtually instant. We’re constantly looking at ways to not only improve our business offerings but also improve how online financing can be offered to shoppers.
LTP: Why do you think alternative payment options are emerging at a faster pace now and how do they affect the revenue stream for merchants?
BL: They are emerging because of the growing popularity of mobile shopping. It’s fast and convenient but does not lend itself to the traditional debit/credit card payment method – especially in public spaces. FuturePay makes it safe and secure to make a mobile purchase in public, where everything is done in a couple of clicks on your phone without having to get out your purse or wallet. Consumers are increasingly mobile and are a “moving target,” so to speak. Being able to capture sales whenever and wherever consumers want to shop is a key component to our success. Furthermore, as a retailer, you run the risk of losing a customer whose only other option may be a high interest rate credit card. It’s no secret that many Americans are suffering through a lot of credit card debt, so many are foregoing large-ticket purchases, unable to pay the hefty fees associated with credit. This opens up new opportunities for retailers to reach audiences that otherwise wouldn’t shop with them.
LTP: What alternative payment options are the most popular in the market and what is the future of alternative payments?
BL: The fastest growing alternative payment methods for e-commerce are those that do not involve the use of a credit card, or instant financing. The driving force behind this is the desire to reduce cart abandonment because, as an online retailer, you’re giving the customer choices. Simply adding a third payment option can increase cart conversions by 28 percent.
LTP: What were some of your recent important partnerships and changes that happened with the company? What are the key next steps or important milestones for FuturePay?
BL: We are currently partnered with nearly 500 retailers nationwide and are available on more than 10 e-commerce platforms, like Magento, 3dcart and OpenCart. Recently, we partnered with Woo Commerce and also launched our apps for Android and iOS. Our partnership pipeline is focused on continuing to help our retailers provide payment options no matter where and when their customers want to shop. We also have some exciting new partnerships that will be announced in Q1 of 2016, so keep your ears open.
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