Retail customers will be able to complete a finance application and get immediate approval in real time from an in-store kiosk or Web site link under a new initiative from Perth-based rental finance company RentSmart.
RentSmart is claiming to be the first company in Australia to offer "instant finance" and "real-time rental approval" to customers of IT retailers.
According to RentSmart's managing director, Ned Montarello, SmartCity revolves around a "finance approvals engine" which can be linked to retailers' Web sites. He said the SmartCity Web-based e-finance services centre will front-end RentSmart's new, fully automated finance and approvals system which enables retailers to process customer finance applications on the spot.
"SmartCity will be the culmination of 12 months work to re-engineer our business and move our service entirely online," Montarello said. "It can be used by retailers who use the Internet in-store or to generate finance applications online as buyers take their shopping carts through the payment process on a retailer's e-commerce site."
Montarello said that SmartCity's ability to capture and track customer buying cycles for accredited retailers means it can add significant value for them in the finance process.
"Because we can monitor the contracts of RentSmart customers we can share customer information with the retailer which initiated the sale to help them generate repeat business when it comes time for them to upgrade or add new equipment.
"This means we will be driving customers back into our retailers' stores which is a significant tangible benefit we can deliver to the channel", Montarello said.
It is office equipment sales into small and medium enterprises which Mon- tarello expects to get the biggest boost from this initiative. He said 80 per cent of RentSmart's business to date has been with small-to-medium enterprises with up to 30 staff as they get tax-flexible payment benefits from rental finance.
RentSmart used e-commerce solutions providers Sage IT Partners to develop the exclusive service which will assist retailers with in-store online solutions.
"Essentially, what we are creating is an environment where retailers will be able to put through finance applications completely free of any paperwork," Montarello said. "I think that is every retailer's dream."
RentSmart's SmartCity program is available to all of the company's accredited retailers, both large and small, while others who are interested can contact the company for details.
RentSmart (08) 9388 7400