Panasonic Business Systems Australia (PBSA) has announced a new partnership with financial services organisation, CIT Group Australia, which will enable Panasonic’s resellers to offer financing solutions to customers buying Panasonic products.
PBSA sells IT products such as imaging solutions (copiers), ruggedised portable computers, telephone systems and point of sales systems. The new partnership enables the vendor to provide Australian customers of these products a range of financing solutions.
The solution, dubbed Panasonic Business Financing, is essentially a rental agreement on the purchase of Panasonic products for a period of two to five years. At the end of the leasing agreement, the customer can opt to upgrade the IT equipment and renew the operating lease.
This type of arrangement is popular with small and medium businesses that require IT equipment but wish to avoid large capital outlay and also gain from the tax benefits associated with leasing.
Strategic marketing manager for PBSA, Greg Sampson, said that large vendors such as HP, IBM and Dell offered financing for customers – either through their own resources or using third parties.
For example, Dell also used CIT Group Australia for its financing solutions.
“We decided to use a third party to make sure our people and their people are all involved in what they do best,” Sampson said. “We chose our partner based on their strength in this market and their reputation.”
The financing solution has additional benefits for Panasonic resellers, Sampson said.
As part of Panasonic Business Finance, dealers had the option of using what is referred to as Direction to Pay .
This meant that at the time finance is approved for a customer, the dealer can direct Panasonic Business Finance to pay PBSA. This amount can be anything up to and including the full approved amount.
At the time of settlement, PBSA treats the sale to the dealer as a cash sale and immediately applies Panasonic’s early settlement discount to the transaction. This saves the dealer an additional two per cent on the sale and leaves no impact on the dealer’s credit limit with Panasonic.
“Panasonic offers dealers a two per cent discount on an early settlement of any invoice,” Sampson said. “The new finance solution can help dealers free up their credit limit and protect their credit rating.”
He said PBSA’s dealers could get sales staff educated and certified on the finance solutions during training sessions in March.
“A number of our dealers are very keen on [the finance solutions],” he said. “For Panasonic it completes the solutions offer we have been looking to provide. It gives our business partners the easiest possible route of dealing with Panasonic.”