Well versed in providing vendor financial services internationally, GE Commercial Finance has launched a series of third-party packages for distributors and resellers in the A/NZ market.
Although some manufacturers, including traditional IT vendors IBM, HP or Canon, might provide financing with their own products, they did not cater for all goods held by distributors, GE Commercial Finance managing director of vendor finance, Sandra Philpott, said.
In addition, delivering a range of financing options for end customers was not a core competency of distributors, systems integrators or resellers, she said.
With GE's new offering, both groups could offer financing options as an additional service with their product sales, Philpott said.
"These plans will appeal to VARs especially who are looking to provide additional services to their customers," she said. "They shouldn't have to feel proficient in selling finance. The key for us is to partner with them and use our specialist skills to provide these services."
GE's new IT&T product portfolio, eXpress Finance, is based on three financing options: rental, higher purchase and financial lease.
Interest rates would vary, depending on the type of finance facility the customer took, or the length of the contract (up to 60 months), Philpott said.
The financier would also provide sales and marketing support, as well as assist with end of term rental funding on reselling products after a lease agreement has expired, she said.
To help resellers draft financing for their end customers, GE had created an online financing tool which would be given to partners free of charge, Philpott said. This would allow them to do on the spot quotes for customers and apply for finance.
GE's push into the local IT&T industry was its latest step in launching its vendor financial services globally, she said. The company already had one million customers signed up to its technology vendor financing platforms worldwide.
The idea behind the latest initiative was to extend its financing packages right through the IT chain: from the manufacturer to the reseller.
"We already partner with the manufacturers of equipment," Philpott said. "For example, Sun has a global partner program with us, as well as most of the other large IT vendors.
"We are willing to take higher levels of risk when borrowing against equipment than the banks because we are more comfortable lending against products and equipment due to our manufacturing ties," she said.
In order to be eligible for the end-user finance packages, resellers must undergo GE's accreditation process, and provide details on product information, credit reports and trading history, she said.
There was also a minimum $2000 finance amount for all customers, she said. The company now has 45 resellers accredited in A/NZ.