International Business Credit Reporting Powerhouse Creditsafe Celebrates 18 …

by Shelton on September 28th, 2015

filed under Online Business Credit

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Sept. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Creditsafe the worlds most-used supplier of business credit reports is celebrating its 18-year anniversary this month, three years in the US

Aninfographic accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=36243

Since first opening its doors in Norway in 1997, the company quickly became the largest credit reporting bureau in Europe and is now the worlds most-used supplier of business credit reports. Its success is driven by its ability to deliver a high-quality, affordable alternative to large competitors, like Dun amp; Bradstreet, as well as unmatched international reporting capabilities an increasingly important benefit to companies doing business overseas.

Today, Creditsafe has 12 office locations around the world with over 1,200 employees and owns the largest international database of online credit information covering 140 million companies. Next year, it announced that it will be expanding into Asia, giving Creditsafe complete global coverage.

Were on a mission to change the way businesses use credit reports by making them affordable and accessible to all companies, not just the Fortune 500s, said Matthew Debbage, President of Creditsafes American and Asia-Pacific Operations. Our 28 percent year-over-year growth rate and ability to disrupt new markets are proof that were achieving that.

In 2012, Creditsafe opened its first US office, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., followed by a West Coast office in Phoenix, Ariz., last fall. To date, in the US alone, the company has delivered more than one million business credit reports to American businesses and added more than 6,000 subscription customers in the US, including Staples, Ryder, Nestle, Dell, Crayola and Energizer.

With more than 75 million reports delivered in just the past year, Creditsafe has earned its rank as the worlds most-used supplier of business credit reports.

About Creditsafe

Founded in Norway in 1997, Creditsafe, Inc. is the worlds most-used supplier of online business credit reports. Today, 85,000 companies, including more than 6,000 in the US, use its credit reports, ranging from small businesses to large, global concerns like Staples, Ryder and Nestle. Its US operations are headquartered in Allentown, Pa.

Media Contact:
Rachel Neppes
Buchanan Public Relations for Creditsafe
(610) 228-0525

Leasing firms coming under pressure to renegotiate agreement terms

by Shelton on December 11th, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit

The research by Creditsafe, a leading supplier of online business credit reports, found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of operators report customers attempting to amend the terms of their original contractual agreements in the last 12 months.

The main reasons for renegotiation were to amend the length of the lease agreement or extend the contract mileage.

Creditsafe also reported that leasing firms have increasingly becoming victims of late or defaulted payments in the last 12 months.Over three quarters (76%) of dedicated car leasing firms have witnessed an increase in payment issues with almost a third (32%) of companies losing money in this period as a result of clients entering insolvency or declaring bankruptcy.

Chris Robertson, UK managing director Creditsafe, said: While the car leasing market remains buoyant, firms are still incurring avoidable losses.Customers financial circumstances can change very quickly and it is important leasing firms track the ongoing viability of customers to meet their financial obligations on a regular basis. Asset recovery can be a time consuming and expensive process, so it is often better to contact customers identified as at risk proactively to address the situation.

Robertson continued: With many organisations struggling to justify the upfront capital outlay of vehicle fleet purchase and with access to financing still relatively tight, particularly in the small business sector, leasing offers an attractive alternative. As the economy picks up steam and demand rises further leasing operators will need to invest sufficient resource in credit risk management to try and drive down the unacceptably high levels of losses.

Kabbage Hits Purple Patch, IPO Could Someday Sprout

by Shelton on December 9th, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit

Online business-credit provider Kabbage Inc. said it has increased the pace of its cash funding to small businesses to over $1 million a day, according to Chief Executive and Founder Rob Frohwein.

The Atlanta-based startup, founded in 2008, last year provided $200 million in cash credit lines to small businesses, including Amazon, eBay and Etsy vendors, he said. Kabbage uses metrics including social media such as Yelp ratings and bank or PayPal account activity to determine how much and at what rate to offer financing.

Mr. Frohwein said that Kabbage will provide “hundreds of millions” in new credit lines this year, and has set a goal of $1 billion next year.

If met, that would put it in the ballpark of other fast-growing online financers including Lending Club, which makes personal loans, and rival business financer OnDeck Capital. OnDeck has provided $900 million since 2007, according to its website, while Lending Club has exceeded $3 billion since 2007, the company said.

The practice of using social media and other web metrics in lending is still new, and some consumer advocates say there are privacy and other concerns, the Journal has reported. (Read a discussion of some users experiences here, at website CreditKarma.com.)

Alternative financing for consumers and small businesses, which became more scarce after the financial crisis as banks and credit card providers dialed back, has been a theme in the IPO market recently.

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., which makes subprime auto loans and is moving into consumer loans, went public in January. Springleaf Holdings Inc., which has branches that make subprime personal loans, went public in October. Both have seen their shares rise. Lending Club has said it is preparing for an IPO this year.

Mr. Frohwein said an IPO was an option for Kabbage too, but not until at least 2015. “We’re not planning on filing for an IPO this year. Right now we’re focused on building ,” he said.

“I think it’s a situation where we’ve got to figure out what makes sense for the company. [An IPO is] a possibility, but it’s not something we’re planning on doing over the next 10 or 11 months,” he added. “We will definitely raise more money as it’s needed to expand. … There’s certainly an appetite in the market for companies who are looking to do this.”

Kabbage launched its automated online platform in 2011. It gets the money to fund the credit lines from equity investors and its own debt.

It has raised $56 million in equity capital so far, according to Mr. Frohwein. It was initially from angel investors, who included David Bonderman, co-founder of private-equity firm TPG, and Warren Stephens, chief executive of Little Rock, Ark.-based investment bank Stephens Inc.

Venture-capital firms BlueRun Ventures, an early backer of PayPal, and Mohr Davidow Ventures have also invested, and Chicago-based investment firm Victory Park Capital has lent Kabbage money.

Kabbage also secured an infusion from United Parcel Service Inc., with which it works to offer funding to non-online small businesses, said Mr. Frohwein. It also partners with small business software maker Intuit Inc., he said.

What Kabbage provides are not loans, they are “merchant cash advances. Kabbage is not an FDIC-insured bank, and it is regulated by state authorities. Mr. Frohwein said that Kabbage is exploring partnering with a bank to potentially provide traditional loans, which can be for larger amounts and can be re-sold to other investors.

The typical credit line is about $10,000 to $20,000, said Mr. Frohwein, often withdrawn in small chunks. Businesses pay more the longer the credit is outstanding, with rates ranging from 2% to 20%, he said.

Wells Fargo launches new online Business Credit Center for small business …

by Shelton on December 7th, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit

Wells Fargo launches new online Business Credit Center for small
business owners

Learn How to Collect From Slow Payers

by Shelton on December 5th, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit


SMALL-BUSINESS owners know it is cash flow or die. While the recession officially ended in June 2009, many companies are still reeling. Credit can be hard to come by, and profits have not completely bounced back. On top of that, many customers are taking longer than ever to pay their bills.

Enlarge This Image

Alan Zale for The New York Times

Diane Nicosia, a designer and project manager in New Rochelle, N.Y., says payment timetables can be flexible.

You’re the Boss

Soldier of Fortune: Collecting Receivables

Some tips for small businesses trying to collect money owed.

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Exhibit A is Cisco Systems, one of the largest technology companies in the world, which announced last year that it would wait a full 60 days to pay its small-business suppliers — mostly because it had found that that was what other big companies were doing.

So how does a small business get paid in a tough economy without hiring a collections agency or alienating its clients? Better yet, how does it avoid ending up with a stack of unpaid invoices in the first place?

Judging from the experiences of the small-business owners interviewed for this guide, it is part art and part science.

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE It used to be that credit reports were expensive and only for big companies with large budgets. Not anymore.

Ron Phelps, commercial credit manager at Boulevard Tire Center, a tire distributor with 26 locations in Florida, pays $99 a month for Pulse, a service offered through Cortera, , an online business credit reporting system, that keeps tabs on his clients. Last December, Cortera’s monitoring system noted that there was a large federal tax lien on one of Mr. Phelps’s clients, a small trucking company. He cut off the company’s credit line.

“That very same day,” he said, “we decided just to make them a cash customer, because we were concerned about their ability to pay.”

Cortera also offers a free service that collects and analyzes payment histories on more than 20 million businesses. Think of it as Yelp for business credit — instead of reviewing restaurants and stores, its community gives feedback on how promptly a company pays.

“We are helping small businesses tell the world that this person is a deadbeat,” said Alex Cote, vice president for marketing for Cortera. (There are other services, including Dun & Bradstreet, that will assess the financial strength of a company.)

SET YOUR TERMS (WITH A SMILE) Diane Nicosia manages and coordinates major construction and design projects through her company, D. E. Nicosia & Associates, which is based in New Rochelle, N.Y. “I’m in charge of the budget and have to make sure vendors, architects and engineers get paid,” Ms. Nicosia said. “What I’ve learned is that you have to negotiate these days.”

On a recent project involving 45,000 square feet of office space in a Midtown Manhattan office tower, a construction company said it would back out of the deal after it found that it would take 90 days to get paid by Ms. Nicosia’s client, a Fortune 100 financial services and manufacturing firm. Ms. Nicosia met with her client’s senior management and found that the payment timetable was not set in stone; there was room to broker a schedule that could keep the construction company from walking.

“Most people don’t think to challenge the payment schedule,” she said, “but we have to step up as small-business owners and say, ‘This is my living.’ ”

What Ms. Nicosia learned through this negotiation process, which she said was very amicable, was that there are often options: “All they have to do is push a little button that says pay in 10, 30 or 60 days, and that gets your invoice in a queue, so I got my vendor paid faster by working with the right people in the company.”

GET THE PAPERWORK RIGHT Is your invoice perfect? Did you fill out all the forms (even the ones you may not know about)? Companies do not need much of an excuse, if any, to delay your invoice. So make sure not one piece of information is missing.

Do you know whether the invoice needs a purchase order number? Not having this number can leave invoices lingering in accounts-payable purgatory, and it is unlikely that accounts payable will call to tell you.

Is your invoice formatted correctly? Some companies accept invoices only in the form of a PDF. If you are a new vendor, did you fill out a new vendor form? Many companies require these forms to process a first-time payment (but do not always make that known).

KNOW WHEN TO LOSE A CLIENT If customers do fall behind, when do you decide to cut them off? And what do you do if it is a customer you think you cannot afford to lose?

At Boulevard Tire, delinquent accounts are placed in one of two buckets — 30 days overdue and 60 days overdue.

“We look at those lists long and hard and ask ourselves,” Mr. Phelps said, “is this someone I want to immediately put on credit hold? Or is there something salvageable here? Are they a first-time offender?”

There are, he said, no hard and fast rules. “It’s all about the dynamics,” he said. “For example, if we have a customer who is in dire straits, and they appear to be making an effort to pay, we might continue working with them.”

Still, the economics may ultimately dictate the decision. As Mr. Phelps pointed out, if your company has a 10 percent profit margin and you lose $10,000 on an account, that is an additional $100,000 in revenue that your company has to find.

DON’T RELY ON THE POST OFFICE To avoid having someone in the accounting department tell you that “the check is in the mail,” push for direct deposit or electronic transfer. That way, you can get paid exactly on the 45th or 60th day. There are also services available from banks that will allow checks to be faxed and scanned, with the money deposited into your account the same day.

Consider accepting credit cards or PayPal. Yes, there is a fee, depending on which card or service you use, but the cash comes almost instantly.

“Some credit card companies pay their merchants on the following day,” said George A. Cloutier, founder of American Management Services, a financial turnaround firm. “And in a climate where cash is so tight, that’s often worth the fee.”

LET THEM KNOW IT’S IMPORTANT Rachel Lawrence oversees invoicing and bill collection at Bright Power, an energy efficiency company based in Manhattan. She was trying to collect from a property management firm that was 30 days late on a $25,000 invoice.

“They kept giving me this excuse that they had changed accounting systems, which I think can be a delay tactic,” she said. “It got to the point where I really had to make it clear that I wanted payment, so I offered to physically pick up the check.”

Ms. Lawrence gave the property management company dates and times she would be available to make the 30-minute trip to its office in Midtown Manhattan. The firm agreed to have the check ready. “When you say this is important enough to me that I will go out of my way,” she said, “I think people respond.”

OFFER A DISCOUNT Mr. Phelps said he does not like to reward clients for not paying, but that in certain cases extending a discount on the condition that the debt be paid immediately in cash or a cashier’s check can make the money appear.

“We’d rather have something than nothing and save ourselves the time and effort of going to court,” he said, “but we probably wouldn’t enter into a credit relationship with that company in the future.”

And do not be afraid to give a 10 percent discount, said Mr. Cloutier: “For 1 or 2 percent, it’s probably not worth it to the person who owes the money, particularly if they are short on cash.”

Wells Fargo Earnings Preview: Marginal Revenue Growth Expected

by Shelton on December 2nd, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit

Investors will be looking for Wells Fargo to add to its 11
consecutive quarters of profit growth, despite the uncertainty
surrounding the fiscal cliff that plagued the most recent
quarter.

Expectations

Analysts on average predict that Wells Fargo will report revenue
for the quarter that rose more than three percent year-over-year to
$21.29 billion. However, per-share earnings are expected to come to
$0.89, which would be about 18 percent higher than in the same
quarter of last year. That consensus earnings estimate is the same
as it was 60 days ago. But analysts have underestimated earnings
per share (
EPS

) in all but one of the past seven quarters. The third-quarter EPS
of $0.88 beat the consensus estimate by a penny.

Wells Fargo attributed the record third-quarter earnings to the
boom in its mortgage lending business, which it said would likely
last a few more quarters. But revenue came in below projections as
the net interest margins shrank. The share price rose marginally in
the week following the third-quarter report.

The analysts consensus full-year forecast calls for $3.34 per
share earnings on revenue of $85.68 billion. That would be up from
$2.82 per share and $80.95 billion in the previous year. That
consensus EPS estimate has slipped in the past 60 days from
$3.35.

The Company

Wells Fargo amp; Company is the second largest bank in the
United States in deposits and the largest money center bank by
market capitalization, which is nearly $184 billion. It has about
9,000 locations in 35 countries. This Samp;P 500 component was
founded in 1852 and is headquartered in San Francisco. John Stumpf
has been the chief executive since June 2007 and chairman since
January 2010.

Competitors include Bank of America (NYSE:
BAC

), Citigroup (NYSE:
C

) and JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:
JPM

). All three are scheduled to report their four-quarter results
next week. Analysts predict the latter two will post strong
results, while Bank of America is expected to report smaller EPS
and revenue relative to the previous year.

During the three months that ended in December, Wells Fargo
elected a new board member, launched a new online Business Credit
Center for small business owners, increased its share buyback
program and approved a record amount in SBA loans.

Performance

Wells Fargos long-term EPS growth forecast is about nine
percent, and the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is less than the
industry average. The operating margin is greater than the industry
average, and the return on equity is better than those of the
competitors mentioned above. The number of shares sold short
represents less than one percent of the float. The short interest
has been dwindling since October.

Of the 36 analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow the
stock, 21 recommend buying shares and only one recommends selling.
The analysts believe the stock has some room to run as their mean
price target represents about 10 percent potential upside. That
target price is a level the stock has not seen since 2008.

Shares have traded mostly between $32 and $36 since March.
However, the share price is more than 18 percent higher than a year
ago. It is about four percent above both the 50-day and 200-day
moving averages. Over the past six months, the stock has
underperformed the competitors mentioned previously, as well as the
Samp;P 500.

ACTION ITEMS

Bullish: Investors interested in exchange traded funds invested
in Wells Fargo might want to consider the following trades:

iShares Samp;P Global Financials (NYSE:
IXG

) is more than 29 percent higher than a year ago. iShares Dow Jones
US Financial Sector (NYSE:
IYF

) is almost 25 percent higher than a year ago. iShares Russell 1000
Value Index (NYSE:
IWD

) is about 15 percent higher than a year ago.

Bearish: Traders may prefer to consider these alternative
positions in the same industry:

Bank of America (NYSE:
BAC

) is up about 91 percent in the past year. Citigroup (NYSE:
C

) is up about 46 percent in the past year. JP Morgan (NYSE:
JPM

) is up almost 29 percent in the past year.

(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.

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Professional

Kabbage Hits Crimson Patch, GOING PUBLIC Could Someday Sprout

by Shelton on March 7th, 2014

filed under Online Business Credit

friction material

Online business-credit provider Kabbage Inc. said it has improved the speed of its cash funding to small businesses to over $1 million a day, according to Leader and Founder Rob Frohwein.

The Atlanta-based startup, started in 2008, last year offered $200 mil in cash credit lines in order to small businesses, including Amazon, auction web sites and Etsy vendors, this individual said. Kabbage uses metrics including social media marketing such as Yelp ratings plus bank or even PayPal account activity to find out how much including what rate to offer loans.

Mr. Frohwein said that Kabbage will provide “hundreds of millions” in fresh credit lines this coming year, and has arranged a goal associated with $1 billion next year.

If fulfilled, that would put it in the sports event of additional fast-growing on the internet financers which include Lending Club, which makes unsecured loans, and rival business financer OnDeck Funds. OnDeck has furnished $900 , 000, 000 since the year of 2007, according to the website, while Lending Golf club has exceeded $3 million since 3 years ago, the company mentioned.

The training of using social media marketing and other net metrics inside lending remains new, and several consumer recommends say there are privacy as well as other concerns, the particular Journal has reported. (Read a discussion associated with some consumers experiences here, at site CreditKarma. possuindo. )

Option financing with regard to consumers and small businesses, which became a lot more scarce following the financial crisis since banks plus credit card providers dialed back again, has been a style in the GOING PUBLIC market lately.

Santander Buyer USA Loge Inc., making subprime auto loans and is getting into consumer loan products, went public in Jan. Springleaf Coopération Inc., that has branches that make subprime personal loans, went public in March. Both have observed their shares rise. Financing Club says it is planning for an BÖRSEGANG (ÖSTERR.) this year.

Mr. Frohwein stated an BÖRSEGANG (ÖSTERR.) was an alternative for Kabbage too, but not until at least 2015. “We’re not planning on filing for an IPO this year. Right now we are going to focused on building, ” he said.

“I think from the situation wherever we’ve got to figure out what makes perception for the business. [An IPO is] possible, but it’s not something we are going to planning on performing over the following 10 or 11 a few months, ” he or she added. “We will definitely raise more money since it’s necessary to expand…. There is certainly a good appetite in the market for companies who will be looking to try this. ”

Kabbage launched its automated on-line platform in 2011. It provides the money to fund the lines of credit from equity investors as well as own financial debt.

It has elevated $56 mil in value capital up to now, according to Mister. Frohwein. That was initially from angel investors, who integrated David Bonderman, co-founder associated with private-equity firm TPG, plus Warren Stephens, chief executive regarding Little Stone, Ark. -based investment bank Stephens Incorporation.

Venture-capital companies BlueRun Projects, an early backer of PayPal, and Mohr Davidow Ventures have also invested, and Chicago-based investment organization Victory Playground Capital offers lent Kabbage money.

Kabbage also guaranteed an infusion from Usa Parcel Services Inc., with which it works to offer funding to non-online small businesses, said Mister. Frohwein. In addition, it partners together with small business software maker Intuit Inc., he or she said.

What Kabbage gives are not loan products, they are “merchant cash advances. Kabbage is not a great FDIC-insured bank, and it is governed by express authorities. Mister. Frohwein stated that Kabbage is exploring partnering with a financial institution to potentially provide conventional loans, which may be for bigger amounts and can be re-sold some other investors.

The typical credit line is about $10, 000 to $20, 000, mentioned Mr. Frohwein, often removed in little chunks. Companies pay more typically the longer the particular credit is usually outstanding, with rates ranging from 2% to 20%, he said.