For nearly two decades, Cumberland County tech company Versatile Credit has been making it easier for businesses to offer in-store credit. Its latest device, called Snap Sign, makes it as easy as pointing a mobile phone at a plastic sign.
The signs are a secure, contactless alternative to in-store kiosks, tablets or paper applications that typically require shoppers to interact with sales people when applying for credit. Because the applications go through Snap Signs, lenders know applicants are on premises, reducing the risk of fraud.
“If you would rip the sign out of the store, it won’t work,” said Vicki Turjan, president and COO of Versatile Credit, based in Lower Allen Township. The company was founded in 1992 as a point-of-sale software technology firm and debuted its first self-service financing kiosk in 2005.
The Snap Signs should be ready to deploy by mid September, Turjan said. They cost $250 apiece and are being made by a Pittsburgh company called Namsco Plastics.
Customers interact with a QR code on the sign to fill out and submit a credit application on their phones. Consumers then review the credit offers, which are matched to their credit scores, and are free to accept or reject the terms.
Turjan said the small size of the signs could make them a good fit for stores with limited space, such as jewelry stores and service stations
Versatile Credit plans to partner with lenders to distribute the technology, Turjan said, noting that the company’s existing credit-application platforms approve about $5 billion in credit per year.
The company’s first partnership for Snap Sign is with Wells Fargo Retail Services, the consumer credit division of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank.
Wells Fargo will offer the technology to retailers that want customers to be able to apply for credit on their own, Steve Jermier, senior vice president of relationship management for Wells Fargo Retail Services, said in a statement. Wells Fargo would offer credit on the back end.
“Retailers that already offer in-store financing see value in a customer device-driven application, particularly for consumers who are simply more comfortable submitting their personal information on their own device, as well as those who are concerned with sharing devices, papers and pens amid the current environment,” Jermier said. “This process also appeals to retailers who don’t offer in-store financing, as it allows consumers to proactively apply on their own versus waiting for financing options to be presented to them.”
He declined to disclose whether there would be a cost to businesses to install the signs.
— By Joel Berg, editor of BizNewsPA