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Embedded Financing:
A Game-Changing Opportunity for Ag Retailers and Farmers

Whether you realize it, fintech (aka financial technology) is likely a big part of your life already. Think back for a second, to your Covid-19 life. In those socially distanced days, fintech was the unsung hero of your Friday night! You deposited your paycheck using your bank’s mobile app. You ordered your favorite board game for game night from an online retailer. You entered the ingredients for dinner with the local supermarket’s app and picked them up at the curb.

Embedded financing, a form of fintech, is now revolutionizing the lending industry. For years, getting a loan required heading to your local bank to visit with a loan officer while pouring over the details of your financial life. Today, customers can apply for loans with a few taps on their smartphone, tablet or computer. What once took hours and stacks of documentation is now fast, secure and easy using AI, technology and a just few quick minutes. It’s simple!

Just like so many emerging technology sectors, fintech can be an ambiguous concept due to the sheer breadth of tools, platforms and services that fall under its growing umbrella. If you’re still asking yourself, “Exactly what is embedded financing?” here’s a breakdown.

What is Embedded Financing?

Whatever you call it – fintech, embedded financing, digital lending, online payments – it’s a smooth and straightforward way for people to purchase goods and services using credit or a loan. The heart of this financial innovation is being able to offer your own lending solution directly to your customers. A product that, as an ag retailer serving a farming community that you care about, you have pride and ownership over.

Embedded finance can mean financial products offered by a non-bank and has been around for decades. Airlines, supermarkets and retailers have long offered private-label credit cards. Car dealerships offer car loans to customers.

The current surge of embedded financial technology has evolved in just the past decade, and we’re just starting to see its potential sweeping retailers across sectors. It’s a result of the digital innovations and changes in customer behavior that let financial products be offered through a retailer’s online interface.

You’ve likely already experienced embedded finance as part of your favorite retailer’s customer experience.

Here’s one example: Have you bought a mattress online yet? Popular online mattress sellers offer the option to pay in installments over time with a click of a button in the standard checkout process. This makes mattress purchases – big enough to damage a monthly budget but not enough to take a home equity loan – much less painful for the average consumer.

The future of embedded finance is growing really fast! According to Forbes, embedded finance will leap from $22.5 billion in 2020 to $230 billion in revenues by 2025. That’s a tenfold increase! This will only grow as digital farming overall is expected to boom, with incredible developments expected over the next several years as a result of internet-based ag innovation, based on Crop Life magazine reports.

This future is coming to all sectors of the economy, and retailers that depend on banks will quickly lose market share to retailers that start using embedded finance technology today.

WHY SHOULD AG RETAILERS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS CARE ABOUT EMBEDDED FINANCE?

Ag retailers have long been providing financing to farmers so they can purchase the supplies they need – like seed, fertilizer, fuel, etc. – to plant crops in the Spring, with the line of credit coming due after harvest in the Fall. These credit programs not only make sure farmers can afford the growing season’s expenses but also mean the ag retailer makes sales that would otherwise be lost to competition or not made at all.

Until now, most ag retailers have had to work with a small handful of banks and financial providers to provide this line of credit to their farmers with a one-size-fits-all approach. Now, the time’s ripe for this to change for the benefit of both ag retailers and the farmers they serve. Ag retailers need to prioritize delivering flexible financing offerings relevant to their customer, that can increase sales and wallet share, and deliver a much better understanding of their customer, including their operations and buying habits, through access to better data.

There’s good news for ag retailers who want to stay on top of their competition by adding embedded finance into their retail experience in the form of an all-digital input financing program. Ag retailers don’t need to create and invest in these financial technologies themselves. Instead, they can partner with Growers Edge, who provides the turnkey platform that lets them easily and quickly start offering their customers a custom- branded input financing program on their website or within their ERP system.

THE GROWERS EDGE SOLUTION

At Growers Edge, we offer ag retailers an incredibly powerful opportunity – to have your own retailer-branded digital financing program and to easily take advantage of all of the benefits. Your new lending program with Growers Edge makes your farmer’s purchasing captive, meaning the funds can only be used at your business – unlike other providers’ lines of credit that can be spent with your competitor. This means you keep sales opportunities and valuable data in-house, opening a whole new world of possibilities.

Growers Edge manages all of the technological and financial details of building this platform, so you
don’t have to. We customize your platform to your needs and deliver it as a ready-to-use platform you can immediately benefit from. And did we mention it’s fast? Gone are the days of waiting months or years to build something from scratch; our platform only takes a few days for our team to customize and integrate this technology with your current customer interface.

The Growers Edge technology platform consists of a digital application, management and payment platform for your farmers. Internally, your finance team has access to a custom credit decision tool, account management and digital payments. The platform can be a stand-alone site, or you can have it as part of your internal ERP. This will let you directly provide customers access to the capital they need to plant, grow and harvest next season.

By owning your own customized digital input financing program, you reap all of the benefits of embedded finance:

  • Fast-track your revenue goals with a tailored program: Capture every possible sale when you show your customers the right offer at the right time and place. Enable upgrades, bundling and add-ons.
  • Keep your customers coming back: Offering the convenience of an input loan with flexible payments gives your business an edge, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Your business made smarter: It’s not a secret that buying now and paying later is good for business. Growers Edge isn’t your regular buy now, pay later solution—it’s smarter. We help you acquire, monetize and retain customers.

We know farmers don’t always adopt innovations quickly. However, the trust that your organization has built over decades with the customers you serve is the magic ingredient. Which farmer wouldn’t want a more efficient, higher quality and affordable financing solution delivered from the ag retailer that they already have a trusted relationship with? Plus, since this technology is incorporated into your current website or ERP platform seamlessly, customers will take advantage of it as simply as clicking through your website or grower portal.

Once your new platform is set up, be sure to share with farmers that you now offer your own input financing program designed just for their needs! Don’t worry, Growers Edge will provide you with all of the features, training and tools to make your new financing product successful. We even help with your marketing efforts with resources like web landing pages, sales materials and more!

Schedule a demo today to learn more about the Growers Edge Input Financing Platform!

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All industries can benefit from financial technology and innovation. Our mission is to share these advantages with agriculture retailers in a way that benefits them, farmers, and as a result, the world.

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