For many retailers in the U.S., the government’s PPP loans were a critical source of funding during a challenging quarter.
For individual sellers, however, these loans may have been difficult or even impossible to access, leaving a large demographic in a financially precarious position. A new partnership between eBay and FinTech platform LendingPoint will address this need, providing eBay sellers access to up to $25,000.
The pandemic’s impact on retail supply chains continues to have repercussions throughout the industry, as both brands and merchants struggle with cash flow and inventory issues. Smaller businesses and minority-owned businesses have been particularly affected, with many unable to access sufficient capital and without the financial safety net to weather the storm without assistance. Even those who received PPP loans may now have used up the majority, if not all, of the funding.
Through this new partnership, eBay has established eBay Seller Capital powered by LendingPoint. The program will create access to installment loans for its sellers, beginning with a select group as part of a pilot program. Eligible sellers will be able to receive up to $25,000, accessible within one business day and available with flexible terms of up to 48 months. There will be no fees for loan origination or early payback.
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“LendingPoint’s purpose is to accelerate and democratize commerce,” said Tom Burnside, CEO and co-founder of LendingPoint. “We are thrilled to be able to use the data and technology we have built into our platform to help eBay sellers achieve their dreams; eBay sellers are some of the world’s most dynamic ecommerce players.”
Through the funding, sellers will be able to help mitigate cash flow issues and invest in their digital consumer experience – a critical area of focus for retailers of all kinds right now. A recent study by McKinsey estimated that the e-commerce market experienced 10 years’ worth of growth in three months this year, which has left many sellers playing catch-up. With the right investments, merchants may be able to establish themselves for long-term success; these loans provide a useful opportunity to achieve this.
“We’re committed to empowering entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality, and we are continuing to partner with our sellers to provide them with the tools they need to thrive,” said Alyssa Cutright, VP of Global Payments at eBay. “The program with LendingPoint will enable critical funding opportunities for eBay sellers, especially during this time of economic uncertainty.”
The program is expected to be rolled out to all eligible U.S. sellers by the end of the year; the eBay Seller Hub, which is free to use, is also available only to U.S. sellers, although there are plans to expand into international markets. As the deadline to apply for the PPP loan expired on June 30, this could prove an important source of funding for merchants still in need of financial support.