Accessing finance can be a smart way for small businesses to grow. Rather than waiting for the right moment in your cashflow cycle to buy additional supplies and equipment, you can seek out additional funding to buy the things you need without disrupting your liquidity.
Risk equals high interest rates
The problem is, it’s smaller businesses that often struggle to access traditional finance at competitive interest rates, so paying off debt quickly in large monthly repayments becomes a priority. Then if your finances change, due to a rent increase, for instance, you could find yourself back in the same cashflow trap you were in before.
The alternative – making minimum monthly repayments, which incur the maximum interest – is perhaps worse. Some entrepreneurs are so paralysed by the risk of compounding debt that they end up putting their expansion plans on hold rather than seeking finance.
SMEs need interest free
The challenges small businesses face in the traditional lending landscape are widely known, and while some progress has been made – with the Australian Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme and the New Zealand Government’s Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme – it doesn’t address what the sector really needs: access to flexible, interest-free finance options.
That’s the idea behind hummpro, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) solution that enables small businesses to access up to $30,000 in funds, so you can buy what you need to grow your business today without having to hesitate or worry about how it will impact your cashflow.
The biggest difference between hummpro and traditional finance options, such as a bank loan or credit card, is the range of repayment options that not only give you greater control over your finances, but also don’t accrue interest, so you’ll never get caught out by compounding debt.
How hummpro works
When you use hummpro, all your transactions each month are grouped into a single bucket – a monthly balance – which makes it easy to manage your cashflow. You get at least one full month before your balance is due, but you could actually get up to 60 days interest free if you make your purchases at the start of the month.
If you have the cash to ‘pay’ your monthly balance when it’s due, hummpro will simply deduct the amount owed from your connected card or bank account. But if you need more time, because a supplier has been slow to pay an invoice or you’ve had a seasonal dip in sales, you can ‘pause’ your balance to get another 30 days interest free. You can pause each monthly balance up to two times. And each time, you’ll only need to pay a fee of 3.5 per cent of the monthly balance.
If you need more time, or more manageable payments, you can switch your balance to a 6, 9 or 12-month repayment ‘plan’. The balance is split into equal monthly instalments, plus a monthly fee of 1.5 per cent* of your starting balance.
No matter what you do with your balance in any given month – pay, pause or plan – you get the same fresh terms at the start of the next month: access to up to 60 days of interest-free finance and flexible repayment terms.
It’s a new solution that stops businesses being forced to choose between low interest rates and positive cashflow – instead they can enjoy the best of both worlds and rather than accruing paralysing interest, pay only up-front fees when they choose to activate some repayment flex.
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The 1.5 per cent fee is fixed for the duration of the Plan and is based on the starting Plan balance. The fee is charged each month when the Plan instalment is due and is only payable if the Plan remains open. If the Plan is paid off early, the remaining Plan fees will not be charged. Six months – maximum total Plan fee is 9 per cent of the Plan balance. Nine months – maximum total Plan fee is 13.5 per cent of the Plan balance. 12 months – maximum total Plan fee is 18 per cent of the Plan balance.