Bank Factoring Company Offers Flexibility

What is Bank Factoring?

Factoring is a transaction between a business and a third-party (the factor) which provides quick cash flow in exchange for accounts receivable and/or other assets. A business can use its invoices (accounts receivable) as leverage or sell off accounts receivable to the factor to obtain cash. Depending on the arrangement, the cash is either discounted or reduced by fees charged by the factor. A bank factoring company uses the same steps as a traditional factoring company, but requires the factor to be a regulated bank. There are many nuances and differences across traditional factoring companies, bank factoring companies and independent financing companies. Each factoring company has its own way of defining the types of factoring available.

With altLINE we break out our accounts receivable-based products into three structures:

  1. The first is asset based lending which is a loan secured by business assets. The collateral is either the inventory, accounts receivable or balance sheet assets. Since asset lending is similar to a revolving line of credit, the business can borrow from assets on a continual basis to cover expenses as needed.
  2. In accounts receivable financing, a business sells the value of its invoices to a third-party factor (ie. independent factoring company or a factoring bank) at a discount. The third-party processes the invoices and the business receives funds based on the expected money due from their client (the debtor). This structure operates similarly to a line of line of credit.
  3. Invoice factoring is the third method, in which a business sells invoices to the third-party (the factor). The factor gives the business a percentage of the total value of invoices and collects invoice payments from the business’ client. After the client pays the invoice, the factor pays the business the remainder of the money collected and keeps back a transaction fee.

As a bank factoring company, altLINE offers various accounts receivable financing structures to fit the varying needs of a business.

Benefits of Factoring

Factoring is not a loan thereby no liability is reflected on the balance sheet. It establishes steady cash flow and eliminates the 30, 60, 90-day waiting period for the accounts receivable of a business. The factoring company manages invoices and implements credit reviews of the clients for the business. The factor advances funds against invoices and collects money owed by the business clients. Time management is optimized and the business can direct its energy towards sales, market expansion, and other endeavors.

Why factor?

1. Funds are advanced to the business before clients pay the invoice for goods received.
2. Factors provide credit control – the collection of funds is managed by the factoring entity.
3. Factoring provides capital while the business has open invoices.
4. Factoring is not a loan since the invoices/accounts are purchased by the factoring entity. They do not show on the books as a liability so this reduces balance sheet debt.
5. Businesses which experience seasonal fluctuations in their business have periods of insolvency; factoring is a means of acquiring cash flow based on money owed by clients.
6. Quick access to funds with invoice factoring – funds available within 48 hours after an invoice is generated.
7. Relief from debt collection.
8. No debt to repay.

Factoring Companies –Many Choices

Since there are limited barriers to entry anyone can start a factoring company. As you would expect, some factoring companies are better than others. Take the time to research and get comfortable with your factoring partner. The two types of factoring companies compared here are independent factoring companies and bank factoring companies (also known as a factoring bank).

Independent factoring company

Independent factoring companies work with businesses who need to accelerate cash flow and may have been turned down by a bank. A business with creditworthy customers may be eligible to factor even if it can’t qualify for a loan. In factoring, the factoring company is concerned with the creditworthiness of the client versus the business.

Bank factoring company

A bank factoring company provides the same flexibility and benefits as an independent factoring company, but also offers additional advantages.

A bank factoring company works with many businesses who are considered outside of the traditional credit box. Many of these businesses have been told “no” by a bank for a commercial loan, but they are still very strong candidates for working with a bank owned factoring company. Businesses that work with a bank owned factoring company may also have an easier time transitioning to a commercial loan at a later date.

Banks are more secure and provide a sense of financial stability for the business. A business’s clients are very valuable relationships and a bank owned factoring company offers a level of comfort not found in independent financing companies. Clients feel better about interacting with a bank than an unfamiliar or unknown business entity.

In addition, since the bank has its own funds a bank owned factoring company can offer the business very competitive rates. Unlike many independent factoring companies who work with multiple funding sources, a bank owned factoring company acts as a direct source of funds and eliminates the middleman.

Factoring is a common solution to cash flow and is best used during growth periods or when the account receivables are large. The business benefits since the time between delivery of goods and funds realized is short. The business is relieved of the burden of chasing debt and can focus on other pertinent issues.

Contact us today to see how factoring with a bank can help your business grow.

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Accounts Receivable Financing Buyer’s Guide

If you are like most small business owners, securing financing often involves emotions ranging from uncertainty to frustration as you navigate the alternatives. In addition to your daily job responsibilities, the demands of evaluating borrowing options can be stressful and overwhelming. This straightforward buyer’s guide serves as a starting point to help you with the decision making process around choosing an accounts receivable financing partner.

What is Accounts Receivable Financing?

A/R financing allows a business to receive cash in advance of the payments due from its customers on open invoices. Rather than waiting 30, 60 or 90 days to be paid, the business can present open A/R to its financing partner and receive money within hours. By utilizing Accounts Receivable financing, businesses can accelerate their cash flow helping them make payroll, purchase new inventory, take on new contracts, and generally grow more sustainably.

Accounts Receivable financing is a term that is often used interchangeably with invoice discounting, factoring, and even asset based lending in some instances. With each lender using different terminology and different practices, selecting an A/R financing provider can be confusing. This guide will help you ask the right questions and select the best A/R financing solution for your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of lenders take a look at Exploring Your Options for Business Financing.

12 Questions to Ask an A/R Financing Partner

  1. How is my credit line established?

    Desired Answer: In A/R financing, your credit limit should be based on the credit strength of your customer and your business’s projected revenue.
    Red Flags: Traditional underwriting criteria like operating history, profitability, ratios, etc. don’t allow your business to benefit from the flexibility of A/R financing.

  2. Where do you get your funds?

    Desired Answer: The financier has a direct source of funds and lends those funds to you (banks or established financiers lending their funds to you).
    Red Flags: The financier borrows money making them a middleman. Whether they’re borrowing from a bank or private investors these costs are passed on to you. Even worse, the availability of these funds is not guaranteed.

  3. How quickly is my funding available?

    Desired Answer: A best in class A/R financing provider will ensure funds are in your account 12 – 24 hours after you’ve financed your receivables.
    Red Flags: Two to three days. If you’re funding with an independent financing company as opposed to a bank, these funds can take longer to clear. Don’t forget, any wire fees will be passed on to you, so ask about ACH fund transmission.

  4. How quickly are payments from my customers applied to my balance?

    Desired Answer: Immediately upon receipt.
    Red Flags: Any clearance days cost you time and money. Again, funding with a bank or with a provider that has a close relationship with a bank reduces holding periods and interest.

  5. What are all the fees associated with your financing?

    Desired Answer: Interest and/or discount fees only. The more straightforward the pricing structure, the more predictable the financing costs and cash flows.
    Red Flags: Any additional transaction fees, ACH fees, lockbox fees, service fees should be red flags. Origination fees and termination fees can sometimes be negotiated.

  6. What’s the term on your typical contract?

    Desired Answer: One year or less. If the financier requires a two-year commitment, keep looking.
    Red Flags: Two years or more. Flexibility is the name of the game. Don’t lock yourself in needlessly.

  7. How long has the financing company been in business?

    Desired Answer: While the length of time a financing company has been in business is not always a barometer for quality, it’s important to find a financier that has a proven and stable operating history.
    Red Flags: Start Ups. There are few barriers to entry for accounts receivable financing providers which unfortunately means a number of under-qualified partners. You don’t want your financing partner to go out of business and put you out of business in the process.

  8. What are your funding or lending limits?

    Desired Answer: Whether it’s one hundred thousand dollars or one hundred million dollars, all financing companies have a limit. If your company grows past that limit, there is likely a contingency plan, but at this point you simply want the financing company to be open and honest with you.
    Red Flags: “We don’t have a limit. We can do it all.” This is simply untrue. Everyone has a limit and you should push on sales people that try and state otherwise

  9. What are your funding limits for each company’s customer?

    Desired Answer: Similar to the answer above, you want your funding provider to outline how credit limits are established for your business’s clients.
    Red Flags: Ambiguity. Are they unclear? Is there no process in place? If so, ask to speak with their underwriter or the person making credit decisions.

  10. How will you interact with my customers?

    Desired Answer: In A/R financing relationships, there is interaction between the financier and the company’s customer at some level. Clarity, justification, and confidence in a funding provider’s process is crucial.
    Red Flags: Heavy handed responses and unclear responses are equally troublesome. If the financier is avoiding the question or claims there is no interaction, watch out. Similarly, good financiers understand it’s a partnership and not an adversarial relationship.

  11. Is any part of your operations outsourced to third parties?

    Desired Answer: No. Everything from sales, to credit, to accounts receivable management is in house.
    Red Flags: Yes. Some funding providers, may utilize lending “platforms” that are really a third party servicer (i.e. BusinessManager). Ideally, most companies prefer to work with full-service shops rather than those that may outsource crucial practices and processes.

  12. What reporting will I have access to?

    Desired Answer: Direct access to your account statements and open invoices via an online platform is a must.
    Red Flags: Reports are provided on demand and as needed. This leaves the financing party in a position of power and more often than not leaves customers in the dark.


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