This article was produced in partnership with Attvest Finance.
The world of premium funding is set for a speedy evolution this year off the back of new technology and an ambitious strategy at Attvest Finance.
In response to broker demand, Attvest has launched a streamlined debt collection (ATTassist), enhanced instant payment options (Attpay) and an innovative business turnover lending facility (BiiGGA).
The services dovetail with its core premium funding business and promise both heightened convenience and a revenue boost for brokers.
“We know where the world is moving with technology, that there will definitely be a shift in the way we offer premium funding over the next five years,” said Attvest managing director Johan Steyn.
“These products combine broker and customer expectations around ease and convenience with the very latest in technology advances.”
Streamlined debt collection
Attvest has long been aware that chasing late payments is a problem for many brokers. Worse still, although it is an unpopular job, it requires the attention of experienced staff to be handled effectively.
“Most brokerages do not have adequate resources allocated to successfully collect these funds and the task often falls on those who aren’t properly equipped to do so,” he said.
“This isn’t optimal from a business outcomes perspective.”
The first of the new services essentially outsources debt collection to Attvest. Dubbed ATTassist, the product saves brokers time and resources by handing over the onerous task to experts who do it well.
“As funders, we’re specialists in collecting funds from outstanding accounts,” said Steyn.
“Our staff are professionally trained to collect outstanding funds in accordance with the latest regulations, making use of the latest technology and in the best manner possible for the client.”
Importantly, outsourcing debt collection to a third party means that any awkwardness in the broker-client relationship can be minimised.
ATTassist also provides clients multiple convenient repayment options and encourages more monthly payments.
“Clients who pay on a monthly basis have a higher retention level with brokers than those who pay annually because large yearly payments prompt people to shop around at the renewal period,” explained Steyn.
“We convert more clients into monthly payments because we explain to them what the benefits are for their working capital and cashflow constraints,” said Steyn.
Brokers’ responses to the pilot programme have been overwhelmingly successful, with those who Attvest has made the service available to responding they wanted it “yesterday”.
Attvest aims to roll out ATTassist to at least 50% of clients over the next 12 months, with the remainder to follow over the next year.
Enhanced instant payment options
The second new service, called ATTpay, takes advantage of the latest technological advances around making payments easier for clients. ATTpay allows clients to execute full payment directly from their PDF invoice, automating several steps that have the potential to cause issues.
“Now, they can pay by initiating payment from the invoice - they don’t need to go and create the beneficiary in the bank and then make payments using a reference,” said Steyn.
This streamlines the customer experience and saves money because most payment options currently available via brokers involve some kind of transaction cost.
Both ATTassist and ATTpay are available to brokers for free. Steyn anticipates these services will increase the level of funding which will benefit brokers by increasing funding commission.
Innovative business turnover lending
While ATTassist and ATTpay were developed in response to requests from customers and brokers, Attvest’s third new offering responds to inquiries for other innovative funding offerings.
The result is an unsecured merchant cash advance product known as BiiGGA, available directly to SMEs from Attvest. Repayments are directly linked to business turnover and reduce accordingly if the business experiences a bad patch.
“It hasn’t got a fixed payment, it’s variable to your turnover,” said Steyn, noting the feature has had a good reception in the pilot rolled out mid-May.
Demand is looking especially strong from the retail sector.
Attvest expects all three innovations to increasingly supplement its main premium funding product in the years ahead and has taken on new IT staff, marketing and call centre functionality to support the popular new products.
“We are proud to be in a position to innovate for our trusted, growing base of brokers who partner with us around premium funding. We believe this pursuit of innovation will help increase our market presence on an ongoing basis.”
Attvest Finance managing director Johan Steyn is an industry leader who has honed his business acumen at well-known blue-chip accounting firms and leading finance companies including Deloitte & Touché Tohmatsu (South Africa) and Centrepoint Alliance Premium Funding (Australia).
Attvest Finance is currently the fourth largest insurance funder in Australia with over $850 million of funding this year. It works with over 500 brokers and authorised representatives nationally and has assisted their clients to improve their working capital and cash flow constraints since its founding in 2014. Attvest’s primary focus is premium funding and in 2022 it launched the ATTassist debt collection service, ATTpay payments solution and the BiiGGA merchant cash advance product.