A Conversation with Keith Nealon, Chief Executive Officer of Vyze
We recently spoke with Keith Nealon, CEO of Vyze. In this Q&A format we discuss the priorities and strategic approach for Vyze in consumer-financing, third-party platforms, and the evolution of commerce.
Vyze is a leading cloud-based financial technology company for retailers and manufacturers. By combining technology, a comprehensive lending supply, and support under one roof, Vyze is able to provide businesses simpler, more satisfying financing experiences for their customers, wherever and whenever they shop. Vyze works with retailers to make financing solutions available to every customer across the credit spectrum.
As the CEO of Vyze, Keith Nealon leverages 20 years experience in building strong teams at high-growth SaaS companies including Eloqua, Adaptive Insights and ShoreTel. Keith holds a degree in Computer Science from Trinity College in Dublin.
1. Can you provide a brief overview of Vyze in terms of your core service offering and value proposition? What makes Vyze different?
We partner with retailers and lenders interested in actively engaging consumers and increasing revenue from financed purchases at the point of sale. We do so by not only providing state-of-the-art technology at the POS terminal and online, but also ensuring that businesses have access to the lending capacity to meet the needs of a broad range of customer across all demographics, no matter where they fall on the credit spectrum.
Historically, many customers have been dissatisfied with the overall shopping experience because they were unable to get approved for financing. We recognized that there was a disconnect between what consumers were looking for and what retailers could provide them with a single-lender solution. So, we set out to solve the problem by improving the shopping experience for consumers, by enabling retailers to satisfy more customers and giving lenders access to new customers.
The Vyze platform includes a matching process that helps retailers connect with the broadest network of lenders in the industry that match the unique business needs and consumer profiles for each retailer or brand. This combination results in a larger market of consumers who are eligible for financing.
As a technology company, we have looked at the experience from every angle – streamlining the entire journey from application, to purchase, to settlement. This experience-first approach ensures that checkout is seamless for customers, comfortable for store associates, and non-disruptive to retail operations. We go beyond checkout too. After the initial integration, our platform manages changes to lender technology or terms without the need for manual intervention on the part of the retailer. This functionality empowers us to optimize lending supply for retailers over time based on their changing needs.
2. What are your current priorities especially in light of your successful funding round and views of the market opportunity?
The opportunity in the retail consumer financing industry is vast and undergoing significant change, which means constantly being innovative to service the customer in real-time wherever they shop. We are creating truly omni-channel solutions that deliver seamless and top-notch customer experiences across all touch points. We’ve recently released an enterprise grade ecommerce solution for manufacturers and expect to continue to evolve this offering. As we continue to add to our platform’s lending supply, being on the lookout for innovative lending partners that make sense for our retail customers remains a top priority.
3. How should national scale retailers (and other prospective customer segments) think of the Vyze solution? Specifically, does the platform support more than second-look financing?
Retailers at the national scale should think of Vyze as an all-in-one consumer-financing platform. We are comprehensive in that we provide retailers with the technology needed to integrate into their existing systems across any touch point, from point of sale to ecommerce, while supplying them with a network of lenders from every level of the credit spectrum. In this, we recognize that every customer is different, so focusing on second-look financing only leaves other groups of consumers without a solution. For this reason we have focused our efforts on making our lending platform cover the full spectrum. Through this we can supply a primary, secondary, and tertiary lender to every retailer based on their customer needs. Having a solution for more customers means increased buyer and employee confidence, a growth in sales for retailers and a significant increase in customer loyalty.
4. With “commerce” changing in every conceivable way, where does Vyze fit?
Working with every party across the financing journey puts us at the frontline of understanding the pain points that are unique to retailers, manufacturers, consumers and lenders. Being aware of these issues drives us to stay ahead of the curve. The way consumers shop is evolving rapidly, so retailers and manufacturers need solutions that meet the needs of consumers today and in the future. Consumers appreciate consistent and easy experiences across every channel, as well as payment options that fit their lifestyle and circumstances.
At Vyze, the experience of our clients and their customers matters above everything. We do this by connecting retailers, manufacturers, lenders and consumers to ensure that no matter the channel of commerce, every party has a consistent and positive experience.
5. What value do third party platforms bring retailers and their sales process?
Lending and technology have been viewed as completely separate entities. As a third party lending platform, Vyze combines both lending and technology and works to relieve retailers of the work of lender integration and roll out by exponentially shortening the current integration process. Third party platforms like Vyze have the ability to take the pressure off of the retailers to have to develop and manage financing solutions on their own. This helps to save time and money for retailers so they can focus their resources in other areas that drive sales and build loyalty.
In addition, the lending landscape continuously changes due to economic conditions, lender underwriting rules, market changes and mergers and acquisition. Working with a third party platform like Vyze ensures that retailers have fast access to additional lending sources and resources even when the markets tighten their cash flow. Focusing on stability and protection is one of the reasons many mega retailers are looking to platforms to drive sustainable and long-term growth.
6. What role does consumer-financing play in creating a better customer experience?
Retailers strive to provide smooth shopping experiences that are both enjoyable and stress free for shoppers. Many will go the extra mile to adopt new technology like express checkout, or deliver unique promotions to ensure that their customers are happy and remain loyal. However, when it comes to applying for credit, for many customers the experience can be less than ideal. The application process can be time-consuming and onerous, and many consumers are declined. This alone can negatively impact consumers’ perceptions of the entire shopping experience. By providing a solution that connects customers to the financing option that works best for them, we improve the customer experience. With all of our lenders integrated on one platform and accessible through just a single application, the financing experience is better for virtually every customer. Retailers work hard to ensure a positive shopping experience, and we work to ensure that the financing process- from application, approval, acceptance to purchase – is a positive as well.
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