The Changing Face of Equipment Finance:
Many doctors smile as they recall the wonderful days of *** Bank, where obtaining an approval for finance was as easy as a phone call. You see, 10 years ago, finance and banking was different. Very different. The industry has changed, for many reasons, and will probably never be the same. The introduction of anti-money laundering controls, and other developments, has changed the experience for the client, being you.
As a result, “non-bank” financiers have entered the market. For example, First Health Finance, the leading patient finance business in South Africa. After being in the industry for a few years, the opportunity became clear.
Mark Dowson, Director of First Health Finance, says that in many cases, doctors were simply frustrated with the services being offered by the banks. “Many of our practices voiced their discontent with the banks, and asked if we would finance them” says Dowson. FHF has since been very active, financing equipment for hundreds of practitioners across various areas of medicine. Doctors are busy, and time is money, so waiting for a call centre to take your call is not acceptable anymore. A 2-week turn around for finance to be approved is also far from acceptable. Hence FHF are bringing back some “old school” personal service. In addition to providing a personal approach, they also offer innovative new financing products. Many doctors for example are selecting an “operating rental” option, instead of the traditional installment sale. Banks in general do not pro-actively offer these type of solutions whereas a non-bank finance house like FHF has the flexibility to design products which are more specifically tailored for the practitioner.