#164 – The Bank Said No? Helium 10’s Alta Offers Amazon Sellers a New Financial Solution
Updated on: October 6, 2020
If you’re an Amazon seller, you probably have a story or two about how (a lack of) money has gotten in the way of your success in e-commerce.
Maybe it’s losing ranking position because you’ve run out of inventory. Or, you’ve wanted to scale up, but you don’t have that considerable chunk of funds necessary to help you make the jump.
The problem is that most banks don’t really understand selling on Amazon.
What could you do with a dedicated line of credit that was provided by an institution that already had a strong understanding of e-commerce?
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Ambassador, Bradley Sutton welcomes Tim Jordan and Ricardo Pero to talk about Alta, a new financial product available to Amazon sellers.
It’s not just about capital to scale your business. It’s a one stop financial services program that allows for daily payouts, centralized business payments, and clever ways to simplify foreign currency and your tax payments.
In episode 164 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Tim and Ricardo discuss:
- 04:00 – “You Need to Think Bigger”
- 06:00 – A Career First, Entrepreneurship Later
- 08:00 – A Lending Solution for Marketplace Sellers
- 09:50 – Bridging the Gap Between Financial Technology and E-Commerce
- 12:30 – Chief Growth Officer – It’s a Thing
- 14:00 – OK, Let’s Talk About Sellers Funding and Alta
- 17:00 – Borrowing Flexibility
- 19:45 – The Human Touch Cannot Be Replaced by a Machine
- 21:30 – Cash Flow and Opportunity Costs
- 23:00 – How Alta’s Digital Wallet Helps Sellers
- 26:00 – Alta is Rapidly Expanding Outward
- 28:00 – The Benefits of Using Supplier Pay
- 31:30 – Functional Flexibility, Simplicity and Saving Money
- 35:30 – Saving Six Figures Without Changing a Thing
- 38:00 – A Unified Way to Deal with VAT and GST
- 39:00 – How to Find Out More About Alta
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: How would you like to have up to a million dollar credit line to purchase products? Maybe your Amazon sales deposited to your account daily instead of bi-weekly, or the ability to save tens of thousands of dollars on products due to paying your supplier in their own currency. You can do that and more with the new Alta by Helium 10 tools that we’re going to talk about today. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.
Bradley Sutton: Welcome to another episode of this Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS-free unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And we’ve got a couple of people who have brought something to our audience that is definitely helping serious sellers out there. We’ve got our good buddy, Tim Jordan here, and Ricardo Pero.
Bradley Sutton: Ricardo, you’re from Brazil originally?
Ricardo Pero: Yes I am.
Bradley Sutton: Now, Ricardo, we’re going to get into a little bit of your backstory, actually, Tim Jordan, everybody knows Tim and how he was raised by wolves in the forest. But we all know Tim’s backstory, but Ricardo, we want to know a little bit about you. You are now the CEO of Sellers Funding, right?
Ricardo Pero: That’s correct.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So 10 years old, did you imagine yourself? Hey, when I grow up, I want to be the CEO of Sellers Funding or what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ricardo Pero: Probably I started dreaming to become a vet because I loved it. My grandfather had a huge farm in Brazil. So that’s kind of where my dreams were back then.
Bradley Sutton: What part of Brazil did you grow up in?
Ricardo Pero: From the South of Brazil? A city called Porto Alegre it’s probably the Salton state in Brazil.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, excellent. I’m like, you know, I think some of us here in the States, what we think about when we think of Brazilian food is just a Brazilian steakhouses. Is that pretty much like how you ate every day? Would waiters come by your dinner table and bring you different meats and ask you what you wanted.
Ricardo Pero: Yeah. You think about all this Brazilian steakhouses? I believe that you guys know Fogo de Chão. Yeah so Fogo de Chão actually started in my hometown. It’s kind of a long story there, but yeah, we are right there in between São Paulo and Argentina that’s– you can have an idea where I am from, we are famous for the barbecue that we do there. Like Texas here.
Bradley Sutton: Tim, has Ricardo ever taken you to a Brazilian barbecue place?
Tim Jordan: Right now? What I’m thinking is the next corporate retreat needs to be in his hometown so we can eat. And the last time I was with Ricardo, he promised me a steak dinner, and then he completely backed out for no good reason. (laughing)
Bradley Sutton: Let’s get back to your story, Ricardo. After graduating from high school, did you go to university in Brazil to become a vet or did you already deviate from that childhood dream?
Ricardo Pero: I remember my grandpa telling me, you know the farm is not your place in the world. You need to think bigger. And it was probably the best advice that I ever had. And I graduated in economics there, during that time, like my first year in college, I lost my dad so I had to change things and I moved my classes to the night shift and I started working full time when I was 23 years old. I became international treasurer of a multinational company in Brazil that had operations here in North America and also in Latin America. And soon after, I was hired and moved to the US. I moved to the US in 1999 actually. And I’ve been here since then.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, so pretty much what you’re doing now and what you’ve been doing the last 10, 20 years is what you went to university for. It’s rare in this world today. Almost all of my guests, especially since most of them become Amazon sellers and there’s no bachelor’s degree for Amazon selling. Some study to be doctors and some study to be this and they kind of ended up doing something completely different with their life, but it’s refreshing sometimes to see that, “Hey, university actually did work out for somebody.”
Ricardo Pero: Yeah Bradley, but you should think about, I built most of my career in like big corporations. I saw my dad being a business owner and an entrepreneur for most part of his life. And when things changed at home, I didn’t have the luck or the luxury to be an entrepreneur. I needed that income. I built my career first working for a big corporation. Then I moved to the banking side and then 2016, I decided, “Okay, if there is a time for me to try to do something else, this is the time.”
Bradley Sutton: Now, how did you meet Tim? Or Tim, why don’t you tell me. How did you meet Ricardo?
Tim Jordan: Yeah, and I will say that back to the entrepreneurial versus corporate thing, remember even that large businesses started out as small businesses. You know, so like at Sellers Funding we’re hiring constantly, we’re becoming more and more capable, like a big business would be, but it really started off with Ricardo and his buddy Fabio and a couple other people kind of bringing this thing from scratch. The trajectory is maybe a little bit faster than a typical product, Amazon selling business, but it did start the same way. Ricardo, I don’t even remember how I met you. I know that in the past couple years I’ve been getting more and more involved with service-based companies that help sellers and trying to learn about them and understand how these businesses can create opportunities for sellers.
Tim Jordan: Because when I started off as a seller, there was so much I didn’t know. And I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And, you know, I didn’t know what tools and resources were available, let alone what was good or what wasn’t so I’ve really been keeping an eye out for the companies that are making a big impact. And when I started selling more and I needed to start leveraging capital, I was taking Amazon loans, And when I saw this concept that Sellers Funding had created pop up, which was a lending solution for Amazon sellers, essentially not just Amazon sellers, marketplace sellers, whether it’s Magento or Shopify or eBay or Walmart or whatever. I thought it was really interesting and really unique because I could tell that Sellers Funding was looking at the world with the eyes of an entrepreneur and a marketplace or an e-commerce seller, knowing that, you know, me as a typical e-commerce seller, couldn’t walk into a big bank and get a line of credit. Like they didn’t, they didn’t understand what I did. They didn’t want to talk to me. They didn’t see the potential. Maybe they didn’t like the risk, whatever. And Sellers Funding was unique because their entire business model was based on the needs of this e-commerce seller that a traditional bank wouldn’t like, and one of the first conversations I had with Ricardo, where did we meet in Vegas at an event or something?
Ricardo Pero: Prosper, right?
Tim Jordan: Yeah, it’s probably prosper. And about a year ago. And I remember, you know, just asking these questions, that’s what I do. I dive in and ask all these personal questions, like, you know, “How do you survive as a lending company when it’s super high risk?” And he laughed and he was like, “High risk?” He’s like, “Our default rate is..” I don’t want to give the exact numbers because I’ll probably get it wrong. But it was like a quarter of most of these similar companies like cabbage and these quote unquote high risk. And that’s when I realized, wow, when you have a company like Sellers Funding that is really looking at the correct metrics of a business. It doesn’t necessarily have to be high risk, which was encouraging to me because it meant, you know, even though a bank would consider us high risk as eCommerce sellers, we’re not. Like we’re legitimate businesses, we know what we’re doing. I just kind of stayed in touch more and more with Sellers Funding and the growth that they were going through and the solutions. And then, you know, I started doing some consulting with them basically trying to bridge the gap between what they have as a global financial technology (FinTech) company, you know, and the capabilities that they have with, what do we specifically need to e-commerce sellers. And our relationship just kept growing and growing and growing. And I was in somewhere in California with Fabio, one of the other co-founders he’s the CTO and we’re sitting at a bar like three in the afternoon just talking and he kind of brought up the idea of, “Hey, what would it look like if you guys like if we started working together on a more formal basis?” And fast forward a little bit to the birth of Alta was also about a year ago, I was sitting with Manny Coats when we were shooting project X, I was there in the office in Irvine, and Manny and I were brainstorming like we’ve done in the past.
Tim Jordan: And you know, what can Helium 10 do that not only kind of pushes the envelope in the industry, but that actually really helps sellers. And that’s what the conversation turned into, which was financial solutions. It was things like, you know, How do we pay our suppliers? How do we borrow money? And that was the conversation that I was able to take back to Ricardo and say, “Dude, I think we’ve got something here”. And we kept it completely under lock and key. We had a code name for this whole project. Bradley you didn’t even get to be privy to the conversations till later on. It was like super top secret. The objective was, you know, to drop this Alta project, which I’m sure we’ll talk about in a second, but that’s kind of the birth of my relationship with Sellers Funding was, you know, understanding some much needed help that eCommerce sellers needed and seeing how Sellers Funding was going to be able to do that and in trying to help tie this all together.
Bradley Sutton: And now what’s your current position in Sellers Funding?
Tim Jordan: I’m going to tell a story about myself when Ricardo first hired me on my role was CMO, chief marketing officer. And that lasted about a month before Ricardo fired me. He called me one day and I could tell like, he’d been like worried about this probably all weekend. And he had this look on his face. He’s like, “Tim, this just isn’t going to work”. And I’m like, “What the crap does this mean?” And basically what he told me in the conversation was, “You know Tim, your strength is not sitting down and looking at like the analytics of marketing”, which is not. Now, am I a great salesman? Yes, I can be. Do I understand, you know, very specific aspects of marketing? Yes. But where my real strength is tying in, like in, in kind of collaborating and bringing together all the aspects of marketing with sales, with product development, with revenue growth. And he said, you know, you’re going to have a different position here. We don’t even know what it’s going to be yet, but it’s not chief marketing officer because you need to be doing things outside of marketing, such as helping put together this Alta project.
Tim Jordan: And we researched it for like a week and we found this title. That is a– it’s a position that is becoming more and more popular in corporate America. And it really defines it and the position is called Chief Growth Officer, which when me and Ricardo looked at the definition of that, I was like, “Holy crap, that’s me to a T.” It’s kind of acting as like the integrator between all of these roles and handling strategic partnerships. And so that’s me, I’m the chief growth officer, which is literally a position that was created for me after Ricardo fired me as a CMO.
Bradley Sutton: There’s so many hipster titles nowadays. Chief Growth Officer. You heard about my new title, Tim?
Tim Jordan: Chief Evangelist, right?
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. I don’t know like chief growth. I mean, like, I think the first time I told my dad, you know, that I got this new title, he was literally started laughing out loud. But hey, we’re chiefs of something, at least here
Bradley Sutton: Anyways, let’s talk about Alta, which is powered by Sellers Funding, of course. And that’s why we’re all here today. A lot of people already know about what Alta is, but the cool thing is that it’s not just for Amazon sellers, but especially Amazon sellers, in my opinion obviously can get the most benefit out of it. And it’s not just one thing. There’s about five, six, seven different things in here. Let’s just take some of these one by one and I think the biggest one that people immediately think of when they think of Sellers Funding or they think of Alta is the credit line. Let’s talk about Tim, how is it different than the Amazon lending? Because a lot of Amazon sellers are familiar sometimes they’ll get hit up by Amazon. “Hey, we want to give you a $20,000. Just click here to see if you qualify” And then you get locked in, but how is it different? I know there are some things that are similar, but there’s some pretty important things that make it that differentiate it.
Tim Jordan: Yeah and first let me go back and say that even that is changing, you know, Amazon had been offering lending for a couple years and they shut it down on the COVID and there’s some rumors that some people are getting offers, but the big thing is they’re now partnering with the traditional bank, Goldman Sachs, right. And we’ve all seen the headlines of that. And we don’t know when that’s actually going to happen. It took like two years to work. The deal they’ve announced it, it may be another year before that lending becomes available. But one of the big things to know is that Goldman Sachs is still the traditional bank. It’s going to be, you know, I believe– and then Ricardo can actually talk more about, you know, what the Goldman Sachs deal will look like since he comes, you know, more from that banking world. But I don’t think that Goldman Sachs is going to be able to offer the flexibility that eCommerce sellers need. And some of that flexibility are things like being qualified based on non-traditional metrics. For instance, with Sellers Funding, we can offer lending to sellers that have been selling for six months, just six months. You know, most of your big banks they’re required two years of tax returns and, you know, you got to like sign over your DNA and you know, like it’s crazy, but with Alta and the Credit Limit, what we’re able to do is offer, you know, basically marketplace sellers should just have six months of history, and then you can also stack up marketplace sales. So we’ve talked to people, some are even leaders in the industry who, you know, attach an Amazon store to Alta. We check it out, they’re qualified for a $50,000 credit limit, you know, instantly.
Tim Jordan: Then we get on the phone and talk with them, we also find out what they’re selling in another country. They’re maybe selling on Shopify or also Walmart, and we can stack that stuff together. And now, you know, instantly be able to offer 200,000 or 250,000. We already have sellers that have come through, you know, the Alta system and gotten on-boarded and qualified for a million, right? This is not something that is out there in the industry. And when other people like cabbage and the Amazon lending shutdown, and even some of the other, you know, financial service providers in the space that used to offer lending, aren’t offered lending. You know, that makes us super, super unique. And going back to like the Amazon lending, the first time I got an Amazon loan, I remember it was $253,000, and I had to take it on disbursement. So I took it, I think it was a 12-month loan. I took it, but I didn’t need the money immediately. You know, I might’ve needed 20,000 to make a down payment on this order. And a month later I needed some more. And then the final balance, 30 days later of my first order. So with the Credit Limit, you know, when Ricardo and I, and the rest of the leadership team kind of sat down and determined how this is going to play out. That’s one thing that we knew we had to have was this flexibility of you take what you need, and you only paying on interest in what you’ve taken. So if you qualify for a hundred thousand dollars and you only need $10,000 to make a down payment for a production run, you just take $10,000. And that begins a new loan that you can choose the terms of when you do a withdrawal from your credit limit, you can choose a six, nine or 12 month repayment time. Right? And we have the capability in there to do interest only for up to three months. So if I’m ramping up to Q4 and I’m trying to spend, you know, take every dollar I have, and every dollar I get my hands on to buy inventory for Q4, if I place an order, it’s going to take 30 days for that order to be produced. Then another 30 to 40 days to be shipped, then maybe another 20 days to be checked in. And then once it starts selling then it’s going to be at least two weeks before I get paid. Well, it might be a little bit tough on my cash flow to be making those capital payments. What Ricardo did is he pulled some strings, he bent some of the rules of normal. They said, we’re going to do these interest only payments for up to three months that sellers can select to literally create the perfect lending solution for private label e-commerce sellers.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. I mean, and I can speak from personal experience. You know, I went– I was one of the first ones to test that with Alta the credit line. It was super easy process. And I think it was like, I got approved for $35,000 on one of my seller central accounts that I use for case studies. Now Ricardo, what kind of– I don’t need to know the exact formula here, but what are the factors that go into determining how much a Shopify or an Amazon seller can qualify for the credit line?
Ricardo Pero: Yeah, the model nowadays is based completely on KPIs and metrics that we take from the marketplace. So we take a look at past sales performance margins from the marketplace or from each marketplace. We take a look, you know, even reviews, and the ratio between positive and negative reviews, how we be performing. We consider also your account health with Amazon and how efficient you are in terms of energy, or even for itself, there are so many factors that are taken into consideration. And pretty much that credit limit that we said is based on our forecast of how you’re going to perform or how the salary will perform in the next three, six, 12 months. I honestly believe that technology will always help us to make smarter and faster decisions, but the human aspect of getting to know and creating that relationship is it cannot be replaced by a machine.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah absolutely. And I just want to also bring out the point that what Tim was talking about is how you get to choose how much you want to take out. That is to me was one of the biggest difference is because the one time I did an Amazon lending for one, I didn’t need, I forgot what it was 20,000, 40,000, whatever. I only needed a certain amount, but then I’m paying interest and everything on the full amount from day one and that kind of sucked. Let’s switch gears a little bit. It’s still technically, a similar idea, but the daily payments or the marketplace– using the marketplace payout in order to get the daily payment, Tim, before this, when you were hot and heavy on Amazon selling, did you ever use any of those services where you could get like a, kind of like a, a daily withdrawal or did you always have to wait for those the two weeks that Amazon makes you wait?
Tim Jordan: I never used it and I’ll be honest at first I was opposed to it. And it’s because I didn’t know about it. I didn’t know about the opportunity that was. And I listened to some people that I shouldn’t have that were bad mouthing it. There were some other companies in the space that were doing daily payouts and you know, there were charging an arm and a leg for it. And I knew people that are using it. And at first I thought, Hey, this is like a desperation move. This is a get rich quick, you know, payday loan type scenario. But now that I’ve been educated more on like responsible cashflow and also opportunity costs, I know that there are a lot of sellers that benefit by having their money every day, because they can take that money, buy new inventory reinvest. And even with a small fee that Alta charges to facilitate that daily payout, the opportunity is greater by having that money earlier.
Bradley Sutton: I tested it out. And it was, it’s pretty, pretty interesting because, you know, especially those who are arbitrage sellers, wholesale sellers, maybe manufacturing USA. I mean, this is just like humongous because you guys, you know, turn over your inventory so fast and to have to wait two weeks is a pain in the neck, you know, to be able to have access to your money, you know, on a daily basis is just really big. And then even if you’re doing the traditional way of sourcing from China, you know, you’ve got expenses, you’ve got overhead that you have to worry about. And to only be able to have access to your money every two weeks can be a pain for some. This is definitely a help. And the fee is not much at all. I think Ricardo, what’s the fee range of what is charged for this?
Ricardo Pero: It can be as low as .5% to 2%.
Bradley Sutton: Now part that powers this is what’s I believe called the Marketplace Payout. So correct me if I’m wrong, Tim, but, but the way this works, basically, it’s almost like a virtual bank account number that you are using. And then you give Amazon this bank account number. And so instead of having your disbursements or your withdrawals from Amazon, go to your bank account, it’s actually going to your Alta Digital Wallet. Is — that’s kind of like in layman’s terms how it works?
Tim Jordan: Yeah. So you’re talking about two things. One is this platform and the other one is a specific tool or function. And the platform is the Alta Digital Wallet, which is in my opinion, one of the most innovative things that has come out for e-commerce sellers, you know, especially when it comes to FinTech or financial technology, I know you called me out the other day and assumed I made up that word FinTech,
Bradley Sutton: But I still think you did, but go ahead.
Tim Jordan: Think about e-commerce, you know, e-commerce is shrinking the globe. You know, you can sell anything to anybody from anywhere with a cell phone in your pocket. When you look at the growth of, you know, commerce through eCommerce, one thing has been lagging behind is the financial sector. You know, how does finance keep up? And the answer is this FinTech concept. Essentially what the Digital Wallet is you know, it’s heavily government regulated. We have to go through all anti-money laundering laws, and you know, this isn’t some, you know, super insecure dangerous thing. You know, this is the real deal, but essentially what it is, is a system that we onboard you on. We have to verify you’re a real person. And that, you know, there’s no fraudulent activity or anything like that. But once we set you up with a Digital Wallet, you can open up a currency account and right now, I think Ricardo it’s 37 different currencies. What this means is you don’t have to go to Hong Kong to open up a bank account. And I’ve told a story, you know, before about literally having to fly to Hong Kong, to an HSBC account, to try to open up an account, to deal with Hong Kong dollars.
Tim Jordan: You don’t have to do that. You get onboarded basically through your laptop and work with us on whatever documents we need. And now you can open up account in 37 different currencies. And then the other aspect that works with this Marketplace Payment is we have to connect you through your Alta, you know, your Alta platform, to a marketplace. Just like any other service company would do. It’s usually done through the MWS token. There’s other ways that we do it for different marketplaces, like Shopify, Magento, or Walmart, but we start communicating. So the Alta platform communicates with your Amazon account and sees how much money you’re basically being banked, “every day”. And then, Alta basically front you that money into your Digital Wallet account. It can be sent to your actual business bank account. And then when Amazon makes that disbursement, we know what that amount is going to be. And we basically reimburse ourselves after that.
Bradley Sutton: When will this, the digital wallet be available? Like obviously it’s available for a US-based account, but is it coming where like, if I want to open up an Amazon UK or Amazon Germany seller central account, now I can use a digital wallet based in UK or Germany, et cetera, is that in the works?
Tim Jordan: You’re talking about two different things. The Digital Wallet is open for anybody right now, but being able to accept the marketplace payouts from the specific marketplace is different. I don’t even– probably by the time this podcast drops, we’ll have more capabilities, but coming extremely soon is Canada, all of Europe and Australia. Anybody selling in those marketplaces and then we’re having serious discussions right now and already started the process to open up some other marketplaces too. I would, this is just me talking and Ricardo might slap me later saying this, but like personally, I think that marketplaces like Singapore and UAE are going to be pretty important, but it also depends on the demand. You know, those of you that are listening, that are Alta users let us know what marketplaces you’re selling and that you need. You know, you need to be able to accept payments from and what marketplaces you’re most excited about expanding to, because we want to customize and tailor our growth with your future growth.
Bradley Sutton: Sweet. All right. Good to know. What about going back? You know, I know we talked about it already, but the Credit Line? Are there any limitations there as far as who can apply? I mean, obviously you have to be, I would assume you have to be selling in the US but if it’s somebody who lives in Australia selling to the US would they be able to apply for their Credit Line?
Tim Jordan: Yeah. We have people in Australia right now that are borrowing from us. And it’s not just sales in the US. I know Ricardo you’re probably more up to date on the list, but you can be selling in multiple places and combining multiple places, like I said before, we’ve offered credit limits to people, and then we find out later, “They’re also selling in Canada. They’re also selling in UK. They’re almost also selling on Walmart”. And we can stack that all up.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s switch gears again. I mean, it seems like I bet people are listening to like “What? There’s more, there’s more what in the world”. We haven’t talked yet about Supplier Pay. And I, this is another thing that I’ve been using myself where I set up, you know, one of the case study where we’re getting the egg trays from. Tim, where we’re getting the Project X egg trays from, I set them up there in Supplier Pay and real quick, I was already getting my, my daily disbursements, you know, with the marketplace payouts and daily payments right there into my Alta Digital Wallet. And so I just set up the supplier as a payee and boom right there for my digital wallet. I was able to send them money. Now, somebody might be just, you know, listening to this and say, “Well, there’s nothing special about that. You know, like I got a bank account, I know how to do a wire transfer”. I’m trying to do the Tim’s accent right there. “I know how to do a wire transfer”. Like what’s the benefit of using supplier pay as opposed to whatever they’re using right now,
Tim Jordan: I could go an hour and talk about different scenarios, and I’ll start off by saying this, if any of you are listening and want to get started in this, and you set up your digital wallet, we can have a conversation with you. If you have anything custom you want to set up and we’ll figure out some of the pain points you have in your business, we don’t mind doing that. But the very short answer to the most common, you know, the most prolific listener of this podcast is probably someone in the US selling in the US and you know, I’ve had people tell me, well, there’s no advantage to setting up a digital wallet and making payments. So let me tell you some of the big ones, One is communication transparency, right? The first I’ve told the story before the first payment I ever made to China was a six figure payment. And, you know, I sent the payment on a Monday while I was in China. I needed it to land by Friday morning, and I didn’t sleep that whole week. I just laid there and sweated. What if the money goes missing? I can’t see what’s going on. One thing about the supplier payment that we do is you can actually keep track of the progress of that payment. You can see when it’s been made. Like you’ve done that Bradley, you’ve mentioned you log into your account and you can check the progress, a traditional bank wire transfer you can’t really do that. You wait and you hope. And if the supplier says it didn’t show up, then you have to wait another two weeks. And then you open up a trace, which costs you. I don’t know, 80 bucks, and you have to wait four weeks for them to actually track that thing down. So it’s real time. It’s much faster. You don’t have to go into the and give a DNA sample and a thumb print and, you know, print it off invoices. You know, you can essentially do it from your laptop. But the other cool thing that we can do is we can facilitate internal currency conversions. And we’ve talked about like on the Elite webinar, where I’m showing people how to save, you know, three to four to 5% on your invoices by negotiating paying those in a local currency. So instead of sending USD to a supplier in China, that lands in USD, and then having the convert later, which most people don’t realize happens. We can send USD and convert it during the transaction into RMB and save them a lot of money.
Tim Jordan: Another scenario, what if I live in the UK? I’m sorry, what if I’m selling in the UK? What if I live in operate in the US and my suppliers in India? Well, the traditional process is my marketplace payouts from the UK would be transferred to me in the US into US dollars. So I’m already having a conversion fee there. Then I take that money and I wire transfer it to my Indian supplier. Well, with the Digital Wallet and Supplier Pay, you don’t have to do it anymore. You can leave your GBP, your British pounds parked in your UK GBP Digital Wallet Currency account. And you can send that directly to India, right? As opposed to making transactions that bounce these things around, you have to, you know, multiple currency conversions. It’s simple, if you want to make a payment from your USD account to a supplier in China, that’s USD, it’s still typically cheaper than a bank because the bank is going to charge $35, you know, to you $35 to your supplier. And, you know, we’ve had multiple people that are signing up right now that have telling me, “Hey, my bank used to charge me $45”. And even just a USD to USD transaction is cheaper. The short answer of why our Supplier Pay is good is we have more functionality, we have more flexibility with not having to convert when you don’t need to, you know, through multiple countries, it’s simple it’s from your laptop and we have the transparency where you can track it, and it’s typically saving people a lot of money.
Bradley Sutton: Alright, now talk about that just really briefly. We’re running out of time here, but the saving money part, you know, that that will perk anybody’s ears up. What about that scenario? Give us a scenario of, like, let’s say somebody is paying a supplier, a million dollars a year, you know, over 12 months, you know, they’re sending them a hundred, a hundred thousand dollars a month for their products, and they might give a discount, right. Because if you can pay them in like a Chinese RMB, as opposed to dollars, they might give a discount. What in your experience Tim has that discount been? Or could it be? And then extrapolate that to say how much somebody could save just on one supplier who they’re paying a million dollars a year or two.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. And I was showing some screenshots in our Elite webinar of actual conversations, you know, with the suppliers in China that are telling us how much they mark up their invoices to receive in USD. And it’s because they have to mark that up because they have to convert from their USD funds into RMB funds. So they can pay their employees and pay their suppliers and pay their light bills. And typically that’s anywhere from 4-7%. Our fees for currency conversion start at 1% and based on volume and other relationship, parameters, we have, we can get lower than that, but if it starts at 1% and we can get our suppliers and negotiate with them and say, “Hey, what if I send you RMB instead of USD so you can eliminate that 5% markup”. A lot of times these suppliers say, “Sure, send it to me in RMB”. So we’re paying 1% instead of five, six, 7%, or a lot of times we’re paying, you know, 0.8% as opposed to five, six, 7% that money can stack up earlier fast. But the real gem about Alta is that we can basically roll those savings into multiple transactions. Ricardo, I know we’ve, we have a client in Germany that basically was fulfilling all these functions separately through multiple service providers. He was getting overcharged, even though he thought he wasn’t, can you just remind me of what the numbers were on that, you know, it took a 20 minute phone call. We got him onboarded, and you were telling me some ridiculous amount of money he’s going to save throughout the year, by not even changing anything he does by actually simplifying the things that he did under one platform.
Ricardo Pero: It was– so the competitor was charging him one and a half percent, and we lowered that to 75, .75%. And on top of that, he wasn’t able to– any lender would consolidate your sales in the US, UK and Europe. And we were able to do that, and then not only a higher amount, but also give him the flexibility to borrow in different currencies as well, to match his sales with the borrowing facility. It was– and yesterday, you saw in the pipeline meeting in the afternoon, we had a guy, we have an existing client of ours, from Alta got funded and then he came back and said, “Oh, by the way, I am paying to China about a hundred thousand dollars a month to my suppliers. Is that anything that you guys could do to lower my rates? If I channel the marketplace payout to you guys and I start using your platform? I already opened my Digital Wallet and stuff”. Of course, then we took a look at all these flows from the competitor. We are able, we were able not only to lower the price that he is staying there, but also we increase his credit limit from a hundred to 150,000.
Tim Jordan: I know what the German guy was talking about first. This guy by actually simplifying his process, he was going to pocket six additional figures a year, right?
Ricardo Pero: It’s a $150,000
Tim Jordan: Yeah, he saved $150,000 without changing anything. That’s huge. And like this guy yesterday, these are people that are already profitable, but when we can change him from, you know, one and a half percent FX fee to point .75, you know, three quarters of 1%, and make their life simpler and give them more money, you know, lend with a lower interest rate. That explains why I got excited about Sellers Funding.
Bradley Sutton: Now Ricardo, VAT and GST, I think a lot of sellers, you know, kind of know basically what it is now, the VAT obviously is in Europe. And I see that you guys have it available to apply for actually multiple countries, even once outside of where the Amazon has a marketplace, you know, others, Germany, Czech Republic looks like Spain, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Poland. Now what about GST? Where is the GST available from? Is this, so this is something I haven’t done yet. Is this for Canada? Is it for Australia? Which places are that Ricardo?
Ricardo Pero: We have Canada now. And we have Australia in the pipeline, but Canada is ready to– it’s already available. And like Tim said, by the time this podcast will go live, we’re going to have other countries in the pipeline. But– and that goes back to the idea that how complex this is for sellers, right? When you think about selling abroad, you have to deal with different tax teams and different service providers. And the idea is to provide like a unified solution, a one stop shop for sellers to make their life easier.
Bradley Sutton: Okay and how exactly is Alta making a seller’s life easier for the VAT and GST? Like, are you helping them apply for the actual account? Helping them then make their payments? All of the above?
Tim Jordan: All of the above.
Ricardo Pero: All of the Above.
Tim Jordan: You know, when I started, you know, like selling internationally, I went first to Canada. And then when you start looking at like UK in the European union, it’s so complex and confusing, you know, well, I only have to register in Germany until my goods get shipped a certain number of miles and a certain volume. And then I have to open up here and do this and this, and then I’ve got to file it and pay for it. It’s a nightmare. Basically we’re demystifying that all we’re doing is we’re taking this incredibly complex system, not necessarily complicated, you know, in each, in each facet of it, but very complex. And we’re simplifying it where the short answer is UK, Europe, Canada and soon to be Australia, if you need to get started to register, we got you. We’ll help you figure out how often you need to file in each country, we got you when. You actually go to make those payments, you can do that through Supplier Pay. Basically from one platform, one service through Alta we’ve got that kind of pain in the butt tax thing, just about, you know, spoon fed to you, which is a really, really big advantage when you want to expand globally and expand the different marketplaces. It just takes some of those difficulties and speed bumps out of the road for you.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent, excellent guys there’s obviously tons that has gone into this new, you know, partnership with Sellers Funding and Helium 10 that we call Alta. What is the best website or the best way that people can get more information if there was something that maybe they heard today that peaked their interest and they might want to see if it’s good for them?
Tim Jordan: growwithalta.com Grow with Alta and you can hit a link there to get started and start the onboarding process, connect your accounts, get your account set up. But also there is a massive document that I kid you not. We worked on for like two months, and it’s an FAQ document that answers a million questions, explains a million things. It gives tons of information. If you’re one of those people that like to research and learn everything, we’ve probably got two hours of learning just on that one FAQ information page, or if you just want to get started, hit the button and kind of, you know, do the whole baptism by fire thing that most of us entrepreneurs do. Or just go ahead and click the button, create an account. We can start communicating with you, walk you through the process, and then we can also customize solutions for you, help you figure out all of the different bits and pieces of Alta, which ones, you know, you as a seller need to be looking at, which ones make the most sense for you to, to implement within your business structure. And hopefully help you grow while saving you money and making your life easier all at the same time.
Bradley Sutton: Nice. Now, one last question for Ricardo. Ricardo, have you started to teach Tim any Portuguese yet? Since he’s spending more time at the office over there?
Ricardo Pero: Only the cursing words.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. We won’t have to– he’s pretty good at those. All right. Well, Ricardo, Obrigado pelo seu tempo. I don’t know if I said that right, but thank you for your time.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Thank you for your time, Ricardo. And we’ll see you guys soon.