PaymentsSource reported that while Lowe’s has long offered financing through its private-label credit card programs, this option is a poor fit for construction crews that need to manage ongoing expenses. Instead, prepaid cards can enable them to deal with fragmented project timelines, employee turnover and other jobsite issues.
Lowe’s new service is built on the BizNow platform, which Jacksonville, Fla.-based FIS launched early last year for financial institutions looking to extend services to small businesses, but the program also appeals to retailers, said Tracy Kirkland, vice president of Prepaid Product Development at FIS.
“Many construction operations found that using a corporate card or another expense-management program was hard to maintain, but a prepaid card is much more convenient for managing specific projects, and the mobile app gives them a lot of tools for authorizing and keeping track of purchases made by various crew members,” Kirkland said.
Once a business enrolls in Lowe’s PreLoad, the primary user can distribute cards to several team members, manage funds in real time and customize expense reporting for downloading to financial management software, storing or printing. Sunrise Banks is Lowe’s issuing partner for PreLoad.
Lowe’s, which rolled out PreLoad at 1,700 stores nationwide this week, is also extending a 5 percent discount for all purchases made with PreLoad, available as a monthly statement credit. This is the same discount offered to small business card members with the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card.
“Prepaid cards have the right features for certain business customers, and while credit unions and community banks have responded positively to BizNow for small businesses, we’re seeing growing interest from larger retailers who want to extend this service directly to customers,” Kirkand said.