Zebit: The Lender That Doesn’t Make Money From Fees Interest and Penalties

This post is part of Disruptor Daily’s Future of Finance series where they interview the leading founders and executives on the front lines of their industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.

The following is an interview we recently had with Michael ThiemannZebit Co-founder & Executive Chairman.

What specific problem does Zebit solve? Who are you solving it for?
Zebit relieves consumers from the predatory practices of typical online/offline cash loans. The Zebit team had discovered, through market research, that 80% of cash loans were originated to enable a needed or highly-desired product purchase. The light-bulb moment came when we realized that the cash loan could be disintermediated and Zebit, as the merchant, could provide the product directly. Buyers could pay over time without fees, interest, or penalties. All profit would be made on the retail margin—the difference between the wholesale cost paid by Zebit and the retail price paid by the consumer. Zebit’s eCommerce value proposition would be “Buy now, pay over time, 0% always.” Since other merchants compete using discounts and promotions, Zebit’s positioning is unique.

With nearly 150,000 members today, Zebit appeals to a broad range of consumers. The “no credit check” aspect of Zebit attracts individuals with limited or damaged credit histories. But the no-cost financing is attractive well into the prime segment. Even consumers who use credit cards and pay their statements in-full each month can make larger purchases and spread the payments over time, interest-free. Zebit’s explosive growth only 1-year after launch proves the value.

– Michael Thiemann

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