Beginning later this year Amazon will extend its business loan program to sellers in eight additional countries where credit can make a huge difference in that company’s success. Amazon, the giant on-line retail platform, has had a business loan program for small sellers in just two countries, Japan and the United States. Known as Amazon Lending, this program was launched in 2012 and is run as an invite-only lending program not available to all Amazon sellers.
The new countries which will become part of this unique program are Canada, China, Germany, France, Italy, India, the United Kingdom and Spain. Amazon loans are geared to helping small sellers better compete for new vendors and taking more market share.
Amazon is not alone in introducing loan programs: eBay’s PayPal and Alibaba Group Holdings are also extending credit to help boost their vendor base. Some analysts have voiced skepticism about these trends, saying that retailers do not properly assess the credit market in which the sellers are operating and therefore could be taking on too much risk. In countries like China and India small businesses have high rates of failure.
Amazon said that risk is not a problem for them since they offer loans based on internal data and also because they take loan payments directly from the profits from sales that it pays their sellers.