How Fintech is leading the way for alcohol distributors adding EFT relationships.
Before I joined Fintech two years ago, I reached out to several distributor friends to get their opinion of the company. Overwhelmingly, their responses were very positive – almost evangelical. Many said the same thing, “I want all of my retailers using Fintech!” Needless to say, that was great to hear, and as I joined the company, it challenged and inspired me to find new ways to help our distributors do just that.
As recent as 2019, alcohol distributors looking to add retailers to Fintech’s free autopay program had to submit a paper enrollment form for each retail location. This resulted in a lot of paper – I’m talking thousands of single sheets of paper a month, which was not efficient for the distributor, the retailer, or Fintech. But all parties plowed through the effort, and our distributor-driven free EFT program was successful for many years. Still, we knew there had to be a better way. We set to work, and late in the summer of 2019 we introduced our electronic enrollment tool, EZenroll. This tool was highly customizable and provided distributors with a unique URL link for their website, which made the overall process of adding retailers dramatically easier, safer, and more secure.
Then the world changed.
At the start of 2020, distributor momentum was already climbing, and the impacts of Covid-19 brought a commitment to safety to the forefront of operations. In response to the massive changes in the industry, I assembled Fintech’s Distributor Program team. In addition to the custom EZenroll URL link, we created program benefit flyers for retailers and training materials for individual distributor partners. But we didn’t stop there. We also launched our all-new e-vite tool, which distributors can use to invite retailers to Fintech through email or text directly from their phones. With this tool, distributor teams can also track and report enrollment results to the leadership teams, allowing them to tie invites for autopay to incentives for the distributor sales rep or driver. Now, we are connecting to distributors in several different ways, offering support and value like never before.
Well, the results have been incredible. Now, nearly a full year later, the distributor e-vite program and EZenroll are being used across the country to help alcohol distributors improve efficiency and safety. And the success of these programs cannot be understated – in 2020, Fintech added more retailers to our autopay program than we have in the last four years combined. We have partnered 50/50 with distributors on incentive programs and have created a line of communication and reporting that is keeping all stakeholders informed.
I was very fortunate to have worked with distributors over the last 25 years during my days at Heineken USA; I truly believe they are the lifeblood of this industry. Their stories are what makes the alcohol industry great. Their commitment to their internal teams and customers is authentic. You can see it means everything to their success; it’s real. At Fintech, we don’t have a brand line extension or hot seltzer to offer. What we do have is a similar commitment to support our clients and provide the right tools to improve business and drive significant ROI on operational and administrative costs. I’ve been reminded all year by our distributor clients that we are fortunate to serve that Fintech now means value for their business, and, for that, we could not be more humble and proud.
So now, when a distributor says, “I want all my retailers using Fintech!” my response is, “Great! Let’s get started.”