Need to run Fido to the vet for that mysterious pain he’s been whimpering about? Need to stop by the auto shop and have them listen to that new rattle? Oh, and that nagging toothache? You should probably call the dentist for an appointment, too.
Surprises like these typically mean dropping at least a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for services rendered—which means many people end up reaching for their credit cards or applying for third-party financing to cover the unexpected costs.
But what if you could swipe a card that lets you pay off those expenses over the next four months at 0 percent interest instead?
That’s right—0 percent interest for four months, every time
That’s the innovative concept behind the Eve Card, which debuted on March 30th. “Eve is launching a general-purpose consumer credit card that specializes in point-of-sale for the services industry,” says Isaac Freckleton, founder and CEO of Lehi-based Eve Financial. “We’re focused on medical, dental, veterinary, automotive repair, and even things like therapy or anything along those lines.”
Freckleton explains that the premise behind the Eve Card is similar to the buy now/pay later trend in e-commerce. “People are benefiting from buying now/paying later for things like a handbag, a jacket, a new mattress,” Freckleton says. “But just as important as these products are, we think people really need their therapist. Their dog needs healthcare. Their kids need braces.”
Historically, those service providers have had a difficult time getting their customers to pay for services or finance costs over time, Freckleton says. “The average American doesn’t even have enough to cover a $300 surprise bill, let alone engage with their service provider,” he continues. “That’s where Eve comes in. We’ve created an innovative consumer credit product that allows clients to finance at 0 percent interest while allowing the businesses to generate more revenue.”
Freckleton says Eve Financial has partnered with Mastercard to bring the Eve Card to market. It will be the first credit card to give consumers four months at 0 percent interest—every single time they spend.
Say your dental visit racks up $450 for cleaning and X-rays—you have four months from the day of your appointment to pay that balance off at 0 percent interest. Then, when you get your car fixed at the auto shop for $750; you’ll have four months from then to pay off that $750 at 0 percent interest.
“Every transaction starts its own rotating timeline,” Freckleton says. “Traditionally, finance will take advantage of consumers by trying to determine the maximum of what you are willing to pay. We’re hoping to flip the script to provide lending based on what people deserve. We’re the first US company to do this. Others like PayPal have a four-month credit card concept in the UK, but there are some additional limitations on it. We’ve removed those limitations and made it more accessible.”
Disrupting the status quo
Freckleton anticipates the Eve Card to be a disruptor in the services financing space, much like Uber was to the taxi industry. He says if patients or clients can’t pay out-of-pocket immediately, service providers typically offer financing through third-party companies like CareCredit.
“Over 90 percent of the businesses we’ve talked to are frustrated with existing financing solutions,” he says. “Some financing companies charge exorbitant fees—as much as 6 percent to 20 percent. Our fees are fixed at 5.9 percent for most verticals.
“Or the financing companies might offer a four-month payment plan, but often you’ll have to pay one-fourth of the total every single month. Stats show that over 30 percent of people are late on an installment plan through a buy now/pay later plan, which negatively impacts their credit.
“You shouldn’t have your credit negatively impacted just because you can’t pay one-fourth in a given month. Having a late payment on your credit can affect your ability to buy a house or pay lower interest rates. We’re delivering greater flexibility, and everyone wins.”
With its consumer-first philosophy, Eve Financial is adding incentives for paying off expenses quickly. “We’ve also built a really cool mechanism, where people who pay off their credit card at the end of the month will get 1.5 percent in cash-back rewards,” Freckleton says. “If they don’t pay off the new expense at the end of the first month, they still get the remainder of the four months to pay it off at 0 percent interest. If you don’t pay it off in four months and you stretch it out, you’ll pay interest just as you would on any other credit card. That’s opposed to most credit cards, where if you don’t pay it off in full every month, you’re going to pay 20-30 percent interest—which is a lot less than 1.5 percent cash back.”
Eve Financial will first make the Eve Card available through businesses and service providers, then go direct-to-consumer. “Shortly following our launch, people will be able to apply directly online as well,” Freckleton says.
Finding a new mission
The Eve Card is a pivot for Eve Financial, which started in November 2019 as a marketplace for funding startups and small businesses. “We’ve raised a total of $4.5 million to date. Our investors have been very excited, following along with the products we’ve been building,” Freckleton says. “We’ll still continue to operate and utilize the software we’ve built in a variety of applications, but our primary focus will be on consumer lending for the services space.”
For Freckleton, this new trajectory is a dream come true. “Even when I was in college, I had a dream of launching a credit card program that could do it better than what most big banks do,” he says. “We have an opportunity to be uniquely meaningful for both investors and consumers alike. Eve is right now in the late stages of finalizing a mid-eight-figure raise to cover growth on the Eve Card.”
With the card’s recent launch and a significant round of funding on the horizon, Eve Financial is well on its way to its new mission. “We’re focused on giving both the user and the business a better user experience,” Freckleton says. “Businesses win—their fees are a half or a third as much. They don’t have to raise their prices to cover an expensive 20 percent fee, so their prices can be lower. Consumers win—they get a lower minimum payment while still getting a 0 percent offer.”
The next time your puppy is feeling under the weather, it might be nice to know that you can swipe a card and still have a few months to pay off that vet visit—without paying interest.