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A Thing They're on a Mission, and That's the Truth

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They're on a Mission, and That's the Truth

A ll it takes is the company mission statement to see what Tech Leasing International Inc. is all about: honesty, ethics and service.

"To maintain superior vendor relationships," the statement reads, "first by acknowledging our vendors' value - then by catering to their leasing needs to the very best of our ability."

It's a philosophy born of CEO Jonathan Severn's belief that the commitment to core service is a "gap" in the leasing industry. Rather than automating its way out of the human touch, Tech Leasing offers to the ISO community personalized, technological support through its leasing programs.

The company evolved from the vision of Severn, who got his start in the leasing business in 1992. Having honed his craft with POS and ATM equipment leasing, card readers and the like, he recognized the need for a leasing company that provided personal service as well as product.

Tech Leasing was incorporated in '98 and focused on delivering support to its customers, especially ISOs. And while its niche may not be the lowest price, it is one of best quality and service. Tech Leasing's rates are competitive, but as Severn says, "We want our vendors to understand we provide that extra level of service. The end result is we can get funding faster and with less hassles."

As its name implies, Tech Leasing is a technology-based leasing company. But first and foremost, it is concentrated on service as opposed to being a company that needs to close a certain number of deals a month.

Severn recognizes that the challenge for a vendor in the leasing industry is the lack of understanding on the part of leasing agents. Not so with Tech Leasing. "Our staff has a lot of experience on both sides of the fence," he says. "We all have an empathetic point of view."

Tech Leasing works on making variances and teaching people to payment stream.

"Let us carry paper, manage sales tax, pass a small fee and cut a check back when we receive payment," Severn says. "Instead of funding every deal, we do the payment stream and pay agents monthly as we collect on their accounts."

Tech Leasing's objective is to teach agents how to be long term in leasing and help them hold their own portfolios. For example, agents having multiple leases in-house can receive a lease check as well as residual check. "Everyone in the ISO industry should be putting money away and saving in residuals and on the leasing side as well," Severn says. How does Tech Leasing acquire its accounts? According to Severn, Tech Leasing is a procuring business in an assortment of ways.

"We advertise, attend trade shows, constantly travel and network nationally within the industry," he says. Tech Leasing remains neutral in how and with whom it does business. ISOs can feel comfortable bringing any type of contract to Tech Leasing's table. It will carry financing for all brands of equipment.

Tech Leasing's application procedure is quite simple. The agent merely faxes a copy of the merchant application along with a voided check to Tech Leasing, including a description of the type of equipment and payment terms requested. Within 24 hours, Tech Leasing faxes back the status, giving lease approval and grade as well as any approval conditions. Upon MID approval, the equipment is installed, the documentation of the lease package is reviewed and Tech Leasing contacts the customer for an oral verification of equipment delivery. The ISO will be funded within 48 hours of verification. Now that's service!

Tech Leasing even has a unique approach to competition.

"Diversity is a good thing in our business," Severn says. "It doesn't hurt to do business with more than one leasing company. Some of the other leasing companies have come in and gone out, and if you become reliant on only one source of income and that source withers away, your income suffers."

Severn is sympathetic to the fact that many ISOs don't have the finances to weather that kind of transition. He believes in feeding multiple sources and discourages ISOs from putting all of their leasing eggs in one basket. At a time when leasing companies seemingly change policy and ownership more often than the stock market changes its closing numbers, Tech Leasing asserts that it makes sense to work with more than one leasing company - provided one is Tech Leasing

Then there's the way Tech Leasing works with its competitors.

"Our objective is to share data with other leasing companies about people who are committing fraud and need to be blacklisted," Severn says. "That dishonesty causes losses and rates to go up. By sharing this information with our competitors, we strive to improve the overall industry and stop the losses."

But Severn also stresses that Tech Leasing stands apart from its competition in other ways.

"Our competitors do not have the resources and developers that we have," he says. "Ours is not a 'one-size fits all' system. Tech Leasing knows that some customers need more specialized systems. We don't try to fit round pegs into square holes. We make our systems user friendly and customized, meeting to economy of scale."

Those systems highlight the diversity of Tech Leasing's client base. Good credit customers can enjoy a 100 percent buy program with caveats. Tech Leasing also will approve 100 percent credit as long as the agent keeps the D&E credit (credit history with challenges) to 20 percent or below. Tech Leasing declines applications only when a person does not show any credit on the big three bureaus - namely, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax.

What is the biggest challenge Tech Leasing faces? "Obtaining inexpensive money and still being able to do everything people want you to do with the finance," Severn says. "We have a strong fiscal responsibility to our customers. We want to be able to make a loan on every account. Yet we don't want to lose the creativity and entrepreneurial side of the industry."

Headquartered in Oxnard, Calif., Tech Leasing has a customer base of approximately 80-85 vendors. It also boasts an in-house staff of 10 with a help desk that keeps both East and West Coast hours.

Visit Tech Leasing's Web site at





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