Fintech moves into the auto and home repair industries with Ireland startup FixxFi
One of the arguments against cryptocurrencies has been, “What’s the point of having a currency if you can’t use it?” While many projects are trying to establish utility for their tokens outside the world of blockchain, not many companies use or accept them. That is about to change.
Fabio Preka, the Co-Founder of FixxFi, had a career in finance, trading currency and Forex before taking over his family’s successful auto-repair business in Torino. He quickly discovered that customers increasingly had difficulty paying for their auto repairs. This put a squeeze on the business as customers would negotiate prices, ask for payment plans, or just not do the repair. It was through his repair business that he met his Co-Founder, serial tech entrepreneur Andrew Dunne, and FixxFi was created.
Repairs are an inevitable part of life. Auto and home repair needs are an all-too common occurrence, but not everyone’s budget allows for these often costly events. Repairs can have a destabilizing effect on household cash flow, and research shows it does not just affect low-income earners.
Current financial products are lacking and burdened with outdated, inflexible options. As a result, repair businesses are often forced to take up the slack with discounts or sub-par fixes.
Fast forward to today, FixxFi has developed an innovative fintech platform that provides embedded finance solutions for the independent auto and home repair industries. Funding for unexpected repairs will happen with a quick approval process that occurs right at the repair facility using off-chain and on-chain technology.
The FixxFi app has a seamless experience for both customers and business partners. By partnering with independent repair businesses, customers will be introduced to the FixxFi app at the point of service. Repair partners can now offer simple, embedded financing solutions to support their clients and help them manage that unexpected expense. After a fast, one-time approval process, the customer now has an immediate solution to pay.
FixxFi offers customers a credit line that is replenishable with each payment. This creates a highly scalable business model as customers will have a line of credit ready for their next unexpected repair. In addition, businesses that choose to partner with FixxFi will have a dedicated customer base that prefers to use companies that accept the line of credit. The customer retention system is enhanced by the app’s options to locate and schedule with an approved repair partner.
A common question is, “Why not just use a credit card?” The difficulty is that credit cards only delay payment by a month and are subject to having available credit or high-limits. Customers want alternatives! With FixxFi, customers can tailor their payment options. Through FixxFi’s in-app calculator, customers choose the amount of their fund that they want to use and the duration in months from 1-60 they want to spread the schedule over. In this new competitive world of finance, traditional methods like credit cards with limited payment options do not offer the flexibility needed in every scenario.
The strong independent repair sectors in the UK and Italy make these areas the target markets with the greatest demand for initial stages. Extensive market research using the Ibis World Vehicle Repair and Maintenance reports for Italy and the UK shows that the total available market (TAM) of the independent repair market in 2021 was €57.5 billion. Fixxfi plans to seize the opportunity to chip away at the problem by using the latest technologies available.