Jobber Says Embedded Finance Builds Cash Flow Confidence for Home Services Businesses – PYMNTS.com

Home services management app and platform Jobber is enabling service providers with new digital capabilities.
Speaking with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster for the J.P. Morgan Payments Global Innovators in Payments Series, Jobber Payments and FinTech Lead Ryan Robertson noted that as the pandemic remodeling boom slows, lawn care, cleaning and other services continue to see strong demand.
Jobber sees its job as bringing those squarely into the digital domain.
Webster referred to Jobber as the business operating system for home services professionals, and Robertson agreed, saying there’s more in store for the businesses that need platform help from scheduling jobs through payment, ideally in a recurring model.
Asked about the state of home services as 2023 dawns, he said, “We see it as very healthy. Would we compare, for example, potentially large projects at the same rate as they were 18 months ago or 24 months ago? Potentially not quite. But we continue to see a lot of strength within our commercial cleaning sectors, green in terms of landscaping and lawn care services.”
As the platform moves toward its next iteration, the focus is on optimizing the trades with scheduling and seasonality tracking that helps a lawn care business, for example, stay busy through the winter months in its geography when there’s not a blade of grass to be cut.
Perhaps more important is the digital payments, invoicing and working capital functionality on which it’s focusing to keep cash flow strong and build recurring payments for steady growth.
“Those are some of the nuances and types of things we want to consider when we think about seasonality and managing cash flow,” Robertson said. “There are a few things that come to mind. One is having the right types of products for our service providers (SPs). One of those is capital. We partner with Stripe Capital to ensure that we are presenting a lending solution or lending product at the right time to the right SP when they need it most.”
See also: Plumbers, Home Service Pros Turn to Apps for Help Growing Business
Services on a Recurring Model
Data is feeding that platform upgrade as Robertson noted that the crux of embedded finance is “knowing and leveraging data that we have with our SP across our ecosystem and our operating system to know when to pinpoint the right opportunity” for surfacing a working capital offer.
The platform also enables SPs to offer consumer financing, thereby “ensuring that our SPs can offer financing solutions for some of their customers” when they want the job done but don’t have the money to pay it off in one go.
Given the seasonality cycle on which many of these businesses operate, Robertson said, “That will mean different things for different SPs. Some will have a pivot where it makes sense for them to operate that snow removal business in that off-season compared to their primary business, and others … may be looking at different alternatives. It’s just being conscious and thoughtful of how we position those products that make the most sense for our users.”
That has Jobber doubling down on its core scheduling business.
“It’s a different component of eliminating friction that enables a recurring customer to be able to book the next appointment online,” he said. “We’re always focused on what are the ways that we can reduce friction, and the number of steps required and eliminate that complexity. That’s the consistent theme that holds across the core operating system, if you will, as well as within the payments ecosystem that we’re building.”
Changes at the system’s core revolve more around enabling digital payments.
Robertson called it a growing part of the platform.
“We continue to believe and anticipate that we’ll see stronger adoption of [digital] payments given the emphasis on that ease,” he said. “It also comes back to the discussion around cash flow, of having access to the payments and the revenue that businesses earn sooner.”
It feeds not only working capital needs, but today in the absence of robust digital payments, service businesses “could be a lot tougher to manage,” he said. “It’s something that we consistently see growth in.”
New Directions for a Tough Year Ahead
In addition to digital invoicing and payments capabilities, Jobber is also working at making its solution one that helps more service providers lock in and benefit from recurring payments.
“A really good example of that as we often see is in commercial cleaning or reoccurring lawn care seasonally,” he said. “Those are things we can set up. Those are recurring jobs with attached recurring invoices that get sent out. Going back to the conversation around working capital, it’s predictability.”
As the platform grapples with taking one-off jobs and bringing them into a recurring model, Robertson said this may become more of an issue next year, and Jobber is preparing for that.
“How do we ensure that our businesses, that the customers and SPs that are on the platform, are positioned to do their best work, to help them be successful and operate more efficiently?” he said. “That’s something that we consistently try to keep in mind, particularly as we head into an environment that could be challenging.”
PYMNTS Data: Why Consumers Are Trying Digital Wallets
A PYMNTS study, “New Payments Options: Why Consumers Are Trying Digital Wallets” finds that 52% of US consumers tried out a new payment method in 2022, with many choosing to give digital wallets a try for the first time.
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