E-Commerce Sites Can Offer Financing

With 43% of U.S. computer owners expected to shop online this holiday season, online loan center LendingTree Inc. has introduced a new embedded consumer financing option for e-commerce sites. The LendingTree Branch Network -- introduced in mid-November -- offers "a way to borrow money" embedded in Web sites that sell "a product or service people typically borrow money to buy," says James Bennett, vice president of marketing and business development. The network already has signed on 200 e-commerce sites. LendingTree pays them a $10 bounty per completed loan qualification form. LendingTree's own Web site connects consumers to a network of lenders and competing loan offers. Lenders pay LendingTree loan origination fees; the service costs borrowers nothing. With the Branch Network, says Bennett, "We're moving LendingTree out to places where people actually decide what to buy. It's simply a desire to introduce more consumers to the service."

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