Add Overstock to the major retailers blurring the lines between retail, technology and financial services.
For the past few months, the 19-year-old e-commerce company has been quietly building out FinanceHub, a sort of marketplace for financial services that includes existing Overstock credit cards and insurance products; loans by LendingTree, Prosper and Sofi; a robo-adviser for automated investing, as of last week — and as of Tuesday morning, a discounted trading platform.
The platform and Overstock’s broader financial services “strategy” is nothing more than a natural extension of the company’s retail function, buying and selling consumer goods, according to Raj Karkara, Overstock’s vice president of loyalty and financial services.
“It’s all about providing the best value to the consumer: best in class products and experiences. The experience part is something that traditional financial institutions haven’t focused on but they’re turning that around now,” he said. “Consumers don’t want to sit and sign 50 documents, they just want to go online and get through the steps they need to take to move forward.”