Meet Dale and Nathan, the names behind Quotient. It’s a super-successful online quoting system at that’s redefining the humble quote.

Dale and Nathan e1468289693799 - The little company making big waves in the cloud
Quotient founders, Dale Vink (L) and Nathan Carter (R).

When you think of powerful cloud software, Hamilton probably doesn’t come to mind. Yet this city (an hour’s drive south of Auckland), affectionately known as ‘The Tron’, has a thriving tech community. One of its shining stars is Quotient. They won Xero’s Emerging Add-On Partner of the year award in 2012 and were regional winner of the Rising Star, Deloitte Fast 50 awards in 2015.

Before focusing on Quotient, Dale and Nathan built a successful web design, application and software development company, with an ever-expanding team.

Using creativity to solve problems

They’d always enjoyed using creativity to solve their own and clients’ problems. And they excelled when using their complementary skills to build micro systems to make the work lives of their team and clients more efficient.

The system that shined brightest was their online quote system. Their prospects and clients were exposed to it daily, and they loved what they saw. “They often told us that we won their projects based on our innovative quotes,” says Nathan.

These quotes were their point of difference, making them look like serious players. Which got them thinking, the first piece of collateral that a prospect or client is exposed to is the humble quote. It really is the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression, yet so many people treat quotes like a ‘necessary evil’ versus an opportunity to shine and make a great first impression.

“The quoting stage of a business’s workflow interests us because there’s so much potential wrapped up in these little good fortune notices. Helping businesses to save time, be more organised, make more money and look super-professional, is something that really excited us,” says Dale.

Taking an in-house quoting system to the world

Dale and Nathan got to a point financially in their business where they had the luxury of looking at a bigger challenge. They wanted to put both their skills to use and create something that would put a larger dent in the world, something to live on its own esteem.

“There is something good about sharing an idea and seeing people genuinely interested in it. It becomes personal and worthwhile,” says Nathan

After some soul searching and countless client requests to turn their quote system into a standalone product, Dale and Nathan decided to make it available to everyone. They knew it was going to take a lot of time and it’s hard to justify the expense, but they’ve never been driven by money.

The challenge to create a game-changing piece of software, to make businesses look more professional and gain efficiencies really excited them.

“The intention behind our decision was good; to put power in the customer’s hands. We feel that with anything with a little bit of magic tied to it, has far greater potential than just money. We’re more interested in leverage – doing something that has a bigger impact. And we had a belief in ourselves,” says Dale.

They handed the management of their growing web design business over to their team and devoted every waking hour to making what would become Quotient.

On a sunny day in December 2011, after a year of intense development, they quietly released Quotient and crossed their fingers.
“We spent a year working purely on Quotient. There was no deadline but plenty of effort. It was a slow, agonising start, thanks largely to our bootstrapped approach—no big marketing budgets here—but then once the sales needle moved steadily upwards, it showed no signs of slowing. Happy customers were helping spread the word about Quotient,” says Dale.

A favourite feedback of theirs is from a customer called Dan: “If these guys made beer it would probably be the tastiest beer around. But instead they make bloody great quoting software that gets jobs accepted. Well done.”

It sums them up nicely too. Despite their success, they’re everyday guys where little fazes them. Like when Xero launched their quote functionality. Quotient integrates with Xero, and in the early days a lot of their customers were also Xero customers (many still are). The Xero integration was instrumental to their early growth.

But what many customers found, including returning defectors, is nobody does quotes like Quotient. When you specialise in one thing and do it really well, it’s hard to compete with that depth of thinking, design, quality and intuitive approach that simply makes life better and ultimately more profitable.

Quotient has a growing list of integrations with other apps including Intuit’s QuickBooks Online, Insightly, Capsule, and MailChimp, with more on the way. Integrations with appropriate apps can be real time savers. For instance, when a Quotient quote is accepted online, it automatically appears inside Xero as a draft invoice. Then all you need to do is approve and send it to your client. No more double-handling or cross checking. It’s all done for you.
Fast-forward to 2015 when they sold their web company to a local competitor to concentrate on making Quotient the best online quoting system on the planet. To date, nearly 2,000 businesses (and growing every day) around the world agree with them.
“It’s a positive affirmation that we’re doing something right,” says Dale.

Use Quotient anywhere from any device e1468289730676 - The little company making big waves in the cloud

Use Quotient anywhere from any device.

What has inspired you?

“Making awesome software. Apple’s approach inspired us. They were willing to make a few hard design decisions for the benefit of the user experience as a whole,” says Nathan.

The book Re:work by the guys behind 37 Signals (most commonly Basecamp and Highrise) inspired them too. They had a scattergun approach to products, and developed one every three months, for a two-year period. Then one day they were only concentrating on Basecamp.

“We thought this was really interesting. We could apply what we had learnt and put this into another concept, and build something easier than starting from scratch. But that would only distract us from doubling customer numbers in Quotient. So it was great observing their journey and learning from it,” says Dale.

What’s your model?

“We’re bootstrapped – profitable and proud. Customers love what we do, so being self-funded has worked for us. If we had a much larger team to fund, this might be different.

“If we had investors they’d come with different priorities. But we will always be focused on our customers and developing the best quoting system for their needs, not shareholder goals, or profit, money or ROI. So as the product grows, it gives us more freedom to make our own choices,” says Dale and Nathan.

What’s your design and development methodology?

“We are design-centric. We hate clichés, but ‘keep it simple’ is a real driver for us. We started in graphic design and the emphasis back then was on fashion. Clients needed to look cool, but not necessarily be super-functional. We had a big shift in our thinking on what makes good design. Things have a natural flow and a good feel. You’re not sure why it feels good but it resonates with you,” says Dale.

“As we are smaller we can see through the layers – aesthetic design, and the engineering behind it, and how they combine to become a good user experience. So we started with a need ourselves and we had the ability to tie it all together as we are cross disciplined. Know the chain, how it works and why. In the end this makes each component stronger,” says Dale

“As companies get bigger those roles separate out and you may lose touch with that connection. So the advantage for us, by being small, is we get to touch everything and see it through to the end,” says Nathan.

With Quotient, Dale and Nathan are in a state of constant iteration. They have their update path and development plan. And they’ll often park things until the timing is right. So on one hand they aren’t constrained by time, like if they still had the web development clients with their deadlines. But everyone and everything is moving and innovating fast, so in that sense they are still under the pump to evolve and get their plans to the market as fast as possible.

Why do you do what you do today?

“Ultimately, we spend time on what truly matters to our end user. If we do a good job, and continue to make the product better, Quotient will sell itself. We’re not driven by money, because we are already pretty comfortable. We do what we do because it is exciting; we love making good stuff and delighting people; the human connection is important to us. Getting great feedback is exciting too,” says Dale.

“Being able to have a product in the marketplace that competes on the world stage. And being able to improve on it and work in an exciting industry is gratifying. The design and engineering side is personally rewarding for us, as well as not working for someone else,” says Nathan.

What big lessons have you learned?

“Learning how to manage feedback has been huge and knowing what requests to filter out. Email makes a hero out of anyone. (We all laugh.) So have a thick thin,” says Nathan, who handles customer care.

“Carve your own path and know what to focus on. For instance, we read a book and did everything opposite to it. So don’t necessarily follow what someone else is doing. Don’t assume the competition is doing it right. We have been caught looking elsewhere for validation. Just figure out what needs to be done for yourself; it’s the easiest path to where you are heading,” says Dale.

They’ve also learnt that you can’t be all things to all people; don’t get too hung up on stuff – just get it out there.

Would you do anything differently?

“We’re happy to admit we can always do things better or differently. Nothing is sacred here. But we keep it light as we have the same common goal. You have to give up some personal attachment or it would get on top of you,” says Dale.

What’s the vision for Quotient?

“The goal really is to continue making a great product that fulfills a big problem and gets more customers for our customers. If you focus on having a good product you don’t have to worry about money or being the biggest. It comes naturally. We like to help people make more money by being more professional and organised and saving them time,” says Dale.

“Quotient is still evolving. We’re working on some great features to make life even sweeter for our customers. We’re continuing with more software integrations and recently launched a range of quote examples for different industries, which is receiving a lot of positive feedback from our customers,” says Nathan.

After spending time with Dale and Nathan it’s like watching a combined, powerful mind where they finish each other’s sentences. They have a deep mental connection that shows in their work. They sense check everything with each other. Nothing is ever rushed. Everything that is in Quotient is there for a reason. They’re methodical and precise and it shows in the quality product that is Quotient. It’s a purity that is rarely witnessed in business.

  • Fifo Capital Franchisee Profile

    Fifo Capital franchisees:
    1. Have developed (through Fifo Capital Head Office training and support) a strong acumen and expertise in business finance solutions; they are expert consultants not vanilla product providers.

    2. Are skilled networkers and understand how to develop and nurture strong relationships with referral partners.

    3. Are highly structured in their development of their business portfolio and inherently understand what it takes to build a successful business and strong returns.

    4. Are focused on assisting New Zealand businesses secure smart business finance, and are client-first in all of their business transactions.

    5. Work collaboratively with other partners in the network to share knowledge and secure client transactions, and understand the individual value that is achieved by a strong group.

    6. Know how to best utilize the comprehensive system of support provided by the Fifo Capital Head Office – technology, marketing, sales, and expertise development etc.

    7. Thrive on this stimulating and growing market.

  • About Fifo Capital

    Fifo Capital provides short-term finance for business. Clients use our services to: (1) solve immediate cash flow challenges, and (2) to access capital needed to secure new opportunities or for business operations.  Since 2004, we have established more than 70 offices across New Zealand and Australia, and provided business owners with over $850 million in growth capital.

    The one-on-one difference

    Central to the solutions we provide is one-on-one consultancy. Our network of finance experts, meet with clients and spend time understanding their business in order to deliver a purpose-fit solution; a solution that solves the immediate finance need, and which is suitable for both the short and longer term success of the business. The complexities of business finance demand the one-on-one approach, and we continually see the value of this in the success of our clients.

    Working in partnership with banking facilities

    Clients seek the assistance of Fifo Capital for a short period of time when their bank is unable to help. Often this is due to their finance needs outpacing the traditional security options available; or where their need requires a response time that cannot be met by their bank. As Fifo Capital finance solutions are designed for these immediate short-term requirements, we can ‘solve the gap’ quickly for the window of time that the client falls outside of their bank’s criteria, for the specific finance need. Working in tandem with mainstream facilities ensures that clients can access funds for short-term business needs, without impacting the ongoing relationship with their bank.

    Expert solution solvers

    Very few businesses faced with an immediate finance need are best served by a vanilla solution. Our experience has highlighted that the value of a business finance expert tailoring a solution to a client’s specific needs is immeasurable. Our business finance experts are highly experienced, and have a wealth of knowledge about the mechanics, complexities and unique challenges and opportunities of different industries. This knowledge, coupled with one-on-one consultancy, means our experts are adept at quickly identifying purpose-fit finance solutions for clients.

  • Working with our partners

    Our finance experts work in concert with professional services partners – accountants, bank managers, business brokers – to identify the most appropriate solution for client needs.

    We consult with you

    To the extent that you wish to and which is appropriate for the client, we work with you to identify the short-term solution that supports longer terms business objectives.

    We’re responsive

    We understand the need for immediacy and fast response. Whether a simple query or a transaction, we are available for your client’s needs on the day they arise.

    We keep you informed

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    We’re an expert sounding board

    If you ever need to review potential solutions, or talk through the tricky detail of a client scenario, we’re an expert sounding board. Our expertise is freely offered, complimentary and with no-obligation attached.

  • Fifo Capital Partners

    Fifo Capital Partners and their clients are supported by a range of benefits, including complimentary copies of Headway Magazine, and access to Fifo Capital Knowledge Centre assets.

    Headway Magazine

    The Fifo Capital quarterly magazine, which explores a range of relevant business themes at a macro level as well as practical insight for business owners. Accredited Partners are provided the opportunity to co-brand the magazine as a client-value add publication and for new business development marketing.

    Knowledge Centre

    Access the comprehensive knowledge-base of client-facing finance guides, eBooks and other resources. Incorporate, professional, relevant content in your regular client and prospect communications.

  • Supporting your clients

    We help your clients in two equally important ways: (1) Through the fast (24 to 48 hour) delivery of required funds; and (2) By leading every transaction with one-on-one expert consultancy.

    Fast, flexible product range

    Designed for speed of response and flexibility, and supported by a comprehensive understanding of the security challenges businesses encounter throughout various stages of development and maturity, our finance solutions are designed for finance needs between one and 12 months.

    Invoice Finance
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    Business Loans
    Suitable for clients who have a growth or operational need that requires a capital boost for a period of three to 12 months. Typically, a client has reached their traditional security limit with their bank and is seeking alternative options. Through analysis of business-performance, we identify a complement of security that appropriately services the finance required. Click here for our Business Loan Product Guide.

    Payment Plans
    Suitable for clients who either provide large one-off services or products to clients, or who want to attract new clients through cash-flow-friendly payment options. Fifo Capital payments plans enable a client to offer their customers a payment schedule for between three and 12 months.

    We also provide:

    Foreign Exchange
    Fifo Capital partners with leading international payments specialists HiFX to provide clients with a simple, secure way to send and receive international payments at preferential foreign exchange rates. Services include: Exchange Contracts; Spot and Forward; Multi-Currency Accounts; Market Orders and Currency Options. Click here to find out more.

    Expert consultancy

    With over 10 years supporting businesses, we know the value of expert, one-on-one consultancy. While new technology has spurred the advent of finance-online, we’re committed to pairing clients with a finance expert. Of course, we’ve embraced technology to hasten our processes and response times, and to continually enhance the experience for our clients. But the complexities of business finance, do and will continue to, require one-on-one interaction with an expert to achieve the best result, specific to the client’s needs. The value is in the results.

  • Terms of Use

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  • Anti-Spam Policy

  • Anti-Spam Policy

    What is spam?
    In the context of electronic messaging, spam refers to unsolicited, bulk or indiscriminate messages, typically sent for commercial purposes. “Electronic messaging” covers emails, instant messaging, SMS and other mobile phone messaging, but does not cover normal voice-to-voice communication by telephone.

    An electronic message may constitute spam if it:

    – is commercial in nature – i.e. it could be construed as offering a commercial transaction, such as goods or services for sale, or merely directing the recipient to a location where a commercial transaction could take place – is sent without the prior consent of the recipient;
    – fails to include accurate information about the sender; and
    – does not include a functional unsubscribe facility.

    Fifo Capital will take all necessary and reasonable steps required under relevant current Spam legislation to ensure that any commercial electronic messages sent to you do not constitute spam.

    Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that it has obtained your express consent prior to sending you electronic commercial messages about Fifo Capital’s products and services. Express consent may come in various ways, including subscribing to our mailing list, filing in a form, ticking a consent box to receive advertising or messages on our website, or consenting over the phone. Where it is impracticable to obtain your consent before sending electronic commercial message to you, we may infer that you have consented to receiving electronic commercial message. Inferred consent can occur:

    – via an existing business or other relationship with Fifo Capital, and where there is reasonable expectation of receiving commercial electronic messages; or
    – via conspicuous publication of a work-related electronic address; and
    – it is accessible to the public, or a section of the public
    – the subject of the message is directly related to the role or function of the recipient; and
    – the address is not accompanied by a statement saying no commercial messages are wanted.

    Any commercial electronic message sent by Fifo Capital will include a clear and accurate identification information about Fifo Capital, the sender of the message and how we can be contacted. Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that the identification information about Fifo Capital is accurate for a period of 30 days after the day on which you receive the electronic commercial message.

    Unsubscribing Policy
    Under Spam legislation, every commercial electronic message must contain a functional and legitimate ‘unsubscribe’ facility. This is an electronic address the recipient can use to tell the sender they do not wish to receive messages.

    Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that:

    – all commercial electronic messages sent by us will include a functional way for the message’s recipient to indicate that they wish to unsubscribe from any future messages;
    – our unsubscribe links in any electric commercial message remain functional for at least 30 days after the original commercial electronic message was sent;
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    the unsubscribe instructions are presented in a clear and conspicuous way;
    – a request to unsubscribe is honoured within five-(5)working days;
    unsubscribing is at low or no cost, to the recipient; and

    If you receive a message from Fifo Capital that is not in accordance with the above, contact us and the matter will be promptly investigated and resolved.

    Fifo Capital Unsubscribe Process
    The e-Marketing systems Fifo Capital uses for electronic communication allow recipients the option to automatically unsubscribe from any electronic commercial message.

    All manual unsubscribe requests go through the Marketing Manager or Operations Manager (as a secondary person). The necessary details for unsubscribing from any electronic commercial message sent by Fifo Capital are as follows:

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    Fifo Capital Marketing
    Queries that are made with Fifo Capital through our marketing channels are gathered and kept confidentially. Fifo Capital may use some of this information to market its current and new products to customers. All marketing sent by Fifo Capital allows the recipient to opt out (unsubscribe) at no cost. If the recipient chooses to exercise that right they will be removed from any further marketing communication from Fifo Capital. Fifo Capital will not use electronic address harvesting software, or lists which have been generated using software, for the purposes of sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

    Contact Fifo Capital
    Please contact our Anti-Spam officer at [email protected] if you have any concerns or complaints about this policy or about our use of personal information or other privacy issues.

  • Cookie Policy

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  • Privacy Policy

    Fifo Capital International Ltd a company registered in New Zealand under company number 3856796 (“We”) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

    This policy (together with our terms of use ( and any other documents referred to on it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

    For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), the data controller is Fifo Capital International Ltd of 41 Bath Street, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand.

    Our nominated representative for the purpose of the Act is Nigel Thomson.

    Information we may collect from you
    We may collect and process the following data about you.

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    You may give us information about you by filling in forms on our site (our site) or by corresponding with us by phone, e-mail or otherwise. This includes information you provide when you register to use our site, subscribe to our service, enter a competition, promotion or survey and when you report a problem with our site. The information you give us may include your name, address, e-mail address and phone number, financial capacity and your business intentions.

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    With regard to each of your visits to our site we may automatically collect the following information:

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    Information we collect about you.
    We will use this information:

    – to administer our site and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
    – to improve our site to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
    – to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
    as part of our efforts to keep our site safe and secure;
    – to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you;
    – to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our site about services that may interest you or them.

    Information we receive from other sources.
    We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you. We and our franchisees may us this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

    Disclosure of your information
    We may share your personal information with any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries.

    We may share your information with selected third parties including:

    – Our franchisees and/or our master franchisees.
    Business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors for the performance of any contract we or our franchisees or master franchisees enter into with you.
    – Advertisers and advertising networks that require the data to select and serve relevant adverts to you and others.
    Analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our site.
    – Credit reference agencies for the purpose of assessing your credit score where this is a condition of us entering into a contract with you.

    We may disclose your personal information to third parties.
    In the event that we, our franchisees or our master franchisees sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we or our franchisees or our master franchisees may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.

    If Fifo Capital International Ltd or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by it about its customers will be one of the transferred assets.

    If we or our franchisees or our master franchisees are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use ( and/or any other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of Fifo Capital International Ltd, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

    Where we store your personal data
    The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, stored with, or processed by our suppliers, our franchisees, or our master franchisees. Such staff maybe engaged in, among other things, the fulfilment of the provision of services to you and the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

    All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers. Any payment transactions will be encrypted. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.

    Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

    Your rights
    You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at [email protected]

    Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

    Access to information
    The Act gives you the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act. Any access request may be subject to a fee of $10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

    Changes to our Privacy Policy
    Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy. This privacy policy was last updated on 18 August 2015.

    Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to Fifo Capital International Ltd, PO Box 137375 Parnell, Auckland 1151, New Zealand, [email protected]

  • Nigel Thomson

    Founder and Head Thinker

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  • Terms and Conditions

    Fifo Capital understands time is critical when it comes to managing your cash flow – so our process is aimed to be as simple as possible.

    A Fifo Capital facility approval typically takes around 24 hours to set-up and depending on the required information supplied by customers, transfer of funds can take place in as little as four hours.

    The following covers the terms and conditions required for a four hour funds transfer to take place;

    1. Fifo Capital will tell the proposed client if the application is successful to receive funding. We can accept or reject the application at our sole and absolute discretion. If we accept the application the cash flow finance services will be provided solely in accordance with the documents we agree with the proposed client.
    2. Fifo Capital reserves the right to reject previously approved applications without notice and/or consultation.
    3. Fifo Capital’s application consists of a number of forms, however, not limited to fully completed and signed; Application, Receivables Finance Facility Terms and Conditions, Guarantee, Offer to Sell, and Privacy Consent forms
    4. To be eligible for a four hour funds transfer in relation to an approved application, the proposed customer must request or apply to Fifo Capital in writing before 12 noon on the same business day. Such a request doesn’t guarantee the transfer will take place or funds cleared in the customer’s bank account within the four hour period.
    5. Should a four hour funding transfer request be approved, such a transfer can only be facilitated on a business day. A transfer request is not available on public or bank holidays, or weekends.
    6. Four hour funding transfers may incur a fee as detailed within the application.
    7. Fifo Capital’s aligned banks or financial institutions have the right to reject a four hour funding transfer request. Fifo Capital and its aligned banks are not liable for any loss or damages resulting from a funding transfer request not taking place or funds being cleared within a four hour period.
    8. Fifo Capital is a franchise business operation. Fifo Capital NZ Ltd is the master franchisee and is therefore not responsible for the actions or inactions of its franchisees in relation to any funds transfer timing.
    9. Fifo Capital is not responsible for any loss or damages incurred or to be incurred by the would be or existing customer should a transfer not take place within or cleared funds not be received within a four hour period.

    To find out more about the full terms and conditions relating to our 4 hour funds transfer please contact Fifo Capital on 0800 86 34 36