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IBM offers "triple-zero" financing

Big Blue's promotion, sounding a bit like a car dealer's ad, promises zero down, zero payments and zero interest until 2003.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
2 min read
Zero down, zero payments and zero interest until 2003. It may resemble a car dealer's ad, but it also describes IBM's new financing program.

In an attempt to spur sales to its midsize and large business customers, Big Blue has created a new "triple-zero" financing program. The company said it will allow a 90-day deferral on financing payments, including the initial down payment. The company will also offer financing rates as low as 4.2 percent for some computer hardware.

IBM has sponsored lending programs for years through its Global Financing division, which controls more than $40 billion in assets. The Global Financing division saw its revenue drop 3 percent in the third quarter, down to $795 million.

But as companies tighten up on IT spending, offering attractive loan rates may be one way to get them to keep purchasing.

"Many companies today are faced with the challenge of needing to upgrade and expand their technology infrastructure, while at the same time they must manage to constrained capital budgets," Catherine Manion, general manager of IBM Global Financing's Americas division, said in a release. "The combination of our 'triple-zero' and low-rate financing offerings will help our customers effectively address this challenge."

IBM also announced new software-related deals, including rates as low as 3.1 percent for qualified customers that purchase software such as WebSphere and DB2 database products. IBM has also lowered the minimum transaction amount to $25,000, in a bid to appeal to midsize companies.

Several other tech companies offer financing programs to their business customers. Hewlett-Packard's Financial Services division recorded revenue of $510 million in the third quarter, and Microsoft recently launched a program aimed at the small business market.