According to a press release from the .Club registry, Namecheap is now offering a financing option for customers to buy select new gTLD domain names that have premium pricing. The domain names that are eligible for the financing option (called Namecheap Easy Payments) are a part of the Names.Club program.
Registry participants include the .Club registry, MMX, and GMO. In light of the MMX acquisition of the ICM Registry, I would imagine those extensions may be included once the deal closes. When customers use Namecheap to find a domain name to buy, it will have a “Finance” button if the domain name is a part of the Namecheap Easy Payments program.
I had a look at the Names.Club website and saw the Games.Shop domain name listed for sale for $61,000. A buyer could pay $12,200 down and finance the balance at $813.33/month for 5 years. There is apparently no interest charged for this financing option.
I think this is a smart idea for Namecheap to offer this payment option to its customers. The registrar and registry can work together to control the domain name and ensure the buyer can not transfer it elsewhere before it is paid off in full. If the buyer fails to make a payment or defaults on the financing, the registrar can repossess the domain name and return it to the registry in the interim. The only downside I can imagine for Namecheap is that it could become a customer service issue if a client defaults or is late on a payment.
I would not be surprised to see other registrars with this offering as well.