The holidays have come early for those looking to do business with Big Blue.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is looking to encourage buyers with $4 billion in no-interest financing for one year.

To further lure buyers, Big Blue is launching a mobile app for quick financing. 

“As part of today’s news, IBM is also launching a new mobile app as another step to simplify the way IBM’s Business Partners can apply for and secure financing for their clients within minutes via any mobile device – anytime, anywhere,” IBM announced early Thursday.

IBM developed an application for iPads and smartphones that will allow partners to approve their clients for contracts of as much as $500,000 in minutes.

IBM will administer the loans over the next 12 months through its global financing unit, which managed $36 billion in assets as of last year.

“Businesses both large and small are having tough times with this tight credit market,” said Mark Hennessy, general manager of IBM’s global business partners and midmarket, in an interview. “This is an enhanced focus on supporting our partners taking our solution to market.”

“As a result, the gap between a promising vision and a business reality appears to be even more of an unbridgeable chasm,” he added in a statement. “With this effort, IBM aims to provide the right foundation and resources to our global ecosystem of partners and clients to ensure that businesses, large and small, have access to the right technologies for success.”

Clients will come to IBM for simpler, more flexible loans because “banks don’t necessarily understand this space as well,” Hennessy said.

The loans will make it easier for business partners to sell their own technology combined with IBM hardware or cloud computing and analytics products, with some financing offered interest-free for 12 months with no money down, according to the statement.
In cloud computing, companies hire providers such as IBM to store data and applications remotely.

IBM’s global financing unit has operated since 1981 and uses standard industry tools to evaluate default risk, the company said. Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cisco Systems Inc. have similar loan options. IBM issued $1 billion in loans to small and medium-size businesses through its partners in 2011, the company said.

IBM employs some 10,000 people across North Carolina.

[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out 10 years of IBM stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]