Governments recognize the importance of SMEs to economic growth. FinTechs recognize the general need for SMEs to tap into funding to maintain operations…and some of them are carving out a niche facilitating access to that funding.
To that end, First Circle, reported CrowdFundInsider, which provides business financing for smaller firms in the Philippines, has been gearing up to launch a credit facility worth as much as $30 million, geared toward small to medium sized enterprises there.
The site stated that the facility has gained support from government corners, notably the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The movement to offer the credit facility comes as the Department of Trade has said that roughly 95 percent of these smaller firms contribute as much as 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and employ about 60 percent of the country’s workforce.
RBS and FinTech’s Funding
In other individual company initiatives, over the weekend the Daily Telegraph reported that digitally-focused companies, such as Tide, the challenger bank, want to capture a bigger piece of the funds slotted from Royal Bank of Scotland’s roughly 775 million pounds aimed at boosting competition within the sector. As reported, Tide told the publication that “eligibility criteria had blocked it from bidding for the majority” of the package that has been set up.
As has been reported, RBS has had to offer the funding as part of a deal in the region that lets the bank keep its subsidiary, Williams and Glyn. The parameters are strict, said the company, and actually serve to keep some eMoney firms out of the bidding — as much as 10 percent of funds are earmarked for FinTech firms. The rules stipulate in part that companies have to be authorized by the Prudential Regulatory Authority.
“Expanding the package’s eligibility will make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shake up [small business] banking by introducing real competition,” Tide CEO Oliver Prill said in a statement. “Opening up to the U.K.’s growing FinTech sector will offer businesses an unparalleled choice to try out innovative alternatives tailored to their needs after years of being underserved by the high street. Without this change, the oligopolistic structures that have served small businesses so poorly in the past are likely to persist.”
Separately, BBVA, the multinational Spanish banking group, said that it had launched a matchmaking platform that is focused on FinTech startups. The network enables these smaller firms to get in touch with BBVA units and offer technologies. The matchmaking system offers up profiles and connects startups and the units in collaborative fashion.
Said BBVA in a statement, “You might say it works along the lines of a ‘dating app’. Both startups and the bank’s experts need to sign up and create a profile explaining on the one hand the needs of business units and on the other what solutions they can provide startups … Through a data-based system of pairing, the platform, studies, compares and classifies different proposals and needs and finds points in common from which a beneficial relationship can arise. That is, when the characteristics of the startups match those the business unit is looking for and vice-versa, the desired match-making takes place.”
Rippling through Crypto Lobbying
In crypto and FinTech news, a consortium of firms, notably including Ripple, has been forming to lobby Capitol Hill. The coalition is named “Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition” and will promote, among other things, real-time and cross-border transactions. The coalition is retaining lobbying services from the Klein/Johnson Group in DC. Payment will be rendered partly in digital currencies.