The loans, according to the release, will be like Asto's usual loans, with SMBs having control over how they use the credit limit and whether they repay in six or 12 months. The loans won't incur early repayment fees, and borrowers will be able to return to borrow from whatever is left if an opportunity arises.
The technology is possible through Funding Options' mechanisms, which allow for the harnessing of data based on algorithms, analytics and open banking ideas to help match borrowers with the right lenders, the release states. The platform is designed to save time and help SMBs shop around for the right lender for their needs.
Asto boasts a quick turnaround time, saying its loans can arrive in borrowers' accounts in minutes. Funding Options also boasts a fast turnaround, saying the average time is 11 minutes before a loan arrives in a customer's account.
The news comes on the heels of the pandemic, in which the need for short-term loans for working capital has intensified. Months of lockdowns and financial stress have left many SMBs with a need for loans to help them keep from closing, while consumers are wary of shopping or eating in public due to the virus.
In response to the problem in the U.K., the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has put guidelines in place for an additional grace period to help borrowers balance their assets with the continuing financial troubles.
According to Nicolette Maury, CEO of Asto UK, the new partnership will work on "beginning a long-term relationship that will further our mission to support people as they grow their businesses."
"At Asto, we understand that no two businesses’ needs are the same, which is why we’ve designed our Asto Business Capital product to offer business owners flexible financial support," she said, according to the release. "Modern technology allows us to provide innovative solutions that are simple to use and accessible. Working with Funding Options, we are aiming to empower even more businesses to react quickly to the ups and downs in their business."