Payments provider Contis has applied for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Alternative Remedies Package, two grants totaling £35 million ($46 million), which it intends to use for a variety of new, digital payment technologies for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a press release says.
Contis's plans include a new off-the-shelf B2B electronic and card payment technology for SMBs. It will capitalize on Contis' regulated status to help SMBs access support from FinTechs, including new payments and lending capabilities.
There will be three programs for U.K. businesses to access, according to the press release, all of them powered by Contis's application programming interfaces (APIs) from its customizable engine.
By using Canvas for Business, customers will have access to technology that can help them compete with bigger businesses, the release says, with numerous channels for digital payment. The company can offer card scheme capabilities and give out credit and debit cards. Those cards are linked to popular digital payment services, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Also, Contis' Engage tech will let businesses launch business accounts and payments products they might not have been able to before. Excess funds will be redeployed in the SMB sector through business support loans, the release says.
The company's Freedom for Business solution offers a direct-to-market solution aiding businesses in whatever they need to succeed, the release says.
The BCR has been criticized in the past for its lack of transparency and unreliable lengths of time for the funds to be distributed.
Contis Co-founder and Executive Chairman Peter Cox said the goal of the company was to "democratise payments and financial services for all SMEs, so they're spoilt for choice with innovative and affordable solutions that meet their exact needs."
"Our approach, based upon proven technologies, will broaden and disrupt the services available to SMEs far beyond the capabilities of existing providers such as the big banks," he said, according to the release. "By driving competition and innovation, while improving the availability of funding, our approach will increase the services on offer to SMEs and make them more affordable, therefore becoming easier for every entrepreneurial person with vision to run their own businesses."