One of the largest business lenders in Europe, iwoca, has announced a new platform called OpenLending that can bring together both FinTechs and banks and help spread iwoca’s lending abilities to the 2 million U.K. businesses that might need it, according to a press release.
Monese, a mobile app, recently joined the platform, and online accounting platform Xero plans to join soon, according to the release. So far, 14 partners have integrated with OpenLending, which allows for an ecosystem of financial facing occupations to collaborate on iwoca loans.
It also allows for partners to customize customer experiences.
"The concept of OpenLending has the potential — through collaboration with the banks and FinTech partners — to fix some of the biggest problems [small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)] will face in the coming months," said iwoca CEO and Co-Founder Christoph Rieche.
"OpenLending is a fully digital platform that established banks can use to get finance to small businesses within minutes, opposed to weeks or even months,” he added. “Digital access to finance is particularly valuable now where COVID-19 [the disease caused by the coronavirus] may lead to severe disruption of bank branch networks and call centers, reducing their ability to provide the service level that they aim for under normal circumstances. Now is the time to come together and work collaboratively to solve this problem."
Xero and iwoca are collaborating on a customized finance solution for release in 2021, which would be built specifically for Xero customers and would be available inside core Xero software.
"We want our small business customers to have the very best access to funding so that they can really thrive, which is why we've integrated with iwoca's OpenLending platform," said Atul Choudrie, chief commercial officer at Monese. "It's important that we partner with a leader in the [SMB] lending space and give our customers the very best tools to control their finances and manage important cash flow gaps. We started Monese with a goal to provide businesses with financial freedom anywhere and everywhere, and I believe OpenLending will help us do that."