Global banking platform Trade Ledger and business insights experts Equifax want to help create a portable credit file solution for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a press release.
The partnership will include a bid for the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), which is part of the RBS Alternative Remedies Package, which is intended to boost financial services available for U.K. SMBs.
By using open banking and open accounting, the Trade Ledger and Equifax partnership aims to help SMBs build a credit profile and speed up the credit application process for businesses., the release states
Trade Ledger has been working to aggregate and store data directly from SMB applications to help digital credit products and has been combining transaction data from banks and credit history data from credit bureaus to help underwrite risk.
Equifax has committed to joining Trade Ledger's SMB FinTech task force, formed in the wake of the pandemic, which intends to put together a new business credit organization and underwriting infrastructure for businesses.
Martin McCann, co-founder and CEO of Trade Ledger, said he hopes the partnership would be able to "deliver tangible benefits to hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed [SMBs] and lenders simultaneously," according to the release.
“By leveraging our unique open platform for [SMB] finance and unique commercial data assets from Equifax, we have the chance to play a significant role in driving the U.K.’s recovery from COVID-19, as well as building a more sustainable and competitive financial services sector after.”
Jayadeep Nair, Equifax U.K. chief product & marketing officer, said the partnership would help the businesses struggling the most in the wake of the pandemic.
“Using technology such as APIs [application programming interfaces] and open banking, plus a combination of traditional and new data sources, we can build a better and more accurate picture of an [SMB’s] financial health in real time," he said, according to the release. "For [SMBs], having a way of showing their stability and creditworthiness based upon the most current data is crucial to accessing finance as they look to rebuild after the pandemic.”
Equifax also recently invested in Urjanet, a utility account aggregation company, which is looking to help with issues of thin credit or credit invisibility by expanding the sources of data that firms can pull for underwriting, PYMNTS reported.