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Episode Six Debuts BNPL Plan as Companies Hunt Working Capital

businesswoman looking at financials

Payment processing firm Episode Six has debuted an installment payment plan for businesses.

Business Now, Pay Later, announced Wednesday (Sept. 13), lets commercial banks offer small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) “tailored installment offerings” within their business banking channel.

The Austin-based company said in a news release that it created the solution to help ease the pain companies are feeling as they search for working capital.

“Business Now, Pay Later directly addresses this need by industrializing the conventional buy now, pay later (BNPL) model, strengthening it and making it fit-for-purpose for commercial banks and their customers,” the release said.

“This solution enables financial institutions to tap into an underserved market and solidify business relationships by providing [SMBs] the products to better manage their cash flow with increased flexibility and control.”

However, it’s not just smaller businesses that are dealing with the issue Episode Six hopes to address, as Darren Parslow, global head of Visa Business Solutions, noted in a recent interview.

“Everyone’s calculating the cost of capital,” Parslow told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, “and calculating the cost of working capital, too, and working out exactly what tools they’ll deploy in 2024, and how they’ll do so.”

The interview came as Visa debuted its Growth Corporates Working Capital Index in cooperation with PYMNTS Intelligence, a project designed to provide a deep dive into the relationship between how CFOs employ working capital solutions and the operational efficiencies — and growth — achieved.

Growth Corporates are companies with top lines between $50 million to $100 million and $1 billion. Or, as Parslow called them, “the Goldilocks” of the business world.

They’re “a little too big for small business working capital solutions or small business banking. But they’re a little too small for enterprise and corporate wholesale banking,” he said.

The burden is on Visa and its banking and enterprise providers to offer a wide range of working capital solutions for Growth Corporates “thus far underserved in their efforts to manage cash flow with aplomb,” as that report said.

“But they’re just right for working capital optimization with the aid of virtual cards and other digital innovations,” PYMNTS wrote.

Parslow pointed out that “more and more bankers — and more of our clients that we’re talking to — are interested in this segment” as they look to help their clients enjoy more top-line growth from their operations.

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