Commercial lending is steadily on the rise, and interest rates are dropping; yet small businesses are still struggling to get working capital from banks.
"I think that the process for providing working capital to small businesses is, at best, cumbersome," Daniel DeMeo, CEO at Capital Access Network, said to Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster.
In February earlier this year, Capital Access Network (CAN) launched its online lending engine product—called CapTap—to help small businesses get the flexible funding they need to take advantage of the growing market opportunities. CapTap aims to help small merchants who often get denied working capital by helping them to understand and explore all of the lending options available in the market. DeMeo stated that the traditional lending process is broken, and that smaller merchants are having a tough time meeting ends meet because of challenges in the lending process.
CAN specializes in helping SMBs gain access to capital funding—a trade that is especially valuable in today's stringent lending market. DeMeo indicated that a solution can be found at the root of an overwhelming loan application process: banks generally focus on the personal credit history of merchants, instead of adopting CAN's business-based approach that looks at the company's actual business performance data to help determine loan worthiness.
DeMeo touched on the flaws of the application process and stated, "It's time consuming. There is a demand for a lot of information and you might end up going through the process without even getting access to the working capital."
"Applications are based on personal credit profits, or personal credit history of a merchant," DeMeo explained. "In our techniques we are primarily looking at business information that helps us judge the health, stability and the growth potential for that business, not a long application and not necessarily a business plan. We are able to use more contemporary techniques that are more business bases. It is a proprietary technique, and it's unique to us."
According to DeMeo, there have been significant changes in the lending market since the financial crisis, and the need for working capital solutions is in high demand.
"Standing still isn't an option," he said.
Webster sat down with DeMeo to understand why smaller merchants are struggling and what CAN is doing to help negate these lending challenges. Find out how CAN and DeMeo are helping SMB merchants get the guidance and information they need to gain capital approval by watching the PYMNTS.com's video interview below.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. DeMeo joined the company in 2010 and became Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Company's Board of Directors in 2013, following more than 12 years of concurrent experience as a C-level officer for Capital Access Network, Inc., 1st Financial Bank USA and JPMorgan & Co. In these positions, Mr. DeMeo was responsible for all finance and accounting activities including planning, investment, management, portfolio and product pricing and balance sheet management. Prior to 1st Financial, Mr. DeMeo was CFO of the Global Technology at JP Morgan Chase and prior to that, CFO of Chase consumer and small business credit card unit. Mr. DeMeo has extensive background in the financial services industry, having served as EVP, Citibank Universal Card Service, SVP of Marketing and Business Development at GE Capital and various accounting and finance executive positions at Citibank where he started his career. Mr. DeMeo has a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from New England College and an MBA from Farleigh Dickinson University.