UK-based SME lender iwoca has partnered with the Funding Xchange and Funding Options marketplaces to offer 30-second decisions on loans to small businesses

UK banknotes Howard Lake Flickr

iwoca provides loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK (Credit: Howard Lake/Flickr)

Small business lender iwoca has partnered with two of the UK’s largest enterprise finance marketplaces to offer real-time decisions on loans.

The company announced today it will work alongside Funding Xchange and Funding Options to integrate its lending platform using application programming interface (API) technology.

Businesses will be able to receive decisions on their iwoca loan applications via these marketplace aggregation websites within 30 seconds of submission – as opposed to the “approval in principle” responses typically offered.

Colin Goldstein, iwoca’s commercial growth director, said: “As consumers, we expect seamless experiences when using aggregators to book travel insurance, hotels or to buy a new car – so why should it be any different when small businesses look for finance?

“We are delighted to have launched this market-leading instant decision experience with our close partners, Funding Xchange and Funding Options, and will be rolling this out to other partners in the coming months, as part of our mission to make access to finance fast and simple for small business owners.

“By giving them immediate and hassle-free credit, we are expanding possibilities so that SMEs no longer have to deal with uncertainty and have the information they need to make better business decisions.”


iwoca provides loans to under-served SME market in the UK

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have long bemoaned being under-served by the lending options available to them.

Iwoca says this this new integration will provide greater certainty to company owners looking to secure a small loan – initially up to £15,000 ($18,700) – meaning they can make faster decisions on financing offers received via the partner websites.

iwoca loans
New partnership aims to give SMEs faster decisions on lending applications

Earlier this year, iwoca’s CEO wrote an open letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond to express concerns that the government’s own bank referral scheme for small business lending is at risk of failure and in need of a supervisory task force.

The alternative remedies package has been allocating grants throughout the year to financial services companies looking to improve the way SMEs are catered to – with Funding Options among the latest round of firms to be awarded a £5m ($6.2m) commercialise financial technology for small businesses.

Funding Options chief product officer Alastair Preacher: “Access to much-needed funding for the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses is essential to our economy, and today’s news marks a huge industry leap forward.

“The impact of instant loan decisioning is an excellent example of fintechs making a real difference at the grassroots of UK business, giving company owners additional clarity when applying for finance and ultimately allowing them more time to run and grow their business.”