OpenLending: a new project to help 2 million SMEs by 2023

To help finance even more businesses through our partners, we're launching OpenLending with 14 powerful fintech platforms.

18 March 2020

Today, we announced OpenLending – a smart new platform that allows our partners to offer fast and flexible funding to small business owners when they need it. So far, iwoca has lent over £1bn to over 50,000 small businesses, and now, with OpenLending, comes the potential to make funding accessible to even more.

OpenLending allows iwoca partners such as digital banks, accounting software platforms and payment service providers to offer fully customised loans to their customers within their own platforms, bringing the entire finance ecosystem together. So far, 14 partners have already signed up to OpenLending, including Funding Options, Monese and Funding Xchange. This collaboration allows them to tailor the user experience of applications to suit the needs of their customers.

With COVID-19 escalating quickly, collaboration between those in the financial ecosystem could prove to be a valuable asset.

“The concept of OpenLending has the potential – through collaboration with the banks and fintech partners – to fix some of the biggest problems SMEs will face in the coming months,” said Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder of iwoca. “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. Digital access to finance is particularly valuable now where COVID-19 may lead to severe disruption of bank branch networks and call centres, 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”

Our partners so far

Monese is a digital bank that offers smart, personal accounts in both GBP and EUR currencies. Being a digital bank, it has no physical branches. Instead, accounts use its app that’s packed with smart budgeting features and real-time spending notifications.

“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 SME 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.”

In addition to the new partnership with Monese, Xero – the UK’s leading online accounting platform – has also teamed up with iwoca. Together, we’re undertaking deep research with a view to a potential customised finance solution in early 2021. This would be designed and built specifically for Xero’s customers, and making tailored finance products directly accessible from within the core Xero software.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes articles explaining financial topics, as well as guides on the best support for small businesses during coronavirus.

Article updated on: 12 April 2020

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