Apr 8, 2021

Starling and Funding Options support SMEs with fast loans

Starling
FundingOptions
bank
loans
William Girling
2 min
Recognising the importance of SMEs’ recovery following the pandemic, Starling Bank and Funding Options plan to help them secure fast loans
Recognising the importance of SMEs’ recovery following the pandemic, Starling Bank and Funding Options plan to help them secure fast loans...

Founded in 2011, Funding Options is a “data-driven marketplace for business finance” that endeavours to help small-medium enterprises (SMEs) secure the funds needed to thrive.

Now with over 120 lending partners, the company has helped raise approximately £500m between 10,000 businesses in the UK and the Netherlands.

Starling, still fresh from its unicorn status milestone, holds a 5% share in the UK’s SME market. Its collaboration with Funding Options includes joining the latter’s aforementioned lending panel. 

Championing business growth

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Starling has proven itself to be an ally of small businesses as they seek ways to stay afloat. So far, the pioneering challenger bank has issued £2bn of government-backed loans and plans to grow its SME accounts to 18% of the UK market within five years.

“By forming lending partnerships with credit brokers such as Funding Options, Starling is making it easier for small businesses to get access to the funds they need to survive, grow and flourish,” said Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer.

For its part, Funding Options has been similarly proactive over the last 12 months: it processed £850m of CBILS and enabled SMEs to find and access the funds they needed. Stuart Lawson, CRO, is confident that Starling’s participation will add value to their joint efforts:

“This partnership with Starling Bank is yet another strong signal to business owners that Funding Options will do everything to drive competition in the SME lending market and champion business growth by offering fair, cost effective and competitive choice.”

SMEs: Vital to the economy

Analysis in 2020 conducted by McKinsey found that UK SMEs represent 50% of the total economy, making it clear why Starling and Funding Options are such ardent supporters.

Alternative financing - that which doesn’t come from a high street bank - has become increasingly popular and viable as greater restrictions on lending are imposed, which SMEs are often unable to move beyond.

Find out more in our featured article ‘Crowd pleaser: The future of alternative financing is scale.’

Did you know? Anne Boden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank, was the winner of our Top 100 Women in Fintech list. Read the full article here

Image source: Starling Bank

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Jun 22, 2021

TrueLayer launches new verification API

TrueLayer
Fintech
API
openbanking
3 min
TrueLayer says the new Open Banking solution streamlines the onboarding process and simplifies payment processes

TrueLayer, the leading, London-based open banking solution fintech, has announced the launch of its new Open Banking API verification solution. 

According to reports, the technology combines open banking with machine learning (ML) to make the onboarding process seamless and fast.

Fast processing in Open Banking

Results show its success rate is currently 20% higher than credit bureaus because it generates reports in seconds rather than the traditional manual, bank statement checks that can take days to complete. 

TrueLayer also says the technology simplifies the payment setup and transactions by pre-verifying customer’s details. 

Another advantage is that existing providers have access to raw data that requires businesses to build and maintain their own logic to verify that the customer’s name matches their name on file at the bank.

The verification logic sits on top of open banking rails and matches the name given via the onboarding, along with the name held at the bank. It, therefore, offers a single feed that provides an immediate and highly accurate response regarding whether their user’s account has been verified.

Open Banking in the UK

Open Banking has seen a surge in popularity since March 2020. Data shows that the technology is being used 12-fold more than it was two years ago.  Banks in the UK are now handling more open banking payments volume in a single month than the amounts measured in the whole of 2019.

TrueLayer says many of its clients are using the Verification API, including Authologic, a Y Combinator-backed provider of identity verification solutions.

Ossama Soliman, Chief Product Officer at TrueLayer, said the verification breakthrough makes a huge difference to both businesses and customers because verification is the first step to onboarding a new user and yet it can often take days to verify an account owner using traditional methods. 

He explained, “Their security is questionable, they’re prone to errors and they take forever. It doesn’t need to be that way. With the verification API, we’ve built on top of open banking to create a faster, more secure, and more accurate approach to verifying a user’s account. It serves businesses across multiple industries, including financial services, PSPs, wealth management and trading, marketplaces, property, and iGaming.”

Speaking about the new technology, Jarek Sygitowicz, co-founder of Authologic explained, “Whether you are a fintech, a marketplace, or an ecommerce platform you want to deliver the best possible onboarding experience. 

He added; “We are aggregating different identity verification methods and we are big supporters of using open banking thanks to its ability to make the entire process more intuitive.”

The TrueLayer verification API delivers: 

• A faster onboarding process, cutting time from three days to three clicks.

• The API coverage spans all major banks, resulting in a 22.5% higher success rate compared to other credit check methods.

• Prevents fraud through its embedded strong customer authentication (SCA) within the bank verification process.

• Offers a better user experience for customers using biometric technology to confirm identity and ownership.

• Lowers payment failures through its pre-verified account details.

• Lowers burden on compliance teams through automated verification via a single API call.

• Lowers maintenance issues because engineers can focus on solving core business problems, rather than building and maintaining name-check logic.

Image credit: TrueLayer offices from TrueLayer

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