Iwoca officially debuts its SME lending-as-a-service platform

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 18 March 2020

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Here are the 14 partners the OpenLending platform is launching with.

Iwoca officially debuts its SME lending-as-a-service platform
Image source: Iwoca's James Dear and Christoph Rieche.

Iwoca is today opening up its lending platform to fintechs from across the sector to add lending capabilities to their own services.

Some 14 players are already signed up including Xero, Funding Options, Funding Xchange and Monese, all of which had existing partnerships with Iwoca but will now be moving over to the new lending platform called OpenLending.

Launching an OpenLending API was a core promise of Iwoca’s £10m BCR grant win, a feature that should dramatically expand Iwoca’s SME lending reach in the coming months and years.

“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, Iwoca’s CEO and co-founder.

“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.”

Rieche noted that now, more than ever, digital access to SME finance is crucial as the economic crisis caused by coronavirus ripples throughout the world.

Lenders operating through branch networks and call centres could find their reach dramatically hampered in the coming weeks as restrictions close down high streets and stop mass gatherings.

Atul Choudrie, chief commercial officer at Monese told AltFi: "For Monese customers this means it should be even easier to obtain finance when they need to. We are looking to grow our lending book with partners like Iwoca substantially in the next 24 months and this forms part of a much bigger lending strategy for consumer and business customers."

While Iwoca has made solid progress today with this launch, it’ll be interesting to see in the weeks and months ahead how many other fintechs come on board, versus those who look to develop their lending services in-house.

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