iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing small business lenders, has today successfully released Open Banking for all new customers with a Lloyds Bank account. The company becomes the first ever business lender to connect with any of the UK’s nine largest banks under the Open Banking initiative, launched in January 2018.
By securely linking their Lloyds Bank data, business owners can now provide iwoca up to five years of transaction history with a few quick clicks of a mouse. This speeds up the lender’s already swift application process even further for Lloyds customers, reducing the time they spend submitting bank information to less than 60 seconds.
iwoca was an early participant in the Open Banking initiative, forming a dedicated Open Banking team in January 2018 to seize on the many opportunities the initiative can create for its customers. It was also recognised as a winner of the Open Banking-based Open Up Challenge for developing products deemed most likely to have a positive impact on UK small businesses in 2018 and beyond.
Imran Gulamhuseinwala, OBE, Implementation Trustee at the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), said: “Products and services powered by Open Banking will, in time, transform the way people and businesses access financial services in the UK. iwoca has seen and seized the opportunities that Open Banking can bring and has been a key player within the ecosystem from the start – engaging with banks and collaborating with other third party providers.
“Its successful connection to Lloyds Bank is another milestone in the Open Banking era and will help revolutionise the way small businesses access financial services. I’m excited to see iwoca’s work continue as they open up Open Banking integrations with other providers in the future.”
Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder, iwoca said: “Open Banking means high street banks no longer have a monopoly on transaction data. As a result, it’s now easier for small businesses to shop around and find the best financial service to meet their needs, without worrying about the brunt of loan application processes. With Open Banking, getting approved with iwoca is as fast as it is to drink your morning cup of coffee.”
“We worked closely with the Open Banking Implementation Entity and Lloyds Bank to deliver this integration, and we aim to launch future integrations with Barclays, HSBC, RBS, Santander and others within the coming weeks.”
Rieche continued: “But realising the great potential of Open Banking depends on the cooperation of each bank and on small business owners trusting and understanding the Open Banking process. Therefore, it’s critical for banks and Government to do all they can to enable and encourage the adoption of Open Banking. This will create greater competition in small business lending and, as a result, better, fairer services for small business owners.
“Ultimately, we’re excited about the potential for Open Banking. It brings us closer to our vision of making business loans as easy as booking a flight online. Plus, we believe it will help us take a big leap toward achieving our goal to fund one million small businesses – 100,000 of them in the next five years. More successful small businesses means vibrant local communities and stronger economic growth.”
iwoca provides loans of up to £200,000 to small and micro businesses across the UK, Germany and Poland via its website and through partner integrations using its proprietary Lending API and now in the UK through the Open Banking API. With the use of award-winning technology, iwoca wants to make working capital more accessible to business owners across Europe, with a simple mission of expanding what’s possible for them.