NatWest announces new partnership to boost SME lending

Rapid Cash and Esme Loans team up with pre-paid company card provider Soldo

NatWest has today launched a new partnership with Soldo, a pre-paid company card provider for small businesses, which will allow two of the bank’s ventures, Esme Loans and Rapid Cash, to be offered directly to Soldo’s customers, as the bank aims to increase lending to UK SMEs throughout 2020.

Soldo is a multi-user business expenses solution including Mastercard prepaid cards, a mobile user app and web console. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, it automates expense reporting while giving businesses complete control over how and where employees and departments can spend company money.

Through the new partnership, Soldo users will be able to apply for swift business loans of up to £250,000 via Esme Loans; or choose to borrow up to £500,000 as a flexible line of credit against unpaid invoices via Rapid Cash. Both services will be available directly from within its desktop app, offering quick and simple access to business lending. The partnership follows Rapid Cash’s integration with cloud-based accountancy software provider Xero in November, and is the latest fintech that Esme Loans has joined forces with over the past 12 months.

The partnership supports NatWest’s aim to support growth of UK SMEs with business lending in 2020, following confirmation last November that the lender had extended its growth fund to support small businesses to £8.2billion to help businesses grow, fund green initiatives and navigate the current uncertain business climate.

Andy Ellis, Head of NatWest Ventures said: “As one of the UK’s biggest banks for SMEs, we’re extremely keen to work with anyone that offers a unique, simple experience that makes it easier for our customers to run and grow their business. Soldo is a partner who do exactly that, whilst sharing our passion to do things differently for UK SMEs. We’re thrilled to be working with them.”

The announcement marks the latest in a string of recent partnerships the bank has struck with tech providers to broaden and improve its digital offering. Last year, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM were among the businesses which the lender teamed up with as it continues to invest in technology to support its 17million personal and business customers across the UK.

Author: Yash Hirani

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