BARCLAYS has taken a minority stake in business finance provider MarketInvoice – a move that will allow the bank to offer its small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients access to MarketInvoice’s technology.
The high street bank hopes the strategic partnership will “transform” the way that SMEs across the UK manage their cash flow. The deal also forms part of Barclays’ plan to invest in new business models for growth, and will help MarketInvoice to broaden its reach across the UK.
MarketInvoice’s online invoice financing proposition will be introduced to Barclays’ SME clients over the coming months across the UK, including the East Midlands, West Midlands and North West London. A full roll-out will come into force nationwide in 2019.
Barclays also plans to fund invoices via MarketInvoice in the future, which will provide the platform with additional funding and scale.
Anil Stocker, chief executive of MarketInvoice, said the strategic partnership spells good news for UK businesses.
“It’s exciting to be combining the knowledge and footprint of a 325-year old British banking institution with MarketInvoice’s tech-led online finance solutions,” he added.
While Barclays’ corporate bank already offers invoice financing to large businesses, the tie-up with MarketInvoice will allow the bank to offer the service to SME clients as well.
“Invoice financing gives small businesses the power to obtain funding in a fast and innovative way, and capitalise on those moments,” said Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Bank.
The MarketInvoice tie-up follows Barclays’ decision to double its unsecured business loan limit from £50,000 to £100,000.
Barclays isn’t the only high street bank that is looking to grow its presence in the SME market: RBS and Natwest have launched Esme Loans, a digital lending platform that provides SMEs with unsecured loans up to £150,000.