Worldpay taps UK fintech Liberis to offer working capital to US businesses

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U.K.-based small business finance provider Liberis has teamed up with FIS-owned payments company Worldpay to offer cash advance products to small businesses in the U.S., the companies confirmed late last month.

Through the WorldPay Working Capital Solution, Liberis and Worldpay are able to reach small businesses that may find it difficult to get credit from banks. Eligible businesses can apply for merchant cash advances that are typically between $2,500 and $60,000, depending on their  transaction patterns. Customers indicate their desired level of funding and how quickly they would like to repay it. They repay the total along with an agreed-upon percentage of future Worldpay debit and credit transactions.

Through the solution, businesses can receive funding in as little as two days. Nicole Jass, senior vice president of product at Worldpay Merchant Solutions, said in a statement that speed is an important selling point of the working capital product. In 2016, Worldpay and Liberis partnered to launch Worldpay Business Finance, a similar product for U.K. businesses.

Worldpay and Liberis join a growing number of nonbanks, like PayPal, Kabbage, BlueVine, Shopify and Amazon, that offer working capital solutions for small businesses. These companies offer a product and user experience that banks haven’t been able to crack, including real-time monitoring and consideration of a broad range of data points, David Sica, partner at Nyca Partners, recently told Bank Innovation.

See also: Digital lenders aim for small businesses underserved by large banks

““[With banks], there is an archaic process, multiple levels of people and an opaque product with hidden fees,” Sica said. “That’s a ripe area for a fintech company to come in with a solution with a small business in mind.”

London-based Liberis, which was founded in 2007, closed a $42 million funding round led by growth equity firm FTV Capital in late January. The company claims to have helped 15,000 small businesses with more than £400 million (around $520 million) in funding extended. Liberis, which operates in the U.K., the U.S., Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Finland, said the $42 million in fresh funding will be used to support the company’s expansion in the U.S. and to two yet-to-be-named countries in Europe, as well as a 30% increase in employees in the coming year.

“We’re going to use these funds to deepen our penetration with our existing partner Worldpay,” said Howard Kramen, general manager of U.S. operations at Liberis Group, adding that Liberis will also “partner with additional companies and not just merchant acquires, but also hardware, software and other payment providers, to be able to provide the same type of service.

“Our specialty is with partnerships,” Kramen said. “We are able to host a website as an online journey. And we’re striving to make that as instantaneous as possible and as digital as possible.”

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