Scaling Instant Payments and FSB Collaboration Will Allow More UK SMEs to Get Paid Instantly
Previse, an online instant payment platform, has been awarded a £2.5m grant by the Banking Competition Remedies’ Capability and Innovation Fund.
The money, which will be used to fund further development of Previse’s industry leading instant payments solution, was won after a competitive application process that saw £20m dispersed to 6 companies, as part of the BCR’s mission to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology relevant to SMEs.
The award will accelerate the market adoption of Previse’s technology that improves the cashflow of SMEs who trade with large corporates and supports the delivery of a SmartData initiative, in partnership with the FSB, aimed at enhancing the availability of trading data used by the instant payment solution.
Working alongside FSB, the award comes at a critical time for UK businesses. Covid-19 government support is starting to be withdrawn. At the same time the endemic culture of poor business practice around invoice payment has worsened, creating big cashflow challenges for SMEs. This is highlighted by the latest FSB study of more than 4,000 firms, which showed that the majority of small businesses (62%) have been subject to late or frozen payments in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This cripples their ability to pay their own bills, to pay staff, and ultimately to continue to trade in the current climate. Previse believes SMEs should have the option to receive instant payment, whenever they issue an invoice.
Paul Christensen, CEO of Previse said:
“With the BCR funding and collaboration with the FSB, we will be able to get more SMEs paid instantly: reducing the need to resort to other expensive forms of finance. Our top priority is getting working capital to small businesses, to provide the immediate cashflow support they need.
“To do this, we must create a change to the payment culture across the UK
“We are calling on government, large corporates, organisations that represent the interests of SMEs, and the public, to join us in creating a movement that ensures every SME has the option of immediate payment, whenever they issue an invoice.
“The current climate makes it more important than ever to act now.”
Martin McTague, Vice-Chair (Policy & Advocacy) at the Federation of Small Businesses said:
“We are delighted to be able to work with Previse and play a key part in this BCR initiative. The current climate has exacerbated the slow payment problem faced by many SMEs and made it more important than ever to deliver support.
“SMEs deserve better and FSB is excited about how the collaboration with Previse can bring about a change, which allows SMEs to benefit from payment on day-1, removing the reliance on expensive, traditional forms of finance.
“The BCR grant means that we can launch a number of initiatives in 2021, that will benefit our members and the wider SME community, helping to accelerate the change that is needed to the payments culture in the UK.”