Fintech lender OnDeck Australia has rolled out a new finance offering for SMEs, promising up to $100,000 in as little as two hours.
The Lightning Loans product has promised loan decisions in less than 90 minutes, and funding in as fast as two hours, by automating a number of manual credit assessment processes.
The application process involves uploading six months of recent bank statements through OnDeck’s online portal.
Cameron Poolman, chief executive of OnDeck Australia, commented that OnDeck has sought to develop technology-driven solutions that make it easier for SMEs to access timely finance.
“OnDeck’s research has made it clear that the SME sector often faces lengthy delays when it comes to finance through traditional lenders, and this is hampering growth,” Mr Poolman said.
“Our significant investment in credit assessment technology and streamlining our internal processes is solving this problem, delivering funding to small businesses in a matter of hours – not days, weeks or, in some cases, months.
“Our automated processes now mean that only large or complex loans require the involvement of an underwriter, allowing accelerated lending decisions to be made on the vast majority of SME loans. This also frees up our underwriters to spend more time on those larger or more complex loans that require their expertise to assess.”
OnDeck has also marketed the Lightning Loans product as a way for SMEs to take advantage of the instant asset write-off for new equipment, which the federal budget extended to 30 June.
Research commissioned by the fintech has indicated that SMEs are most likely to use full expensing to invest in IT equipment, vehicles, manufacturing equipment and office furniture.
Business investment spiked in the March quarter, with ABS data showing a 12 per cent rise in machinery and equipment.
Recent research from CBA has also shown a jump in demand for asset finance in the construction industry, with 191 per cent yearly growth for excavators and a 121 per cent surge for other earthmoving equipment.
Commercial vehicle financing also had seen a sizeable rise.
“SMEs now have certainty around being able to claim the cost of new assets on tax in the current financial year,” Mr Poolman explained.
“This is likely to drive an escalation of SME demand for commercial finance ahead of 30 June 2021, and it provides a timely opportunity for brokers to expand into SME finance.”
A recent Prospa survey also showed that more than half (54 per cent) of all SME owners have plans to invest in their business over the next six to 12 months.
Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.
Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.
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