Fintech lender launches API, partners with digital bank

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 10 October 2017

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Iwoca partners with Tide as its API goes live, allowing third parties to offer loans to small businesses.

Speaking at the second day of LendIt Europe this morning, Iwoca CEO Christoph Rieche (pictured) announced the formal launch of the firm's partnership API, which has been in testing with a number of partners throughout the course of this year.

The API allows third parties to offer what Rieche describes as “seamless” access to credit, powered by Iwoca’s technology platform and underwriting process. Iwoca’s platform, which specialises in credit facilities, is able to advance credit to businesses within 10 minutes.

In tandem to turning the API live, Iwoca has announced SME-facing digital banking service Tide as the first of its partners. Tide is a fellow disruptor whose CEO George Bevis told the LendIt audience that his company is already capturing 7 per cent of all new business current account launches in the UK today. The company raised $14m in a series A in July.

The integration between these companies will for the first time offer a credit solution to Tide customers. Iwoca will make use of the data held by Tide on its customers to further speed up credit decisions. Repayments on these loans will be deducted automatically from borrower’s Tide accounts.

In this morning’s presentation, Rieche played a slyly-filmed video of a small business owner’s attempts to inquire about getting a loan in-store with some of the UK’s biggest banks. He estimated that, on average, these banks take 2-8 weeks to reach a decision on loans. He also asserted that fintech-bank partnerships, such as the licensing deal between JPMorgan Chase and OnDeck, are not currently working “at scale”. Traditional banks are among Iwoca’s target partners for its new API.

The Tide partnership is part of a broader trend of fintech banks partnering with online lenders to offer credit to their customers. Another example is Revolut’s deal with P2P lender Lending Works. Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky said today that his firm is now processing 100-200 credit applications a day. 

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