Offering short-term unsecured loans of up to $50,000, American Express is giving small businesses quick access to opportunities for growth or consolidating debt.
The application process is 100 per cent digital, with existing AmEx OPEN card owners following an online three-step system that uses pre-approved loan amounts and rates tailored to their business.
The move comes as larger banks are stepping into the online lending space, while their smaller rivals are making their mark on the SME landscape.
Goldman Sachs is a notable example, singling out its online lending initiatives as the bank’s single biggest revenue driver over the next three years. By 2020, they expect to make more than $2bn in net revenues from its lending and financing efforts.
This is not the first time that AmEx has made moves in online lending, having launched its Working Capital Terms short-term loans platform in 2016.
As the latest addition to its suite of online financing products, Business Loans are being launched in recognition of the need for smaller, quicker loans that can cover generic business needs.
Research conducted by American Express this year shows that 74 per cent of small businesses hold a positive view of the economy, with a further 57 per cent planning to make capital investments in their companies.
Gina Taylor Cotter, general manager and senior vice president of global commercial financing for American Express, said: “Small businesses need access to capital with an easy application process and at competitive rates. We designed Business Loans to help address this need for smaller, general purpose loans.”