By Emily Nicolle on Wednesday 15 November 2017
The challenger bank is giving a helping hand to the local SMEs by sourcing foreign support.
Banco BNI Europa and Belgian marketplace lender Edebex are partnering up to release its online platform locally, for the purchase and sale of invoices to Portuguese companies with cash requirements.
Edebex’s platform is an innovative alternative to financial credit and traditional factoring, with no guarantees, collateral, credit procedures or contracts that will bind user companies during the financing process. Previously available in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, the platform is now immediately available in Portugal through the partnership.
"The idea itself is simple," says Xavier Corman, co-founder and CEO of Edebex. "On the one hand, we allow SMBs with cash flow problems to sell their open invoices online by getting the funds they need quickly, without having to wait for them to be paid in.
“On the other hand, we offer investors the opportunity to buy these invoices, and thereby access a very low risk investment that offers a much higher return than any other alternative currently available in the market. "
Additionally, by partnering with Edebex as an outside lender, it is not necessary to hold a Banco BNI Europa bank account to access the platform. Pedro Pinto Coelho, CEO of Banco BNI Europa, remarked that this type of partnership is typical of the bank’s open architecture, which is something it is trying to strengthen in the Portuguese market.
He commented: “We are very committed to investing in the Portuguese economy, particularly in the SME segment. The partnership with Edebex is one of the innovative initiatives we are developing at the moment.”
The move follows several other fintech partnerships and investments announced by Banco BNI Europa earlier this year, including big names such as MarketInvoice, Creditshelf and Portuguese lending platform RAIZE.
To date, the bank has struck fourteen fintech partnerships with European fintech leaders across the continent. The bank reported 36.7 per cent growth during the first half of 2017, taking its total assets to almost €500m in June, and cited its focus on “innovative products” as an explanation for the improved performance.