Small Business Owners Still Suspicious Of Open Banking – Survey

Minutehack | January 13, 2020

Most owners of small businesses are wary about sharing their data electronically, holding back the rollout of open banking which makes it easier to manage their money. Fewer than one in seven business owners questioned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said they were sharing the details of their business bank accounts with third parties. It means that most businesses are not getting the benefits of open banking, which puts invoice, cash flow, payroll, utilities and tax data all in the same place, the FSB said. “We’re two years on from the introduction of open banking but very few small firms have reaped any benefit from it,” said FSB chairman Mike Cherry.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

BigCommerce Launches in Germany, Mexico and Spain, Empowering Merchants to Build and Grow Innovative Online Businesses

BigCommerce | February 01, 2022

BigCommerce, a leading Open SaaS ecommerce platform for fast-growing and established brands, today announced it has extended its global presence into Germany, Mexico and Spain. With BigCommerce’s flexible enterprise-grade ecommerce platform and best-of-breed partner network, local merchants will be able to build, scale and grow their B2C and B2B businesses internationally and leverage industry-leading omnichannel capabilities for marketplace selling to drive revenue. The company’s latest expansion comes six months after its successful launch into France, Italy and the Netherlands and marks BigCommerce’s official market entry into Latin America. As the number of ecommerce and cross-border sales continue to climb worldwide, retailers increasingly seek to create modern and frictionless shopping experiences to meet evolving consumer expectations. BigCommerce’s Open SaaS ecommerce platform is designed to scale with business growth and enables merchants of all sizes—from small startups to large enterprises—to deliver localized and innovative customer experiences. With a free trial*, merchants can: Launch and grow their business internationally. A range of multi-language, multi-currency and secure payment capabilities allows merchants to easily create storefronts tailored to local or cross-border customers and test new markets. Uncover new channels for revenue. BigCommerce’s omnichannel platform enables retailers to discover new revenue streams by exploring new sales channels like Facebook Shops, Google Shopping, Instagram Shopping and more. Leverage local support for future growth. In addition to a fully translated front- and back-end and support resources, the creation of key roles in-country and a widening partner network will equip merchants with the tools they need to grow their online businesses. Build powerful B2B storefronts. As the global B2B ecommerce market size continues to grow, international merchants can transition their businesses online with BigCommerce's native B2B functionality and strong ecosystem of integration partner applications. “A robust and flexible ecommerce platform that can grow in parallel with business needs is critical for merchants to gain solid footing in today’s increasingly digital world. This is the competitive advantage BigCommerce offers to retailers in our newest regions. Coupled with local support and translated resources to establish their brand, connect with customers and build trust, our solution primes businesses to enrich the online customer shopping experience and positions them to innovate in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.” Meghan Stabler, vice president of international marketing, BigCommerce BigCommerce’s roster of established clients in each region includes well-known brands such as Tienda Chivas in Mexico; Diageo and Safeguru in Spain; and Unu Motors and Dr. Barbara Sturm in Germany all using BigCommerce’s platform to manage and optimize their online stores. About BigCommerce BigCommerce is a leading open software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate and grow their businesses online. BigCommerce provides merchants sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, customization and performance with simplicity and ease-of-use. Tens of thousands of B2C and B2B companies across 150 countries and numerous industries use BigCommerce to create beautiful, engaging online stores, including Ben & Jerry’s, Molton Brown, S.C. Johnson, Skullcandy, SoloStove and Vodafone. Headquartered in Austin, BigCommerce has offices in London, Kyiv, San Francisco, and Sydney.

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TECHNOLOGY

Foxquilt Launches eCommerce Insurance Product to Support Modern Small Business Owners

Foxquilt | April 20, 2022

Foxquilt, a leading North American insurtech focused on empowering small businesses with customized insurance products uniquely matched to their needs, announced the launch of a new eCommerce insurance product. Business owners will be able to secure coverage tailored to their specific needs, entirely online, on their own time and at better prices than they are used to. Foxquilt's eCommerce product is evolving insurance to meet the needs of the modern small business owner by providing an easy, all-online solution specifically designed to help new and existing e-commerce business owners quickly access insurance and fulfill compliance needs. Until now, the average eCommerce business was met with trepidation if US sales volumes were high or if they were a dropshipper who sold products from overseas. Foxquilt's new offering provides reliable coverage no matter the percent of US sales or where the products come from. Not to mention the improved affordability of this product, starting at $500 annually. The pandemic vastly accelerated the rise of eCommerce as the primary channel for shopping, and businesses have evolved to meet this new need. As such, more small businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to eCommerce and online marketplaces to meet customers where they are, changing the landscape in direct-to-consumer buying behaviors. With this shift, large eCommerce marketplaces such as Etsy, Shopify, and Amazon, now require sellers to purchase their own insurance policies. "Innovating insurance solutions for our small business customers has always been the epitome of our business at Foxquilt. That's why we're proud to introduce this new product offering to ensure that eCommerce business owners can secure insurance online and on-demand while protecting them from exposures where they trade." Mark Morissette, CEO and Co-founder of Foxquilt Foxquilt affords small business owners in over 500 professions to quote, buy and instantly receive their business insurance online. This is more efficient and cost-effective than other solutions available in the market. The company is committed to building technology that empowers small business owners, enabling them to have more control of their insurance buying experience, instead of being restricted to long wait times, extensive paperwork and a lack of autonomy. Foxquilt's business insurance products are specifically built to support business owners' entire insurance journey online, while providing a tailored, customized product. The platform is complemented by unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure, that suggests coverages based on a user's individual profile. As a North American insurance provider, Foxquilt is looking forward to launching the eCommerce product within the US later this year. Foxquilt also has leading partnerships and is excited to expand this roster with eCommerce marketplaces and online stores to provide top-quality coverage and a slick experience. About Foxquilt Foxquilt is a leading North American Insurance technology company focused on providing small businesses insurance. Foxquilt develops, underwrites and distributes a complete line of its own commercial insurance products in the United States and Canada. The company uses a combination of data analytics and artificial intelligence to recommend the best insurance coverage and price to meet the individual needs of its small business customers.

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FINANCE

Alchemy launches Small Business Lending SaaS Platform to fully automate Commercial Lending Process

Alchemy | April 07, 2022

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) are the backbone of the world economy. They play a major role in economic development, job creation, and innovation. Furthermore, SMEs create up to 50% of employment worldwide and represent almost 90% of commerce worldwide. According to research, entrepreneurs and business owners will create over 600 million jobs in the next 10 years which will consist of 70% of new jobs around the globe. Today, small business owners are less likely to receive funding from large national or international banks. Instead, they rely on their own savings to bootstrap their business. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), there are 65 million small businesses or 40% of all SMEs in the world who have unmet financing needs. In other words, small business owners need funding to give them the boost they need to grow and expand their business. There are many emerging markets such as Latin America, that have started to explore credit information infrastructure where lenders and financing companies can underwrite small businesses by accessing the SME's credit history and banking transactions. Alchemy along with other partners in Latin America and around the world have built white labeled software that can help launch lending companies to start offering much needed financing products for millions of SMEs worldwide. Alchemy has assisted in developing government backed lending systems and automated crucial elements of the small business lending decision points. To properly underwrite a small business, the lending software must be able to automatically verify the small business's corporate information as well as the true owner's personal identity. We can automatically verify all small business owners' personal identity to provide a high level of confidence that these applicants are using their identity. Cash flow is another critical element of SME lending underwriting decision. Identity verification, personal and corporate credit tells us the history and behavior of the business, but it may not necessarily tell us the current financial health of the business. Alchemy has integrated with partners such as Codat and Plaid, which offer a deep dive into a company's cash flow and financial stability. We've spent years perfecting our automated application process, decision engine, and workflows that allows lenders to negotiate with their borrowers before a final offer is signed. Alchemy's powerful loan management system can manage line of credit, installment loans, and revenue-based repayment structures. The Alchemy lending system covers repayments, payment reminders, and collections modules to help lenders to stay on top of their portfolio and investment.

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TECHNOLOGY

WEX Launches Flume, a Dedicated Small Business Digital Payment Platform

WEX | April 27, 2022

WEX, the global commerce platform that simplifies the business of running a business, announced the launch today of Flume, a digital payment platform designed to enable fast, transparent payments for small and medium businesses (SMBs). The brainchild of the company’s incubator WEX Ventures, Flume is a unique digital wallet specifically designed to support the 30 million U.S. businesses currently relying primarily on slow, analog payment methods. Unlike most payment platforms focused on digitally enabled companies, Flume aims to help close the digital divide for overlooked trade-oriented businesses initially with less than $15 million in annual revenue. “As the old saying goes, time is money. And for a small business operating in a market that often caters to the needs of the large enterprises, time is in short supply. Flume seeks to level the playing field by offering mom-and-pop shops a personal CFO at their fingertips. Powered by an FDIC insured digital wallet, Flume will allow SMBs to focus on growing their business while enhancing productivity, saving money, and reducing costs.” Jay Dearborn, President, Corporate Payments at WEX Studies show that 80 percent of businesses still use paper checks for invoices. For the typical SMB that issues 450 invoices per month at an estimated cost of $15 per invoice, it costs $80,000 a year just to manually process invoices. Flume alleviates these issues by offering a transparent, digital payments platform that eliminates the need for a manual account payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes. Even without errors, it is anticipated to take 60-90 days for businesses to get paid on manual invoices, on average, depriving SMBs of income that could enable them to hire an additional 2 million employees. In industries like construction, payment delays are particularly challenging. By allowing businesses to send, store, and receive funds through a mobile and web app, Flume’s digital wallet will enable accelerated and real time payments. “Most SMBs still rely on paper-based processes to power their businesses, which has served them well for decades. But looking ahead to the next 10 years, we’ve heard from many of our customers, particularly in the trades, that their current workflows can’t keep up amid skyrocketing demand,” said Matt Roy, Co-Founder & General Manager of Flume at WEX. “Most tools on the market today are built for more modern, technology enabled companies leaving many of these physically-grounded businesses out of focus; that’s why we built Flume. Flume puts the power of customized, accessible software in their hands so they can stay focused on growth and not the paperwork.” In the coming months, WEX expects to roll Flume out in phases across specific, high-need industry hubs. The first phase will center on existing WEX fuel card users and new customers. Later this summer, WEX plans to release new software add-ons that will expand Flume to builders and tradesmen to increase payment speed and transparency for customers. Flume will be provided by WEX Payments, a state-licensed money transmitter, in conjunction with a partner commercial bank. To learn more about Flume please visit www.flumepay.com. About WEX WEX is the global commerce platform that simplifies the business of running a business. WEX has created a powerful ecosystem that offers seamlessly embedded, personalized solutions for its customers around the world. Through its rich data and specialized expertise in simplifying benefits, reimagining mobility and paying and getting paid, WEX aims to make it easy for companies to overcome complexity and reach their full potential.

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