SMEB has secured critical approvals and certifications ahead of its planned launch to help Britain’s small businesses and towns.

Small & Medium Enterprise Banking [SMEB], was founded by UK payment veterans to respond to the rapid reduction in local banking services that has left millions behind.

More than 5,000 bank branches have closed in the past five years, with 400 further closures expected in 2024. SMEB is developing a physical high street presence. Together with its technology solutions, it says it will provide cost effective and widespread banking to Britain’s 5.5 million SMEs.

Regulatory approvals

The FCA has approved SMEB as an Approved Payment Institution that can accept cash deposits from UK SMEs. The company is a principal member with Visa and Mastercard through their licensing programming. This allows SMEB to directly process and accept payments from customers using Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards which account for 99% of debit and credit card payments in the UK.

SMEB has also built connectivity to the UK Open Banking environment and has connection to 3,500 EU Banks for Open Banking services. This means SMEB can offer a full range of bank payments (including cash) and speed up customer sign up.

Andrew Martin, chairman of SMEB, said: “Traditional banks have abandoned the high streets at the heart of the British economy. We believe that Britain’s millions of small businesses deserve better. They need a bank that helps them succeed. A bank that takes all payments – including cash, that has a local presence and works with, not against, their technology. We are in the final stages of preparing a compelling service that offers choice, simplicity and reliability. One that allows SMEs to bank how they want, when they want.”

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