Global embedded financing platform, YouLend and Plaid report that their partnership has boosted SME lending approval rates to 90%. Data network, Plaid, enables consumers to connect their bank accounts to more than 8,000 apps and services. The strategic partnership

automates underwriting that utilises direct-from-source financial data through open banking. This 90% figure compares with the 64% average for the UK is above the previous government-assisted rate of 80% in 2021.

There remains a SME bank-financing gap. The two companies reference an estimate €400bn funding gap in the Eurozone. This is despite around 70% of SMEs depending on banks for their external financing. This leaves thousands of businesses without another viable option for capital.

The strategic partnership between YouLend and Plaid seeks to reshape the SME lending landscape across Europe. YouLend says that its tech-driven approach enables businesses to access credit three times faster. It does so by leveraging direct-from-source financial data. In the past, businesses with limited access to data from conventional sources may not be granted approval for financing. Today, YouLend customers can have their creditworthiness evaluated by modern underwriting that factors in alternative income streams to present fast, flexible, and affordable financing solutions.

Plaid reports that its seamless integration means that businesses are offered 20% lower prices on average.

Loan applications complete three times faster

Andy Quach, Head of Commercial at YouLend, said: “YouLend’s partnership with Plaid has enabled us to deliver a streamlined customer experience. It expands access to flexible financing amongst small-to-medium businesses that are typically under-served by traditional credit institutions. The real-time data we receive from Plaid results in applications being completed 3x faster and more businesses receiving funding.”

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YouLend’s platform now provides an effective solution to the persistent challenges many SMEs face in accessing vital working capital. Small and medium-sized businesses can access funds on the same day, ensuring they can quickly seize growth opportunities.

Zak Lambert, Europe Head of Product at Plaid, added: “We’re delighted with the results that YouLend has been able to achieve by using Plaid. We’ve been partners for over three years. YouLend continues to raise the bar for what it means to deliver a great customer experience. We’ve never been more excited about what the future holds for YouLend and their customers.”