UK payments processor WorldPay is to move into the alternative finance market through an alliance with small business cash advance outfit Liberis.
The new unit, Worldpay Business Finance, will offer Britain's small businesses the ability to take an unsecured cash advance based on their future credit and debit card sales. Payments by the customer are made on the basis of a pre-agreed percentage of the business' card transactions.
The diversification by WorldPay into alternative finance comes just a month after the company made its debut on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the firm at £4.8 billion and raising around £948 million in working capital.
WorldPay has chosen to ally with specialist cash advance lender Liberis to enter the loans market. Over the past eight years, Liberis claims to have advanced over £100 million to 2000 SMEs who have been unable to raise funding from their banks.
Worldpay's move into alternative finance comes as small business owners continue to face significant obstacles in funding their growth. Research from the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills shows that 50% of loan applications from first time SME borrowers are rejected.
Dave Hobday, UK managing director Worldpay, says: "We work with around 280,000 small businesses in the UK and they make up a large proportion of our customers, so we want to help them flourish. By letting companies access cash relating to their future earnings, we are giving them the chance to grow in line with their ambition and potential."