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Tungsten overhauls SME payments proposition

28 November 2016  |  5724 views  |  0 Source: Tungsten Network

Tungsten Network has strengthened its finance offer to thousands of firms in the UK and US with an overhaul of its Early Payment solution for SMEs.

Launched by trade finance specialist Prabhat Vira, this proposition marks a new chapter in Tungsten’s history as an alternative finance provider.

Originally launched in 2015, Tungsten Network Early Payment has been offering flexible, transparent funding to many SMEs at the touch of a button. With the latest extension to the product, which enables lower rates to be charged alongside more transparency and flexibility, Tungsten hopes to increase the number of businesses it can provide finance for to support their growth and stability.

Prabhat Vira, President of Tungsten Network Finance, commented: “Access to finance is vital for businesses to survive and thrive, especially for SMEs, who make up the backbone of the world’s economy. This refreshed product - which enables SMEs to leverage their e-invoicing service with Tungsten to access highly competitive funding - will broaden the number of companies we can provide finance to, with the aim of helping them build and grow the businesses they own. Too often these agile and able businesses are overlooked for funding, something our offering seeks to address.

“Tungsten Network Early Payment offers fully transparent funding, with an advance rate of 100 percent minus a small discount, significantly more favourable than the around 85% offered by similar schemes elsewhere. By taking advantage of early payments, and by being able to access funding from the same platform where they transact with their customers, SMEs can introduce more control to their cash flow, choosing when to get a cash injection depending on their day-to-day circumstances.”

Last year research conducted by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) revealed the scale of the impact of waiting on payment terms for goods/services already rendered, finding that Britain’s SMEs were owed £67.4 billion, up 36% from £49.5bn in 2011. The knock-on impact of this was reinforced in a recent inquiry conducted by the House of Commons which stated access to finance continues to be one of the main barriers faced by SMEs to investment and growth. In the US, the pattern is similar. Research published on PYMNTS.com revealed that the value of funds tied up in unpaid SME invoices is $825 billion - equivalent to 5 percent of the national GDP.

As well as Early Payment, Tungsten is broadening its network solutions to include receivables financing and payables financing. More suited to larger businesses in the SME bracket, this will support businesses looking to scale up their operations further.

Vira added: “We want to better meet the needs of our SME clients by matching the nimble and agile approach demonstrated by so many of them on a daily basis. We are ambitious for these businesses and believe we have a finance proposition that will provide them with more options, while not discriminating based on industry.

“SMEs often suffer because of the type of work they do, or through other so-called indicators such as how long they have been in business. We believe that everyone should be able to access the finance they need to grow in a fuss free, no nonsense manner.

“Working alongside and complementing the e-invoicing and invoicing analytics services we provide, Tungsten Network is uniquely positioned in the supply chain to empower businesses in their day-to-day work. The more sustainable the financial supply chain is, the stronger the buyer-supplier relationship is - and that can only lead to profitability and growth. The objective of Tungsten Network Finance is to provide value to the buyers and suppliers on our network.”

To support the provision of this service, Tungsten Network Finance has also made a number of key appointments to grow the team. Previously at Citibank, Divya Eapen has taken up the role of Head of Risk and Operations to support Prabhat Vira in the running of Tungsten Network Finance. Meanwhile, Amit Kahana (formerly with Market Invoice) and Carin Ly (formerly with Citibank) join the team as Senior Product Managers.

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