GoCardless, a global leader in direct bank payments, has signed Crowdz, the small and mid-sized enterprise (SME) finance platform, as its latest customer as the company looks to integrate open banking to enhance its ability to drive equitable access to finance for small businesses.
Crowdz, which secured $10 million in investment earlier this year led by Citi and Global Cleantech Capital, will incorporate three GoCardless payment features powered by open banking to improve its payment and risk modelling capabilities. It will use:
• Instant Bank Pay in the UK, USA and Europe to collect instant, one-off payments directly from a bank account, offering more payment options for both funders and sellers, plus a frictionless customer experience
• Verified Mandates in the UK, USA and Europe for even greater fraud protection, providing more certainty and increasing confidence in the process
• GoCardless’ PayTo integration in Australia for instant payments and account verification
Payson E. Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Crowdz, said: “We’re proud to have provided over $80 million in working capital to SMEs, but this is just the start. With our global expansion plans and our target of providing 25,000 SMEs with over $1 billion in working capital by the end of 2023, we needed a partner that could offer the right coverage, technology and expertise. That’s where GoCardless comes in.”
Duncan Barrigan, Chief Product Officer and Chief Growth Officer at GoCardless, said: “We’re excited to see our open banking features powering a true disruptor like Crowdz. Thanks to our global bank payment network, we’ll be able to accelerate their speed-to-market and offer cutting-edge payment solutions, making it that much easier for SMEs to gain access to working capital all over the world.”
Crowdz offers an alternative financing solution for SMEs who often struggle to access capital via banks and lenders. Its proprietary risk assessment model, the SuRF score, enables more equitable financing than a traditional credit score through data. Crowdz's platform leverages blockchain technology for secure, transparent transactions.
To date, Crowdz has closed key deals, including providing the tech behind a Meta (formerly Facebook) SME financing program, which has already provided diverse, minority-owned SMEs with more than USD $70 million in capital.
Crowdz represents the latest open banking customer to sign with GoCardless following the fintech’s entry into the space with the launch of its first open banking-powered feature, Instant Bank Pay, in 2021. This year GoCardless raised its Series G funding round to accelerate its open banking strategy and announced the acquisition of Nordigen, the freemium open banking data provider, to combine broad open banking connectivity with bank payment expertise. Last month GoCardless introduced Verified Mandates -- which leverages AIS technology to prevent fraud -- in France.