Australia’s fintech industry association today welcomed a new report which finds that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to turn to fintech and other non-bank lenders for their growth fund needs.
The Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index – released every six months – is based on interviews with 1,253 SMEs with annual revenues of up to $5 million.
The report shows that, between 2014 and 2018, the proportion of SMEs intending to use banks for funding has dropped from 38 per cent to 24 per cent.
Over the same period, the report found that non-bank funding is now the first option for 22 percent of SMEs, up from 11 per cent in 2014.
In addition, the report finds that 47.6 per cent of SMEs, who have not used any non-banking lending options in the last 12 months, would be interested in using these options in the future.
“Australia’s 2.1 million small to medium enterprises are the backbone of the nation’s economy, employing more than 7.3 million people or about 68 per cent of Australia’s overall workforce,” said FinTech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan.
“Fintech lending and finance firms are increasingly providing the capital that these businesses need to invest and grow, through a focus on innovation and customer needs.
“Fintech offerings include creating seamless online loan applications and software that analyses business financial data to deliver the best possible deal.
“Some are also applying innovative new finance business models, directly linking investors and borrowers, or helping businesses to unlock the value of their unpaid invoices. In doing this, fintechs are providing new options for businesses.
“This report is yet more evidence of the extremely important role that our lenders are playing to help Australian businesses to grow.”
FinTech Australia’s member ecosystem map published in October 2017 shows our members who are active in the business lending space. This map will be updated shortly.
Beau Bertoli, Joint CEO of Prospa, said: “This report is good news all round. It shows the government’s focus on developing competition is working. It shows increasing awareness amongst small businesses they have a way to access finance, if they want to. And it means a vital part of the economy is being enabled to grow.”
“Finally, it’s positive for the fintech industry as we continue to build the credibility of our new industry.”
Alistair Lamond, Co-Founder of Skippr said: “Generally what sets fintechs apart from the banks, is how they use data to improve customer experience and manage risk. We have only scratched the surface in terms of capabilities. The true winners are building trust through continuous engagement tackling bigger problems than just lending.”
Charlotte Petris, CEO of Timelio said: “We have seen a 300% growth in demand for funding to SMEs in the last 12 months, driven by an increase in awareness of flexible funding alternatives that support their expansion plans.”
Peter Langham, CEO of Scottish Pacific said: “Alternative lending options, including debtor finance and P2P lending, offer SMEs the chance to fund growth without using property as security. Business owners need to know they have a credible choice when they are looking for funding.”
The Scottish Pacific report findings comes after the release of the 2nd Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report in September 2017, which found that Australia had leap-frogged Japan to become the largest alternative finance market in the Asia Pacific after China.
An 80 per cent increase in business balance sheet lending, between 2015 and 2016, was largely behind Australia’s improved Asia Pacific position.
In addition, in late February, FinTech Australia joined with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and theBankDoctor.org to support further growth in the fintech lending sector by releasing a report which outlines the steps to be taken by fintech lenders to increase transparency and disclosure.