iwoca, one of Europe’s largest small business lenders, has announced that its invoice payments product, iwocaPay, will be free throughout the UK’s second national lockdown to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
iwocaPay is a new product from iwoca that allows small businesses to be paid upfront while letting their customers spread their costs over 90 days. The news comes as the number of times small businesses offered iwocaPay to their customers grew 700% during the initial lockdown (sharing a paylink), as well as an 85% spike in the number of small businesses using the product.
iwoca launched iwocaPay in June 2020 to make it easier for small businesses to get paid and to help both SMEs and their customers to manage cash flow. As the country enters a second lockdown, iwoca has decided to make its product free to help SMEs stay in business and keep cash positive. Usual fees for sellers and interest charged over the 90-day duration of the product for buyers will be dropped. Sellers will get 100% of their cash upfront for their invoices whether they are new or outstanding.
The fintech lender carried out research in June which revealed that 40% of B2B suppliers were owed more than £10,000 in outstanding invoices in the first lockdown with a third of small businesses lacking any confidence that they would ever get paid. Within the same period, a quarter of all UK businesses (of which SMEs represent the majority) ceased trading and over half of those that continued to trade saw a fall in turnover.
Lara Gilman, Co-lead of iwocaPay said: “We want to open up our product to help as many people as possible get paid during this time. We now know that lockdown has amplified the challenges SMEs have been battling such as low productivity and late payments, so removing all of iwocaPay’s fees will help ensure the same thing does not happen again.
“Coronavirus can and should trigger a step-change for small businesses to become more efficient, productive and resilient. We want to help by doing our bit and being there for small businesses when they need us the most.”