Business Lending For A Digital Age

13 Feb 2018 | 08.50 am

Business Lending For A Digital Age

Linked Finance is at the centre of a lending paradigm shift in Ireland

13 Feb 2018 | 08.50 am

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Linked Finance has provided more than 1,200 loans, and €40 million in funding, to SMEs right across Ireland

It’s hard to identify a single aspect of modern life that hasn’t been touched by the technological revolution. From medicine to transport, from entertainment to social interaction, and from education to communications, massive breakthroughs have been made in the past decade as a result of advances in technology.

In the world of work, these advances are particularly noticeable. Technology has transformed every function of modern business. From sales to payroll and marketing to HR, digital technology and cloud-based software solutions have made our professional lives easier, more efficient and more productive in so many ways.

Sadly, however, there are exceptions — areas where the light of new technology has not yet shone. We’re thinking, in particular, of how the process of applying for a business loan can sometimes feel like taking a step back in time.

Slow Embrace

This is surprising, because the financial services sector in general has been quick to embrace new technology. Even run-of-the-mill personal customers have a wealth of banking power at their fingertips via mobile devices or easy-to-use apps.

Yet, applying for a business loan is still often characterised by long waits, unwieldy forms and inconvenient interviews. Business owners are busy people. When entrepreneurs spot an opportunity to grow their business, they need to move quickly.

Business owners are the last people in the world who have time to spare for putting together long-winded business plans or complex cash flow projections. And in a digital age of big data and cloud based-technology, why should they? It’s about time business lending caught up with the rest of modern life.

Peer-To-Peer Finance

Thankfully, now it has. The rapid rise of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is completely rewriting the model when it comes to obtaining affordable, hassle-free finance to drive a business forward. The idea behind P2P lending is simple. Use technology to connect businesses who need funds to grow with an online army of local lenders with money to invest.

At the centre of this lending revolution in Ireland, Linked Finance is playing a major role in redrawing the landscape in which businesses borrow. Using technology, Linked Finance brings business lending back to basics, allowing ordinary people with savings to connect with, and lend to, trustworthy businesses that wish to borrow.

Business owners can apply online at It takes a couple of minutes and you can expect a credit decision in a matter of hours. There are no mountains of paperwork to complete, inconvenient interviews to attend or bulky business plans to produce. Linked Finance has taken the hassle out of applying for a business loan. The only documents needed are the most recent 6 months’ bank statements and the last set of financial accounts.

Local Lenders

Once approved, loan requests can be listed on the Linked Finance marketplace, where they are funded by a community of thousands of local lenders. Loans typically fund in a matter of hours and businesses can access funds in just days; not the weeks or months they are so used to waiting.

As of December 2017, Linked Finance has provided more than 1,200 loans, and €40 million in funding, to SMEs right across Ireland. And with a process that is simple, transparent and efficient, it’s easy to see why more and more Irish SMEs are turning to Linked Finance when they need funds to support growth.

At last, business lending has arrived in the digital age and Linked Finance is making it easier than ever for Irish SMEs to access the funds they need to succeed.

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