The BIS Task force released its Boosting Finance Options For Business report last week. As a contributor to the consultation, I was eager to see the Task Force’s recommendation. I summarised my views on the overall report findings in my personal blog over the weekend.
I am excited by how Bilbus intersects with some of the recommendations. The recommendations made by the Task Force fall broadly into the following six categories:
- Increasing Awareness and Demand for Alternative Forms of Finance
- Improving Access to Capital Markets Financing
- Stimulating Growth Through Supporting Smaller Companies
- Boosting Finance Options for Business
- Developing New Financial Products
- The Evolving Regulatory Environment
Bilbus solves 2 problems for business: access to finance and cash flow visibility. Of the six BIS Task Force recommendation categories above, Bilbus meets the main goals within ‘Stimulating Growth’ and ‘Boosting Finance Options’, while partially ‘Increasing Awareness and Demand’:
- Simplifying e-invoicing for SMBs, increasing adoption and ‘enabling the entire process to run more smoothly’;
- ’Increasing the use of supply chain finance’ and reducing ‘barriers to increased uptake’;
- Promoting (and educating on) Asset Based Finance, which has ‘significant potential’ and has the ‘benefit of flexibility’.
The report states that ‘Innovation and the application of new technology also present an opportunity to grow these (asset based lending, invoice finance etc.) markets significantly’ – a key focus for Bilbus.
Having spent time analysing business and commercial lender behaviour, and studying the challenges faced by both businesses (big and small) and commercial lenders, we took the view that a conventional marketplace or traditional auction, while addressing the needs of a segment of the lender base, would not yet adequately address the multifaceted challenges of SMB financing.
It was not merely a case of connecting businesses to non bank lenders to create a new financing channel – we saw the need to meaningfully improve both the borrower and lender experience and that needed more.
Realising that we needed to solve pain points for multiple participants in the financial supply chain, while also providing some with functionality and tools to enable them to cost effectively participate, we set about creating a working capital platform: one that connects businesses to multiple lending sources and offers flexibility in type of funding while also giving both sides the tools and visibility they need to productively participate. Our goal was to significantly widen financial choice while simultaneously improving day to day working capital management for businesses. And, importantly, take into account commercial lender risk management and credit assessment requirements.
- We make it painless for a business to switch from paper to e-invoicing, helping it invoice large (and small) customers more efficiently, and reduce the effort needed to chase up and track receivables, especially to larger customers;
- By showing a business its receivables (and thus its cash), we help it realise how much commercial finance it really should be raising, while showing the business (as well as any lender it approaches) when it will run out of cash;
- When the decision is made to look for finance (or simply explore what options are available), Bilbus removes the pain from the loan process by clicking the business through a tailored marketplace. The business simply compiles a financing request through Bilbus once, only showing that credit request to lenders whose lending criteria match its profile and needs / circumstances;
- In addition to saving both the lender and business time by ensuring the right conversations take place, Bilbus also makes the generally painful process of information gathering (provision in the case of the business) and lender due diligence easier and quicker; and
- By providing the lender with invoice and collection data, Bilbus helps the business demonstrate its viability, strengthening its credit case and boosting its chances of securing commercial funding.
The Task Force notes that invoice finance has high potential and is presently underutilised. Bilbus provides both lender and business with the necessary tools to make invoice financing easier (alongside other non-overdraft funding), and more widespread.
Importantly, Bilbus is able to help the lender and business come to a decision in principle much quicker, potentially saving weeks on both sides. Whether for an asset lender, invoice financier, commercial debt investor, or even a bank, we make lending to businesses on the strength of their sales and invoices, easier and faster.
Simplifying working capital, Bilbus is part of the daily business receivables cycle and is able to introduce businesses to a wide range of lenders and financing alternatives, including invoice finance, purchase order finance, term facilities, leasing and lines of credit.
Bilbus is a working capital platform that enables small businesses to connect with commercial lenders, invoice and collect electronically.