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Three UK- and US-based fintechs — Muse, Ebury, and Salary Finance — have released initiatives to offer immediate assistance to those in dire need.
This is in line with a trend that has seen several other fintechs roll out products and services to ease the strain on companies and their workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, such as Countingup, which launched a coronavirus grant calculator, and Tully, which rolled out a service to let consumers apply for financial relief.
Here’s a look at these three fintechs’ initiatives:
- Muse is offering loans for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) awaiting furlough payments. The UK-based fintech, which offers cash flow solutions through its app, has rolled out interest-free loans to bridge the gap between SMBs receiving furlough payments through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) implemented by the government and the immediate need to cover employees’ wages. The CJRS is due to launch on April 20, and funds are not expected to reach SMBs until the start of May at the earliest, causing many firms to fear how they will cover their next wage bill — Muse’s loans may enable businesses to solve this immediate cash flow issue.
- Ebury has launched a financing initiative for SMBs in the UK and Europe. The fintech, which offers foreign exchange and other financial services solutions, has set in motion an initial £40 million ($50 million) lending facility to help SMBs stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis, per Fintech Finance. The lending facility appears relatively small, but the fintech has initiated talks with government bodies in the region to expand the program into the hundreds of millions.
- Salary Finance has integrated SpringFour’s solutions to offer services to the financially vulnerable in the US. Salary Finance, which provides a financial well-being platform to consumers by partnering with employers, has added SpringFour, a fintech solution provider, to its platform, per a company blog post. This will enable Salary Finance to add to its financial health resources and offer additional services in the form of free, customizable referrals to services through multiple local nonprofit or government resources. The assistance is aimed at consumers who are experiencing increased financial stress amid the coronavirus pandemic.
These responses to the financial hardships induced by the coronavirus pandemic aim to give immediate relief to SMBs and individuals — and we think they can generate increased consumer trust and loyalty for the fintechs. Government schemes such as the CJRS are unprecedented and comprehensive, yet a fear remains among SMBs and consumers that they will not receive the much-needed financial assistance until it is too late.
Financing initiatives, such as those offered by Muse and Ebury, should ease SMBs’ pressing cash flow issues, while Salary Finance providing access to financial health resources can give employees access to information they need to navigate the crisis. Alleviating customers’ financial burden in their time of need could boost trust and loyalty toward these three fintechs, and might make users more likely to return to use their services after the crisis.
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