Finverity, the award winning mid-market supply chain finance (SCF) platform focused on emerging markets, is pleased to announce the launch of its real time monitoring Credit Data API. UAE banks and investors will be the first to benefit from the stand alone solution due to the UAE’s leading position as a key trade finance hub for Finverity. In parallel, the API functionality is now also available to funders globally on the ADGM’s Digital Lab and Finverity’s platform. The launch marks the successful completion of Finverity’s proof-of-concept commissioned by ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) as a result of winning FinTech Abu Dhabi’s Innovation Challenge 2020.
Finverity has developed an easy-to-integrate API (Application Programme Interface) solution that provides near real-time access to the financial data stored within SMEs’ accounting packages. This level of access to near real-time SME financial data is unprecedented, especially for banks and other financial institutions in the MENA region. The latter will now be equipped with sufficient data to make well-informed underwriting decisions on SMEs as well as Corporates. This will reduce the current high level of SMEs’ loan rejection rates caused by lack of financial data. The API also reduces the time it takes for a funder to process a loan application and disburse funds, commonly known as “time to cash”.
Game changer for payables and receivables finance
The availability of near real-time quality credit data is a game changer for payables and receivables finance. Given that a funder’s average exposure to an SCF transaction is short-term, (3 months rolling on average), a funder needs to be able to quickly identify any credit issues as they arise. The launch of near real-time data means that funders are now able to detect deterioration in credit quality sufficiently early and therefore terminate a transaction with no or minimal losses. In the same way, funders can choose to increase a limit if the credit quality indicators are showing improving trends. All funders onboarded on the Finverity platform will be able to benefit from the new Credit Data API.
Finverity’s API currently supports 16 cloud and 2 on-premise accounting integrations including Oracle NetSuite, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Zero and Kashoo among others. The Finverity API is available on ADGM’s Digital Lab and the Finverity platform.
Creating a level playing field for SMEs and Mid-caps
Evaluating the credit risk of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of the most challenging tasks in lending. Whilst differences exist globally, the typical challenges arise from dated or non-existent financial data, lack of trust in the governance of such entities and expensive and unreliable monitoring processes that are dependent on the borrowing entity’s staff providing timely information. Due to the high onboarding and operational costs compared to profit generated, it was often not economically viable for banks to engage with smaller suppliers and mid-market corporate buyers, despite many mid-market SMEs having a strong credit standing. By digitalising and automating the credit assessment process, Finverity’s API dramatically reduces these costs, enabling greater financial inclusion for SMEs.
The UAE’s mid-market sector has in the past found it harder to engage with SCF programmes compared to larger corporates. The SME sector is key to the growth and diversification of the UAE economy. Although local SMEs represent 95% of companies in the country and 86% of the private sector’s workforce, they account for only 5% of total bank lending in the UAE. While UAE SMEs’ share of domestic credit leads other countries in the region, it is still well below the levels in developed markets.
Viacheslav Oganezov, CEO and co-founder, Finverity, commented: “We are delighted to be launching Finverity’s Credit Data API at a time when efficient and transparent solutions to foster global trade are needed more than ever given the recent growth in the trade finance funding gap to $1.7trn. As global trade continues to evolve, the UAE has the potential to strengthen its position as a key global trade finance centre, and make use of solutions that help allocate capital more safely and wisely based on better data and increased transparency. Fintech platforms are essential in facilitating this process. Finverity’s credit data enhancement API offers an attractive ‘plug and play’ solution that requires little time and cost to implement. With SMEs playing a crucial role in global trade, improving their access to financing is a key step towards reducing the current global trade gap.”
Alex Fenechiu, COO and co-founder, commented: “To allocate capital efficiently, investors need to have both the most up to date historical information available as well as understand what is happening to a company in near real-time. Near real-time information gives funders the data points to take action quickly and avoid the problem of acting “too little, too late”. This makes a big difference as traditionally funders receive backdated financial data from borrowers that are up to 6 months old, by which time it is too late to take meaningful action. Finverity’s Credit Data API allows funders to identify and distinguish with much higher certainty between borrowers’ creditworthiness and allocate capital more efficiently, rewarding the better borrowers and avoiding the “free riders” who have benefited from the lower quality credit data provided by SMEs until recently”.
Wai Lum Kwok, Senior Executive Director, FSRA, Abu Dhabi Global Market, commented: “SMEs are core contributors to the UAE’s economic growth and diversification. The FSRA welcomes scalable solutions that improve financing conditions for SMEs, including those that significantly reduce processing costs through automation. The availability of high quality credit risk data on UAE SMEs will help attract a substantially larger pool of funding capital and remove obstacles to their growth. The publication of Finverity’s API on the ADGM Digital Lab is also an exciting step as it allows interested parties to consume and test the tool and evaluate the solution prior to a formal procurement process.”