NAB turns in-house for business fintech innovation

Elizabeth Barry 1 June 2016

nab atm innovation

The Big Four lender has introduced a new unsecured loan for Australian small businesses.

While other banks such as Commonwealth Bank, CUA and Westpac move forward with fintech partnerships, NAB has launched a product from its innovation hub "NAB Lab" on its own. The QuickBiz Loan is designed for Australian small businesses and will launch in June.

Angela Mentis, the NAB Group executive of business banking said “The Australian economy relies on entrepreneurs who innovate, establish new industries and create jobs. As the biggest business bank in the country, we stand ready to back Australian businesses with great ideas, providing simple, quick funding solutions to support small businesses looking to grow”.

Several fintech companies and banks made their own moves to fund entrepreneurship. This week, peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has announced it will be moving into business lending and financial services provider FlexiGroup has partnered with fintech SME lender Kikka.

Banks, especially the Big Four, have also taken it upon themselves to partner with fintech companies. For example, Westpac has a partnership with SME lender Prospa.

The online business loans space in Australia remains largely unregulated, which may be part of why it's such an attractive prospect to new lenders. There is also room to increase flexibility for smaller businesses and to make rates more attractive; it was only recently that all of the Big Four raised rates for business loan customers independent of a rate increase from the RBA.

So will NAB partner with a fintech company? Speaking to The Australian, Howard Silby, executive general manager of business lending said, “There does remain a question mark around the credit capabilities of some of the fintechs.

“We’ve watched developments in the space and been very determined … to make sure we have our own NAB-branded solution that we’ve built from scratch.”

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