10th August 2019

Optimum Finance invests in market leading Open Banking and Open Accounting technology to improve financial processes for UK SMEs

Fast growth firm Optimum Finance is leading the UK invoice finance market by incorporating cutting edge technological solutions into its client approvals, onboarding process and financial reporting systems.

Optimum Finance, which was established in 2017, has reviewed the market to identify suppliers which can provide the latest data-driven technological solutions to improve client experience. Following a competitive selection process Validis and AccountScore were chosen by Optimum Finance as part of its ongoing investment strategy in fintech solutions.

The industry-first partnership will mean that Optimum Finance can remove manual, administrative elements of the underwriting process when taking on new customers. Business owners will be able to receive formal funding offers almost immediately through the use of Open Banking and Open Accounting functionality which will automate the transfer of financial records from the customer to the Optimum Finance team.

The majority of UK SMEs now use online accounting software and Validis has developed an award-winning Open Accounting platform called DataShare which enables businesses to grant permissions and access to its accounting records instead of manual collation and transfer of documents.

Optimum Finance, once in receipt of online access to a prospective customer’s accounting records, can then make immediate and accurate lending decisions and ensure robust compliance through automated risk assessments.

Validis partner business AccountScore operates as part of this process by enabling businesses via its proprietary Open Banking technology to grant consents to business account bank transaction data thus removing the need to supply bank statements manually.

This holistic solution will radically enhance the sign-up process for new clients, improve the quality and speed at which data can be supplied to the underwriting team and reduce risk of fraudulent applications.

Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Optimum Finance, Richard Pepler, said: “We’re committed to investing in technology which improves the way the industry operates which is still very paper-based. As a fintech-first business we know the market will benefit from increased digitisation of previously manual operations.

“This automation of our onboarding process will also be extended in the near future to the monthly processes of invoice submission and cash received reports which customers need to be able to ensure robust financial health and to access agreed funding to ensure a healthy cash flow position.

“Our vision is to use cutting edge technology to drive the industry forward; this means we can focus our time on developing our customer relationships and on providing value-added advisory services which is where we are unique in the invoice finance market.”

Validis CRO, Jake Niarchos said: “Optimum Finance is leading the way when it comes to utilising technology within the lending lifecycle. We are excited to work with Optimum Finance in order to provide the most seamless lending journey possible for its clients, while ensuring they have all the right data points available to make fast, accurate and safe lending decisions.”

AccountScore CEO Emma Steeley said: “We are delighted that Optimum Finance has chosen to embrace Open Banking through AccountScore’s market leading solution. Optimum Finance’s rapid adoption of the most cutting-edge fintech products has been clear for all to see and we’re delighted to be part of their story. We are very much looking forward to working with the Optimum Finance team and by extension enabling more SMEs to reach their full potential.”