CRIF Realtime and Penny Freedom partner to help SME growth

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CRIF Realtime Ltd, a leader in credit risk management, and Penny Freedom, an innovative invoice management platform, have agreed a partnership to help SMEs better control their cash flow. The agreement will help businesses become more resilient by optimising their finances, including mitigating the risk of Late Payments, providing them with CRIF Realtime’s Credit Passport® to complement Penny Freedom’s invoice funding service. In the post- Covid economy, having greater control and oversight in managing cash flow has never been more important and is vital to the recovery of the UK’s 5.9 million SMEs.

CRIF Realtime’s Credit Passport® uses unique, real time credit scoring incorporating open banking data. Consequently, it offers businesses the ability to present a far more accurate view of their financial performance, demonstrating their resilience and potential for further growth to lenders and other key stakeholders. In addition, Credit Passport® is used by many SMEs to ensure that their supply chains and new business partnerships are secure and robust – increasingly important in today’s economic climate.

Glen Keller, Chief Product Officer, CRIF Realtime, stated, “We are delighted to work with Penny Freedom to provide SMEs with greater control in managing their cash flow and enhancing their business’ performance. At Credit Passport® we are always looking for the best ways to help SMEs access the finance they need to manage their liquidity. We believe that Credit Passport® is a perfect complement to Penny Freedom’s invoice platform, particularly for SMEs with a thin credit file, as it offers the important ability to unlock finance quickly and efficiently”.

Penny Freedom’s invoicing platform is used by thousands of the UK’s SMEs to eliminate the time between invoicing and receiving payment. It eradicates the burden of Late Payments which, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, is a £23bn crisis that has affected 62% of firms during the Covid Pandemic1. Importantly, the platform removes the admin burden caused by chasing payments so that SMEs can focus on developing and investing in their businesses rather than chasing missing payments.

Commenting on the partnership, Colin Gunnell, Co-founder, Penny Freedom, stated. “Our aim has always been to empower businesses by ensuring they are not hindered by another business paying them late or failing to pay them at all. SMEs that use our platform can focus on recovery and growth instead of getting paid. Credit Passport® further supports our aim and provides an additional tool that helps SMEs focus on their growth and improve access to finance as well as ensure their business relationships are robust”.

UK SMEs comprise 99.9% of private businesses and provide approximately 60% of UK jobs, according to pre-pandemic figures. SME recovery is vital to UK plc’s economic recovery. However, it is estimated that the SME sector is facing £35bn – £40bn of unsustainable debt due to the pandemic. SMEs urgently need solutions to manage the challenges of Late Payments in addition to limited or slow access to finance. They also need to be able to demonstrate their business’ resilience post Covid. CRIF Realtime and Penny Freedom’s partnership provides SMEs with these solutions so they can focus on enhancing their business performance and the recovery of UK plc.