29 October 2014

Why aren’t small businesses getting the support they need?

New statistics indicate there’s still work to be done to help small business owners close the gap between their business ambitions and realistic expectations.

A recent survey conducted by Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd, found that, 36% of business owners have been declined in their application for a High Street business bank account.1

Furthermore, responses suggest that the lack of available lending to SMEs in the UK remains a major concern for business owners, with 62% of respondents indicating that limited access to credit was the biggest gap in their primary business bank account.

The main reason behind wanting to secure funding, was to assist in the management of start-up costs, just ahead of cash flow and working capital, according to the survey.

Corresponding to this, the survey found low levels of confidence in abilities to maintain cash flow, which was impeding the likelihood of reaching business goals.

SMEs represent an estimated 99% of all private sector businesses, and their estimated gross value equates to 49.8% of the UK economy.2 Despite the value small businesses add to the UK economy, there has long been a lack of tailored products and solutions to meet the growing needs of this group, largely due the perception of it being a ‘high risk’ market.

It’s widely recognised that High Street Banks aren’t geared toward SME lending, and a new study by Angels Den reinforced this, finding that 59% of start-up businesses surveyed were rejected for a bank loan, with limited business experience a key factor in hampering approval rates.3

In light of recent reports of new economic growth and increased consumer spending4, UK financial service providers need to increase the levels of support they offer SMEs, to help them take of advantage of this opportunity for business development.

In efforts to close this gap and turn the ambitions of more SMEs into a reality, Cashplus sought a partnership with leading UK bank and lender, Shawbrook earlier this year. Through this partnership a further £2.5 million has been invested in lending capital.

This investment will allow APS, via the Cashplus Business Account, to extend business financing to more SMEs in the UK. This initiative will aid the cash flow concerns of numerous businesses, and allow more business owners to react to new opportunities and help them to thrive.

1Source: Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd, Survey of SME’s (August 2014)
2Source: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/briefing-papers/SN06078/small-businesses-and-the-uk-economy (June 2014)
3Source: http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/27680-three-fifths-of-startups-have-tried-but-failed-to-get-funding (September 2014)
4Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11020845/UK-consumer-confidence-outstrips-rest-of-the-world-study.html (August 2014)

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About Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS)

With over millions of cards issued and more than billions in payments processed, APS is one of the world’s most innovative payment solutions companies and one of the most awarded card providers in Europe. The company has grown from launching the UK’s first and best known general purpose prepaid card for consumers, to providing businesses and local councils with digital and mobile banking solutions.

29 October 2014

Bright Futures for Business Owners

A recent survey of Cashplus business customers places confidence in industry high, and at the same time, consumer spending levels surpass previous records.

The survey found that 69% of small business owners had some confidence in the UK economy, compared to 92% who gave a positive response when asked about confidence in their own industry.1

This insight comes at the same time as a new study finds consumer confidence met its peak in August 2014. The statistics released by Gfk, suggest confidence levels are on par with the nine year high achieved in June 2014, and are ahead of forecasted results.2

Despite high confidence, Cashplus business customers expressed concern over reaching their business goals, citing finding new customers as a major obstacle to success, second only to being able to maintain cash flow.

This will come as further positive news for small business owners; the UK purchase index also rose to its highest level in August and increased spending is expected to remain a key factor in fuelling economic growth.3

Although there’s no guarantee that the economy is stabilising, the UK’s GDP rose 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014, and remains above the pre-recession peak in January 2008.4

Greater consumer spending activity and the assumed economic regeneration is expected translate to a strong uplift in business growth, via an increased demand for goods and services.

To facilitate this and to maintain the rise in confidence, the Federation of Small Businesses is now calling on political parties to vocalise how they intend to help small businesses to thrive in the changing economic market.

1Source: Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd, Survey of SME’s (August 2014)
2Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/28/uk-britain-economy-gfk-idUKKBN0GS2RO20140828 (August 2014)
3Source: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/naa2/second-estimate-of-gdp/q2-2014/index.html (August 2014)
4Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10889691/Britains-GDP-surpasses-pre-recession-peak.html (June 2014)

Ends.

About Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS)

With over millions of cards issued and more than billions in payments processed, APS is one of the world’s most innovative payment solutions companies and one of the most awarded card providers in Europe. The company has grown from launching the UK’s first and best known general purpose prepaid card for consumers, to providing businesses and local councils with digital and mobile banking solutions.

16 April 2014

Cashplus Business Account picks up ‘Best Business Card Programme’ again

Proving retail banks aren’t the best when it comes to small business’ banking needs, the Cashplus Business Account won ‘Best Business Card Programme’ at the 2014 Card and Payments Awards.

The 2014 award highlights Cashplus’ position as a market leader, amidst the likes of High Street giants Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Cashplus is issued by APS Financial Limited (AFL), a subsidiary of Advanced Payment Solutions Limited (APS), the UK’s leading provider of prepaid cards, with a portfolio spanning consumer and business accounts, public sector solutions and credit and lending products.

CEO of APS, Rich Wagner, said the Cashplus Business Account continues to grow in popularity:

Winning the award twice in three years proves that our customers are making the right choice. With over 30,000 SMEs and over 25 local councils already signed up, anyone searching for the best business bank account should be looking at our Cashplus Business current account solution.

Representing the UK and Ireland, the Card and Payments Awards recognises excellence and innovation within the financial services industry.

Cashplus won the award ahead of other category finalists AMEX and Lloyds, thanks to the unique features and tailored solutions it offers to UK businesses, such as prepaid expense cards, linked currency cards and flexible overdrafts.

With instant online approval and no credit checks to open an account, the Cashplus Business Account is one step ahead when it comes to offering big value to small businesses.

Ends.

About Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS)

With over millions of cards issued and more than billions in payments processed, APS is one of the world’s most innovative payment solutions companies and one of the most awarded card providers in Europe. The company has grown from launching the UK’s first and best known general purpose prepaid card for consumers, to providing businesses and local councils with digital and mobile banking solutions.