Stories from various outlets (via Reuters) indicate that an investment program that PayPal recently piloted in the United Kingdom will be tested in the U.S. as well. The move seems to mirror a similar initiative by Amazon, which began offering financing to its merchants in December through Amazon Lending.
“Marketplaces is a great innovation lab for us to test new experiences,” Gary Marino, senior vice president, global financial services at PayPal, said at eBay’s investor day last week. “We’ve done it successfully with credit and we are experimenting with many new capabilities which will drive share like small business lending.”
“The pilot program has now ended,” he added. “We are working on full rollout plans.”
PayPal’s Marino founded Bill Me Later, an online consumer credit business that eBay acquired in 2008. This business, which lends money to shoppers on eBay.com and other websites, is one of the company’s fastest growing operations.
In the UK, PayPal teamed with United Kapital, a financial-service firm that specializes in merchant cash advances.
The UK program offered merchants up to 25,000 pounds from United Kapital to spend on anything related to their business, including advertising, buying new products to sell, website re-design, refurbishing physical stores and hiring staff.
Meanwhile, in another sector of cyberspace, receivable factoring and merchant cash advance provider Kabbage announced that it recently added a $75M credit facility through Thomvest Ventures and other partners.
“There is a clear void in the market as traditional financing sources remain reluctant to lend,” said Tom Affolter, principal at Victory Park Capital, an alternative asset-management firm that led the Kabbage debt financing.
Such services have been growing in popularity over the years since the credit crisis, and since many banks are still reluctant to lend to small businesses alternative loan providers and receivable factoring firms have been quick to fill the void.
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