Cards overtaking cash to drive Lending 3.0 opportunities Interview with Alex Miles, head of growth at Capital on Tap

Alex Miles at Capital on Tap

Lending as a vehicle for business growth “Giving our customers unique insights into their card spend can help them better manage their business and their finances.”

In this blog series of conversations with lending sector influencers, we hear thoughts on Lending 3.0 from Alex Miles, Head of Growth at B2B lender, Capital on Tap.

1. What are the key trends you’re seeing in lending?

We are seeing a lot of businesses jump on the U.K. government’s lending schemes, particularly bounce back loans. These schemes are providing much needed cash to SMEs in the U.K. and will be a key part of our country’s recovery from the current pandemic. We are estimating more than 60% of our customers have gotten a government-supported loan from ourselves or their business bank.

2. The 2008 financial crisis was the catalyst for alternative lenders. Do you think the current pandemic will be a similar agent for innovation and change and what might it look like?

I think every major crisis brings about change. Banks and lenders that support consumers/SMEs will need to start prioritising customer’s “financial health scores.“ I think we will also see the increased prominence of alternative savings and financial management apps/ websites (CreditKarmas of the world) that will then recommend lenders to their customers and become the “hub“ for that consumer/SMEs finances. Right now we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in that space.

I could also see “pandemic preparedness rating“ become a thing as well.

3. What are the biggest challenges for lenders in the next 12 months?

No one knows what the new normal will look like when we begin to re-open. We have to understand many of our customers’ “new normal“ may still make it enormously difficult to run their business profitably. We have to be ready to work with them and give them the tools to thrive.

4. What do lenders need to prioritise to deliver a better customer experience?

Self-service. A lot of banks and lenders were overwhelmed by calls and queries during the pandemic which was when their customers needed them the most. So we saw a lot of desperate customers that needed relief from payments waiting for days to get in contact with their bank. That just isn’t acceptable.

5. What does your version of Lending 3.0 look like?

Cards have overtaken cash as the primary method of spending in the U.K. We believe that trend will continue over the next 10 years and think that being a card-enabled lender puts us in the best place to ride that wave. Further, we think giving our customers unique insights into their card spend can help them better manage their business and their finances. 

6. What’s your vision for your card programme and how it will help you solve your challenges and deliver a better customer experience?

We want to be the best credit card for small businesses, period. We need to build more features to help them manage their card spend, when to be proactive in their spend, and how they can use our funding facilities to grow their business rather than looking at it as a debt burden. We have a long way to go but we think there is a bright future in providing this type of service to SMEs.

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Food for thought, indeed. You can explore more about Lending 3.0 in this white paper. In the next blog, we talk to Nicolette Maury, CEO at Asto.

*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the respondent and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Marqeta.