Non-bank lender Grid Finance tops €1bn in card payments – The Irish Times

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Grid Finance, a lender to micro and small businesses that earn income from card machines, said it has processed more than €1 billion in card receipts on behalf of businesses after five years in the industry.

The Irish non-bank lender provided €65m in cash advances to customers during this period, with repayments based on daily card receipt levels. Borrowers must register to use Grid’s platform to process card payments to secure loans.

Grid was founded in 2014 by PwC-trained accountant Derek Butler. While Mr Butler initially launched the business as a peer-to-peer lender, he changed the business model in 2019 to source from alternative asset managers, which now include UK-based Fasanara Capital. United and Thiele Capital Management in the United States.

Indoor market

While Grid pioneered the cash advance model in the Irish market five years ago, it has since been joined in the market by UK companies YouLend and Liberis, whose home market is more developed for this type of financing.

“Our customers trust us to handle their card receipts on a daily basis and after five years we have processed over €1 billion without issue,” Mr Butler said. “Our unique financing system provides quick access to capital to grow your business while giving customers the option to repay a percentage of their card receipts daily. This means that their reimbursements come and go with their business, which is really important in the real economy where every day is different.

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He estimates that Grid will provide €25 million in funding this year, rising to around €40 million in 2023.

“We are seeing growing demand for our product, which is to be expected given that we are in uncertain economic territory and government supports during the pandemic have come to an end,” he said.

“There is a lot of anxiety as winter approaches, with hospitality businesses in particular worrying about energy costs and how the Irish consumer will weather the storm in terms of spending. However, the supports offered to households and businesses in the recent budget have helped.”

Grid, of which ex-treasury secretary general John Moran is chairman, decided at a board meeting last week to keep annual interest charges on its loans between 7 and 12 %, based on client risk, and will then revise its rates early next year.

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