PayPal Offers 'Faster, Fairer' Cash To UK Firms
Small firms will soon have access to a new source of funding as a debate continues to rage on the availability of cash support from banks.
From this autumn, PayPal's business customers, including those on its eBay platform, can secure working capital against their future sales in exchange for a single fee.
It did not disclose what that would be but the payment service said the funding amounted to "pay when you get paid", meaning a business only had to repay the advance with a share of their PayPal daily sales.
Nothing would be handed back on a day where no sale was made.
The move followed what the company said was a "very successful" launch of PayPal Working Capital in the United States.
It said that since the service began last September, $140m (£82m) in cash advances had been provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
It said money could be available to customers within minutes of the online application being submitted and that no credit checks were needed because the service did not amount to a loan.
It also confirmed there were no interest charges or late payment fees.
The company believed the service would meet a real need at a time when the Government is concerned by SMEs suffering from "long-standing challenges in accessing bank and equity finance".
Cameron McLean, managing director of PayPal UK, said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy.
"But seven years after the start of the credit crunch, many of them are still struggling to get funding.
"According to the British Government, around a third of SMEs rely on retained earnings or the owner's own finances rather than bank or equity funding.
"This means that many find it very difficult to finance their present needs or future growth and the problem is acute for smaller, online businesses.
"PayPal is well placed to make a difference ... and we're delighted that our UK customers will be next to benefit from faster, fairer funding."
Paypal announced the service in the wake of past questions over its treatment of customers.
There were complaints about Paypal with-holding cash for up to six months - often citing security, fraud or balance concerns - allegedly pushing some firms to the brink of collapse.
The company responded by promising improved customer support.
Sky News also reported this year how it had updated its terms and conditions to warn users against sharing their computers, tablets and smartphones.
More recently, its eBay parent found itself at the centre of inquiries into a massive cyber attack that compromised the personal data of its 145 million users.
Some customers complained in web forums and on social media that they received no email warning from eBay to change their password, only learning about the cyber attack from the media.