Online lender Kabbage has been providing working capital to small businesses since 2009. This week, the startup’s President, Kathryn Petralia, disclosed plans to enter into payment processing by year end.
The company hopes the move will diversify its offerings, which have largely stayed in the same sector since 2009. Kabbage also anticipates the launch will help it compete with ever-rising fintech giants such as PayPal and Square, both of which started as payment processing solutions and have since added small business lending services. The payment processing offering will leverage Kabbage’s existing small business client base, providing merchants solutions for in-store and online payments.
In an interview with Reuters, who broke the news on Monday, Petralia said, “The monoline businesses have a hard time succeeding long term.” She added, “We have seen a huge pain point around cash flow management,” noting that payment service providers’ lengthy contracts and high fees contribute to the issue.
As with many fintech developments these days, this one comes down to data. When Kabbage gains insight into transaction data from small business clients, it can more accurately underwrite loans for those clients. Additionally, access to client data will offer Kabbage an advantage when serving its existing client base. The company can speed up traditionally slow onboarding and application processes by leveraging data it already has on existing clients.
Kabbage demoed at FinovateSpring 2015, where it debuted the Kabbage Card, which allows users to withdraw from their line of credit at any point-of-sale where VISA is accepted. Earlier this year, the company expanded its line of credit to $250k and most recently announced the acquisition of online lending competitor Orchard.