Intuit is moving into small-business lending with a service that leverages a business’s own Quickbooks financial data to make credit decisions.
QuickBooks Capital will offer working capital loans ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 over a period of three to six months, with users able to apply through a new “Capital” tab inside QuickBooks software.
A number of tech firms, most notably Amazon, already offer business loans to their customers and are disrupting the traditional bank lending model. But Intuit believes QuickBooks Capital has a competitive advantage because its credit model is based on 26 billion QuickBooks data points.
“As the largest small business accounting platform with approximately 2.4 million customers, the QuickBooks platform provides the most complete set of small business data available in the market,” Rania Succar, head of QuickBooks Capital at Intuit, told CNBC.
According to a recent Federal Reserve study, 70% of businesses younger than five years need funding to grow, but only 23% of them get the funds they need. Lack of funding is a major reason that about 50% of them fail within the first five years.
The average QuickBooks customer needs a $25,000 working capital loan, and Intuit says that with Quickbooks data both about a specific business and comparable businesses in similar locations and life stages, its machine-learning models can create a risk profile and offer competitive rates. It can do this even for very young businesses that have only been around (or have used QuickBooks) for six months, Intuit says.
Succar told TechCrunch that one data point is particularly important here — understanding a company’s outstanding debt, which other lenders typically don’t tend to have a lot of data about but which QuickBooks Capital can predict with a very high level of certainty.
Hundreds of small businesses were invited to use QuickBooks Capital in the private beta testing phase. According to Intuit, 60% of those customers would likely not get a loan elsewhere.
“The purpose of the product is to serve that underserved section,” Succar told Bank Innovation. “They can use that money for things like investing, marketing, buying inventory or raw materials, payroll, or growth opportunities.”