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Standard Bank Group have become the first commercial bank in South Africa, and across Africa, to give a business working capital loan up to R6m in just 3 minutes. This new capability currently allows for an application to be received, processed and approved all in the time it takes to listen to the average song.

This is a massive leap forward for the bank, as an applicant previously had to wait up to a month for the facility to originate. Not only is this good news for enterprise development but is yet another proof point that Standard Bank is aggressively transforming its overall Business Banking proposition.

This new capability could not have come at a better time for business banking customers. According to Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive, Personal & Business Banking South Africa at Standard Bank Group, the bank sees the highest loan requests during the month of November for bonus and year end expenditure. This also extends to January for starting the year operations and February/March for paying SARS obligations.

According to Stats SA, the entire formal business sector generated R2,39 trillion in turnover in Q1: 2019. Out of this amount, large businesses contributed 62%, followed by small (29%) and medium sized businesses (10%). From your biggest retailers, to your salons and cleaning services, Standard Bank understands it is critical to make access to capital as quick and efficient as possible to help keep such businesses from failing.

“Standard Bank has always and continues to create new innovations for businesses. Africa is our home; we drive her growth and the main way to do that is by growing businesses so that employment and economic activity can grow. But to grow the businesses, we need to help them with their biggest pain point which is to give them working capital when they need it”, concludes Montjane.

Having quick access to additional cashflow can assist the business and its operations, businesses can avoid cashflow crisis caused when creditors pay later than expected, they can take advantage of unforeseen opportunities such as purchasing stock at good prices and survive sudden expenses such as stolen and/or damaged stock, equipment or premises while waiting for insurance. In all cases, speed and process simplicity are the critical benefits.