Ebay is offering hundreds of thousands of UK sellers business loans of up to £1 million amid its biggest push into financial services to date.
Its new ‘Capital for Ebay Business Sellers’ (CEBS) initiative aims to provide a lifeline to 300,000 small UK businesses who “have been financially excluded from traditional lenders and let down by COVID support schemes”.
Amid a new partnership with third party financing platform YouLend, Ebay is offering sellers loans of between £500 and £1 million “in minutes”, promising to provide nine out of 10 borrowers with money the same day they accept an offer.
Dubbed the UK sellers credit limits will be determined by their trading history and performance data, and are understood to be largely automated.
Unlike a bank loan there will be no late payment fees, and repayments will be made on sales the company makes through Ebay’s platform.
It is understood that the amount sellers repay each month will be proportional to their monthly sales.
According to Ebay UK’s general manager Murray Lambell small businesses, which make up 99 per cent of all UK businesses, have been let down by traditional lenders during the pandemic.
“That’s led to a serious under-investment, leaving many at risk of going under while others are prevented from reaching their full potential,” he said.
“CEBS is intended to help plug this gap, giving small businesses quick access to a range of financing options.”
In the first months of the pandemic, Ebay UK announced a payment holiday for all of the registered businesses on its platform to help SME’s keep their business running throughout the crisis.
This saw all of its 300,000 registered businesses receive a 30-day pay holiday, which was later extended, allowing them to list 250 products every month for free.