The internet has long been saturated with tools and offers to help consumers find the best rates and deals for financial products and services for everything from credit cards, debt consolidation, tax assistance, and more.
However, very little innovation has occurred on the internet to cater to the needs of small business financial products and services. Below, are select companies aimed at helping small business utilize the internet to find new and innovative ways to manage their finances and financing needs.
Transparent FS (http://transfs.com) – An auction based service allowing small businesses to comparison shop competing bids for financial related services. Currently open to competing bids on merchant credit card processing fees with plans to expand the auction based service for employer health insurance, payroll processing, business credit, and more.
The Receivables Exchange (www.receivablesxchange.com) – A website that connects buyers and sellers in a real-time auction marketplace to buy and sell account receivables. Enables small businesses that need to increase their working capital or liquidity immediately to do so by auctioning their current account receivables and getting converting their A/R's into cash immediately.
Prosper.com (www.prosper.com) – A peer to peer lending site that allows individuals and small businesses to get loans through an online network. With credit markets dried up today, many small businesses are looking for alternative methods to finance their operations and growth. Leveraging new marketplaces like Prosper can help small businesses find the financing that they need that they could otherwise not get from their bank or financial institution.
LendingClub (www.lendingclub.com) – Another social lending site that provides small business with quick response times for loan approvals with most loans approved within 2 weeks. Currently has managed over $30 million in customer loans and provides small businesses with alternate access for loans to cover financing needs.
Internet services like the aforementioned provide innovative and alternative resources for small business to meet their financing needs. While still in the early stages of evolvement, websites catering to small business financing needs could quickly become a popular alternative to efficiently finding new financing sources and skip the big financial institutions all together providing small businesses with the liquidity and cash flow they need to continue to grow.