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Atom Collaborates With Plaid On SMB Open Banking

To launch open banking services for its clients, British financial institution Atom is teaming with open finance platform Plaid. The latter company lets clients provide their banking data to Atom, allowing for a faster response to requests for loans, according to a Tuesday (Feb. 16) announcement.

“We always want to make things simple and easy for our customers and take away the hassle and frustration. This is why we’re so excited to work with Plaid as part of an exciting [program] of new business banking product launches and service improvements in 2021,” Atom Bank Chief Customer Officer Edward Twiddy said in the announcement.

Plaid will be working with the bank to speed up the financial institution’s (FI’s) secured corporate lending workflow on requests for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans and non-CBILS loans at first. Atom says it is among the few banks to provide secured loans to new and current clients via CBILS.

Beyond harnessing Plaid’s open banking information for decisioning and underwriting, the FI will be utilizing the payment initiation functions of Plaid to simplify fee payments. Plaid’s introduction into Atom’s technology infrastructure will also support “new direct-to-market smart savings and lending propositions,” according to the announcement.

Keith Grose, head of U.K. at Plaid, said in the announcement that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were ignored for the most part at the time open banking initially took shape. “Now three years in, we’re finally seeing innovative services emerge, like Atom, that solve their unique financial needs — and in an economic climate where they face bigger obstacles than ever before,” Grose said in the announcement.

The news comes as Plaid is reportedly eyeing doubling its size in Europe. “We’re growing our team of Brits and Europeans,” Grose said. “We are planning to aggressively scale the customers that we have and the volume of payments that we’re handling.”

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