Rishi Sunak reveals New Business Support Plan

Chancellor Rishi Sunak cancelled the winter budget to pave way for emergency measures as the UK battles another wave of COVID infections. With government support schemes CBILS, BBLS and Future Fund coming to end in September and furlough scheme in October, he laid out plans to extend the support.

CBILS and BBLS extension

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme has been extended till 30th November 2020 and lenders have till end of December to approve the applications.

Decimal Factor has witnessed a multifold increase in applications and approvals

“Pay As You Grow Scheme”

Loans can be repaid over ten years if the businesses are in difficulty without any impact on the credit score.

New Job Support Scheme

Government will pay for one third of lost hours for employees who work at least one third of their usual hours. Grant is capped at £697.92 per month and is valid for 6 months starting Nov 2020. Employers will cover the worked hours and one third of lost hours. Scheme is targeted mainly at SMEs. Larger businesses can apply if their turnover has witnessed fall during COVID.

New Business Support Scheme

Cut in VAT from 20% to 5% for hospitality and tourism businesses has been extended until March 2021

AFS Expands Contact Center Offering with Global Centre of Excellence in Bahrain

Arab Financial Services (AFS), the region’s leading payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler, has expanded its contact center offering providing a tailored service for Decimal Factor, a UK-based aggregator and digital credit brokerage platform that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The dedicated contact center will cater to the Middle East & EMEA region, UK & USA markets, from Bahrain, and will comprise over 100 employees by the first quarter of 2020.

This expands on AFS’ existing contact center solutions, from its conventional 24/7 inbound contact center activities, to an outbound telemarketing set-up covering customers outside the Middle East. AFS currently operates contact centres in Bahrain and Oman for banks, financial institutions and insurance providers across the region. AFS’ contact center offering consistently provides exceptional customer experiences, efficient service, first call resolutions and consolidation of customer information that ensures sophisticated service request routing to resolve issues and respond to queries more efficiently.

Speaking of the partnership with Decimal Factor, Mr. B Chandrasekhar AFS CEO said: “This is a significant opportunity for AFS. This partnership will see us expand our distinctive contact center offering while creating greater employment opportunities for Bahrainis. We are committed to building larger talent pools in the Kingdom and providing them with comprehensive training and development to upskill our workforce with the competencies required to enhance customer support and satisfaction.”

Founded in 2008, Decimal Factor’s digital credit brokerage platform has successfully arranged £50 million funding for SME’s to date. Its digital credit brokerage platform provides real-time comparisons and funding decisions from lenders to help business owners secure funding when they need it. Aligned with AFS’ Fintech activities, Decimal Factor operates on Artificial intelligence, harnessing data through data science, open-banking-enabled data capture and submissions to lenders to create a digital journey through portals, apps, API’s and POS devices and via merchant management tools.

Mr. Manoj Karkhanis, CEO, Decimal Factor said: “I am very excited about our recently launched Global Centre of Excellence (GCOE) at AFS. This GCOE will be our Back Office and Support hub to acquire new customers digitally and use conventional channels in UK, USA, Middle East & EMEA region. Our workforce talent gives us an edge in this competitive arena to cater to various markets globally and with this in mind we look forward to a successful Decimal Factor hub at AFS Bahrain.”

With more than 30 years of experience, AFS serves over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 20 countries. AFS is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, Fintech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite. AFS has introduced significantly disruptive and cutting-edge Fintech solutions in recent years: In 2018, AFS introduced bwallet to the region – the first mobile wallet facilitating peer-to-peer and cashless transactions. Today, bwallet has established itself as the market leader with a significant user and merchant footprint across the Kingdom of Bahrain. EasyPay was another first from AFS – Bahrain’s first NFC payment service allowing payments with a tap of the mobile. Other innovations rolled out by AFS have been electronic KYC, Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Peer-to-Merchant (P2M), QR enabled payments, Tokenization, Remittance, WPS and Digital Banking solutions.

Decimal Factor appoints new Managing Director

We’re delighted to introduce you to Daniel Stanton, Decimal Factor’s new Managing Director.

Prior to joining us, Daniel worked at Funding Circle for just over 5 years. During that time, he worked alongside brokers to help them increase the number of customers, as well as the amount of business loans they arranged.

Daniel has a strong analytics background. Having worked with a range of leading brokerages in the commercial finance space and having witnessed what works well and what doesn’t, he has a strong understanding of a lender’s perspective, as well as a broker’s and brings this unique knowledge to his new role at Decimal Factor.

Daniel felt particularly drawn to Decimal Factor’s strong belief that the UK’s various communities and demographics bring value to our economy and deserve to be served appropriately. 

His ambition is to turn Decimal Factor into one of the largest, most efficient brokerages in the UK, with an emphasis on doing things right, be it from compliance, KYC checks, or automated and digitised processes.

Daniel joined the team over the summer, at a really crucial time for the business as we are in the midst of a large funding round.  His initial focus has been on building our tech and CRM infrastructure, then scaling growth of staff numbers and volumes of facilities completed and origination values. And this is just the beginning! 

We’re very excited by Daniel’s arrival and what it means to the business and we are confident that our customers will benefit hugely from his expertise and vision for the future.

Decimal Factor announces 2-year partnership with FairbairnBC

Decimal Factor is very pleased to announce a two-year sponsorship with Fairbairn Boxing Club which encourages grassroots boxing.

Fairbairn Boys Club was originally founded in the late 1800’s by Lady Trowe for the underprivileged children of the East End. The club became the now renowned Fairbairn Amateur Boxing Club at the start of the 1998-1999 boxing season.The Essex-based offers facilities to 20 to 30 young men and women, boys and girls. They train 3 to 4 times per week, and learn the discipline of sport, the joy of winning and the resilience that comes with defeat.

Fairbairn Amateur Boxing Club firmly believes that boxing helps keep young boys and girls off the streets and in a safe sports environment. A prime example of their outstanding work comes in the person of Anthony Joshua. AJ was in trouble with the law at an early age before he was introduced to boxing. AJ has now turned his life around.

Manoj Karkhanis, CEO of Decimal Factor, said: “I am delighted to support this cause. The youth of today is afforded little credit but I can see how boxing can help bring out the camaraderie and wonderful sportsmanship among these young people.”

The club will host The Fairbairn Boxing show, a 3-course dinner, private bar and live boxing event, on 18th May 2019 at 7pm. The event will take place at  The Prince Regent Hallmark Hotel, Manor Road, Chigwell, Essex IG8 8AE. We plan to arrive at 6pm

Manoj added: “Others too will have plenty of opportunities at the show to support the Fairbairn Boxing club through auctions and raffles. All the proceeds will go towards the running of the club.”

AFS Adds International Prepaid Mobile Top Up to Suite of Services

We are delighted to announce that Arab Financial Services (AFS), the MEA region’s leading payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler, has added seamless international bill payments services to its scope of offerings, in partnership with Decimal Factor.

AFS partners and financial institutions can avail of the company’s growing financial ecosystem which now includes local and international telco. payments. The initial service offering is International Prepaid Mobile Top Up, allowing customers to top up any international prepaid mobile phone account, digitally, in over 150 different countries, including neighboring GCC states, and with almost 700 different operators across the globe.

Mr. B Chandrasekhar, Chief Executive Officer of AFS said: “AFS’ market-leading technology brings a first-of-its-kind, innovative service to our partners in the Kingdom and across the region. Our international bill payments service offers superior, streamlined processes that further empower our partners and their customers while still maintaining all the controls and safety measures which we stand for as a company. We look forward to seeing how this new, technology-driven solution further shapes the financial landscape in which we operate.”

Manoj Karkhanis, CEO Decimal Factor, said: “It’s a pleasure to offer our bespoke UK platform and APIs to enable services for AFS. We believe AFS is revolutionizing payments in their region and we are happy to play our part to strengthen AFS’s initiative. In future we plan to work closely with AFS to bring acceptance of their digital solutions to UK merchants and take our relationship to new heights. This marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.”

AFS serves over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 21 countries. It is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, FinTech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite. AFS has offices and data centers in Bahrain, UAE and Oman, and was the first processor in the region to become Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.2 certified. Recipient of several global awards, AFS has most recently been recognized as of ‘The Most Innovative FinTech Solution Provider 2018’ at the GCC Enterprise Awards 2018 and ‘Best Payment Service Provider – Bahrain 2017’ by Global Banking and Finance Review. Finzo, a wholly-owned FinTech subsidiary of AFS, is licensed by the CBB as Ancillary Services Provider and Payment Services Provider. The Finzo website can be accessed at www.finzodigital.com

About AFS:

Established in 1984, Arab Financial Services (AFS) is the MEA region’s leading payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler.

The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, FinTech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite.

Focused on introducing innovative payment products and cutting edge FinTech solutions that support governments on their trajectory towards a digital economy, AFS can empower businesses by exploring and investing in superior technologies that help shape the future of financial experiences and how they are conducted: anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

In 2018, AFS introduced bwallet to the region – the first mobile wallet facilitating peer-to-peer and cashless transactions. Today, bwallet has established itself as the market leader with a significant user and merchant footprint across the Kingdom of Bahrain. EasyPay was another first from AFS – Bahrain’s first NFC payment service allowing payments with a tap of the mobile. Other innovations rolled out by AFS have been electronic KYC, Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Peer-to-Merchant (P2M), QR enabled payments, Tokenization, Remittance, WPS and Digital Banking solutions. 2018 also saw AFS launch merchant acquiring services to banks in both Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman including end-to-end platform, settlement, eCommerce and integrated POS devices supporting contactless cards, NFC, QR and other forms of payment acceptance.

Serving over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 21 countries, AFS is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

AFS has offices and data centers in Bahrain, UAE and Oman, and was the first processor in the region to become Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.2 certified.

Recipient of several global awards, AFS has most recently been recognized as of ‘The Most Innovative FinTech Solution Provider 2018’ at the GCC Enterprise Awards 2018 and ‘Best Payment Service Provider – Bahrain 2017’ by Global Banking and Finance Review.

For further information visit www.afs.com.bh

$500k unsecured facility for a Coventry (UK) based business

Decimal Factor recently assisted a Coventry-based business with obtaining a $500k unsecured business loan facility through one of our preferred Business Cash Advance lender.

The customer needed to raise funds for bulk stock purchasing along with carrying out store refurbishments. Initially, they had planned to do this by approaching their bank, but the process was taking too much time, along with endless requirement of documents.

Our Business development director had been in touch with the customer for a couple of months and during one of his follow up calls, the customer mentioned their pressing requirements.  Our director discussed the range of alternative finance products available and within no time, the customer agreed to a business cash advance option.

We therefore assisted the customer with getting a $500k unsecured loan facility on the basis of their card sales. This did require for Decimal Factor to gain a full understanding of the client’s business model so that our Business development director could accurately relay our customer’s requirements to the lender and arrange the documents required by the lender in a timely fashion. Owing to our Business development director’s persistence and determination and consistent follow up with the lenders, we were able to close the deal within 10 days.

All communications with the customer happened over the telephone and this resulted in faster response times, quicker exchanges of information and documents together with the e-signing of contracts.

If you’d like to find out more about our offering or would like to discuss a case, please get in touch today.

Akshay Sharma

Chief Operating Officer

Time -Money- Pension -Funds

With all the talk about the different types of funding that are available to business owners there is often one option that is overlooked that I think is important for me to bring to your attention.
There is a form of business funding where the interest you pay on the finance provided is paid back to you.

As a business owner, not only can you grow your business with the funding it requires, but you can potentially increase your net worth at the same time.

Unlike many of the newer forms of alternative funding out there, this has been available since the 1970s. It has been well tried and tested but not that well known to many business owners.

Pension-led funding (PLF) allows you to invest a portion of your accrued pension assets into the business – without the requirement for personal guarantees or charges over your domestic assets.

The interest on this finance is paid back into the pension, tax relievable from the business standpoint and with all the tax benefits of growing in a pension scheme.

For business owners this is an option that you should consider alongside other funding options if you have money held in pensions. It might not be for you, but you should look at how you might use PLF to help achieve two of your most important goals…

  • Growing your own business
  • Building your net worth

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