STEP selects CRIF to enhance the first fully fledged digital marketplace for SMEs

by | Aug 29, 2022

Despite the significant impact that digitalization has had on financial services and open banking in particular, the needs of SMEs have not yet been fully satisfied. SMEs are looking for a banking ecosystem that can meet all their needs, starting from a fast, simple onboarding process, through to the aggregation and categorization of account data, to the generation of insights and actions that can effectively and dynamically target customers.

About STEP and AZIMUT

STEP offers the best solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises on a global scale. It was founded by an international multi-skilled team of professionals with twenty years of experience in the financial services sector, specializing in SMEs. STEP’s digital and fully scalable platform is the new and original solution behind the success of Azimut Marketplace.

Azimut Marketplace is the first Fintech ecosystem for SMEs. From the aggregation of company accounts to receivables finance, from instant financing to digital payment collection and much more. Azimut Marketplace simplifies the daily management of companies by selecting the best partners on the market.

 

The Market Context

Open banking initiatives are being developed across the world, and both established and new financial institutions are developing digital capabilities, such as credit decisioning based on real-time data available through open banking. These features aim to meet the diverse needs of SMEs by offering faster and easier access to financing options, such as: invoice and cash-flow financing, working capital, leasing, asset finance, project finance and much more.

 

The Challenge

Despite the significant impact that digitalization has had on financial services and open banking in particular, the needs of SMEs have not yet been fully satisfied. SMEs are looking for a banking ecosystem that can meet all their needs; starting from a fast, simple onboarding process, through to the aggregation and categorization of account data, to the generation of insights and actions that can effectively and dynamically target customers.

As part of this challenge, STEP had the following goals:

  • Implement an efficient and modular solution for the Customer Onboarding phase
  • Implement automatic ID verification
  • Provide a frictionless experience
  • Develop a digital and multi-country ecosystem delivering Open Banking access and BFM insights

The Solution

In order to support business development, STEP has adopted CRIF Digital Onboarding and Open Banking solutions to boost its ecosystem thanks to:

  • PHYON OCR and automatic ID verification, enabling a fully automated onboarding process
  • NEOS Open Banking for account aggregation and transaction categorization
  • BFM to allow SMEs to apply for an instant loan, aggregate invoices to manage AR/AP, generate international payments and FX transactions, acquire payments from customers, calculate their ESG rating, and apply for subsidies finance, among other things.

Results and KPIs

After the launch in October 2021, more than 4000 SMEs in Italy and Spain joined Azimut Marketplace; 97% of them aggregated their accounts thanks to the CRIF Open Banking Solution generating a pipeline of more than 40 million euros.

Read the full interview with Marco Montagnani CEO & Founder of STEP 4 Business:

 

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