I’ve been working in invoice finance for more years than I care to remember. You could say that as well as not being as young as I once was, this is a world that I know inside out. However, for all my many years behind the scenes of some the UK’s biggest names in banking, I’ve never been more excited than I am today about giving businesses access to the finance they need in order to grow and succeed.
Invoice finance hasn’t advanced in 40 years. The providers may come and go, and some parts of the application and approval process may now be automated, but essentially the way a business accesses invoice finance today is the same as it’s always been.
But things are changing and I’m proud that Ultimate Finance is at the forefront of this change.
Technology is rapidly altering the way the finance industry works and Ultimate Finance has invested, and is investing, significant amounts in ensuring that we’re ahead of the curve. We’re moving towards finance as a self-service industry, where a customer can pick and choose the products that are right for their business without lengthy processes.
My staff will tell you that my mantra is “simplify everything”; I believe that anything unnecessary or doesn’t add value should be stripped away, giving our customers a smooth, quick and logical route to finance. This is why I love our recently-launched Cash Advance product. It’s quick. It works. It’s good.
But great technology is not only about speed, it also helps us provide superb customer service. There are numerous companies, as well as the big four clearing banks, who will sell you cash but it’s how you do it that counts.
I’m clear that I want Ultimate Finance’s customers to become advocates for our business. I want them to tell their friends and colleagues about us but for this to happen we need to give them outstanding service.
Technology means we can be exactly what our customers want us to be: if they want to deal with us entirely online then this is no problem at all. If they want to speak to someone then they’ll find an expert on the end of the phone; if they want a face-to-face meeting then we can do that too. We can also tailor our products to suit the individual needs of a business; every business is unique and technology means we can treat them this way.
If all this sounds more wide-ranging than simple invoice finance then you’d be right. If you ask me, the term won’t be around five years from now. At Ultimate Finance we’re not worried about what we call our different products, what matters to us is getting cash to business owners in the smartest, simplest way possible.
I’ve seen first-hand the good that funding can bring to a business and the best bit of my job is to make sure that Ultimate Finance continues to do this better than anyone else.