June 8th 2023 | Money2020: Universal Partners, a leading FCA-regulated, cross-border payment and foreign exchange specialist for businesses, today announced a strategic partnership with embedded finance fintech Muse Finance to offer clients digital invoice and trade finance. This further elevates Universal Partners’ financial product suite and empowers their customers with top-tier financial tools to promote global scalability.
Universal Partners has entered into a strategic collaboration with Muse Finance to elevate its financial product suite and empower their clientele with top-tier financial tools, promoting global scalability. Muse Finance brings to the table a dynamic range of digital factoring and trade finance services, such as invoice financing and supply financing. These services are designed to provide UK-based SMEs with an improved command over their cash flow and a clearer view of their financial standing. By harnessing Muse Finance’s capabilities, Universal Partners is breaking barriers and ushering in a new era of enhanced financial management for SMEs.
SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, constituting approximately 99 per cent of all businesses. Over recent years, they have endured an extraordinarily challenging period, initially due to the pandemic and, subsequently, the Ukraine conflict and global commodity shocks. Compounded by Brexit ambiguity and a volatile governmental fiscal policy, 43% of SMEs have been forced to close. Those that have survived have sought additional funding, primarily to manage cash flow – with seven in 10 UK businesses (69%) seeking credit for this reason.
In 2023, as more SMEs seek to expand internationally, they face hurdles such as exchange rate instability, uncertainty in cross-border payments, and extended waiting periods for payment or goods receipt. Universal Partners specialises in helping UK companies mitigate these risks, providing tailored foreign exchange strategies and same-day cross-border payments.
The partnership with Muse Finance will now enable Universal Partners to also mitigate liquidity concerns, with its innovative digital factoring and trade financing solutions providing businesses with a suite of tools to improve their cash flow. Muse Finance’s innovative invoice-based financing solutions will enable Universal Partner’s customers to receive payment before the invoice’s settlement date or make payments to suppliers whilst keeping the funds for up to 120 days.
Oliver Carson, CEO of Universal Partners, said: “We are on a mission to become the go-to partner for businesses wishing to expand internationally. Our partnership with Muse is a step in the right direction, giving us proven, best-in-class solutions for digital factoring and trade finance. These two core services will give our customers the cash flow management tools they need to scale anywhere in the world without the liquidity concerns that can slow down growth.”
Ann Juliano, CEO of Muse Finance, added: “This partnership is a testament to the demand for financial products driven by consumer needs. At Muse Finance, we have built solutions that address key challenges faced by consumers, leveraging the power of embedded finance to provide fast, reliable and low-cost digital invoice and trade finance products.”
Universal Partners is one of the UK’s fastest-growing fintechs, utilising an analytic approach to provide customers with tailored cross-border payments and bespoke risk management strategies. Based in London, Universal Partners is a natural partner for UK SMEs dealing with customers and suppliers in the EU, USA and beyond.
Launched in 2020 by ex-Fortress Investment Group Managing Director Ann Juliano, Muse provides non-dilutive working capital solutions for business owners in the UK through buy now, pay later (BNPL) for businesses and digital factoring.
Georgia Hanias/ Ed Doljanin
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