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February 9, 2021updated 24 Jan 2022 6:39am

Beyond cards – American Express launches SME loans in Australia

By Mohamed Dabo

In a first for American Express outside of the United States, the company is expanding its existing business financing product suite with the launch of Business Loans in Australia.

American Express Business Loans will offer unsecured capital of between $5,000 and $250,000 to small and medium enterprise (SMEs) customers in Australia.

The move comes as Australia’s SMEs are estimated to seek more than $130bn of additional capital through business loans to fund their recovery and growth following an unprecedented period for the sector.

American Express has partnered with global originations platform, ODX, to introduce these loans.

The loans will initially be offered to a select group of American Express business card members, with more customers invited to apply within the first half of this year.

Businesses feeling cautiously optimistic

A new American Express SME Recovery Survey shows that the majority of Australian SMEs (53%) are optimistic about the year ahead.

SMEs’ feelings of optimism, however, are tempered by the knowledge that more than two in five businesses will need to access additional capital in the form of a loan this year.

On average, those seeking a loan intend to request just under AU$100,000 ($97,225).

The American Express research reveals that the top business resolution for nearly two in five SME operators this year is to try new ways to grow their business.

Of that group, more than a quarter believe this growth could be significantly greater with the appropriate amount of capital.

And yet, nearly half of SMEs who sought funds from other lenders during the pandemic said they faced challenges – from finding the process complex to being asked to use personal assets as security.

About the American Express Loans

  • Unsecured funding from $5,000 to $250,000
  • Annual interest rates from 10.95% p.a.
  • Terms of 6,12,18 or 24 months
  • Quick and simple online application process
  • No set-up or early repayment fees. A $30 fee for a missed payment
  • Fast decisioning with funds usually delivered within two business days of approval
  • Loan approval is subject to American Express eligibility criteria

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