Countingup, the UK’s number one small business banking and accounting app, has signed a partnership agreement with fintech start-up and insurance solutions provider Hokodo, in a move designed to lessen the risk faced by SMEs from late payments and unpaid invoices. This partnership is the first between a small business-focused insurance firm and a banking and accounting company to give UK SMEs the option to protect their income on an invoice-by-invoice basis.
The partnership between these two young dynamic businesses is designed to solve a crucial issue for small businesses, with The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimating that late payment causes as many as 50,000 company closures a year at an annual cost to the economy of £2.4bn. By joining forces Countingup and Hokodo will resolve a key small business challenge that larger, more established providers have so far failed to address.
Tim Fouracre, founder and CEO of Countingup, said: “We are strongly focused on forming business partnerships that will help our core customer base of entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive. Invoice protection insurance such as that offered by Hokodo, fits well with our focus. Hokodo’s solution is key in protecting the most vulnerable small business owners from running into cash flow problems through missed or late payments. We are delighted to be working with them to help stop that happening to entrepreneurs.”
Using Hokodo’s Invoice Protection tool, business owners can quickly and easily request a quote to ensure their highest and most business-critical invoices are covered; identify individual invoices they want to protect, and purchase and pay for insuring them through a simple tick box process. The price of insuring each invoice with Hokodo’s solution is typically between 0.25 - 1.5% of the overall value of the invoice.
Countingup has already established a link to the Hokodo solution within its app. The two partners are now working on integrating their solutions more closely to further streamline the experience for users.
“The traditional insurance industry has commercial products to address this problem,” said Richard Thornton, co-founder, Hokodo. “Historically, it has effectively excluded small businesses from the market by basing credit insurance on expensive “whole turnover policies”, and selling via channels such as brokers that are largely inaccessible to SMEs. Our credit insurance solution addresses this and partnering with Countingup will help us deliver this opportunity to more small business owners.”
The partnership also highlights the positive impact that a new wave of young dynamic fintechs are having across the SME sector.