The need to retain the human touch as tech advances

In 2022, businesses are facing a perfect storm of challenges; they are still overcoming the impacts of the pandemic while having to adjust to rising costs in their supply chains, increased energy prices, bigger tax bills, and more recently the rise in inflation to 9.1%.

Getting quicker access to capital is fundamental to both the survival and growth of a business; they have to think fast to keep up with the pace of change in the economy and for them to be agile, they need simple and quick finance solutions that meet their ever-changing demands.

A business’ time is its most valuable asset and when it comes to securing finance, they are looking for products and services that come without a time burden.

Confusing and lengthy finance applications are completely counterproductive, so it is the duty of finance providers to make access to finance solutions simple, straightforward and quick. But speed alone is not enough.

Advancements in tech and AI have really changed the pace at which funding solutions can be accessed.

In some cases, all you need to do is submit a proposal, undertake due diligence and eligibility checks, all of which is automated and provides an immediate decision.

That is a big tick in the box for speed but the process is far too rigid. If you don’t fit the algorithms, you’re denied finance.

But a business should then have the opportunity to discuss their nuances and explain their potential.

This is where a human touch is essential. It is the job of alternative finance to provide quality support to businesses and AI algorithms alone simply can’t do that.

There’s no doubt that technological advancements are changing the future of lending and progress is undoubtedly a positive thing; it enables lenders to bring to market new products and services that meet the needs of businesses.

But businesses and brokers still value conversation, which in-turn gives us as lenders the chance to talk through a business’ specific needs or challenges.

By working in this way, we can ensure businesses never feel alone and crucially, we stand a greater chance of unlocking their growth potential.

Interestingly, in a recent poll we found that 92% of businesses put having a personal relationship with their funder is at the top of their list of desirable attributes.

At a time when most funders put speed at the forefront of their service, it seems many businesses do prefer to deal with people, especially in times of uncertainty.

At Time Finance, that’s a core part of our service we’re proud to deliver.

Steve Nichols is director of asset finance at Time Finance

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