Scottish fintech sets its sights on Australia
Know-it, a Scottish fintech that provides a cloud-based credit management solution for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), is aiming to land in Australia in 2024 after picking up a raft of customers in the UK since its launch this year.
Combining credit checks, payment chasing and debt collection into a single platform, Know-it is designed to help SMEs get a better handle on their cash flow and better manage their credit risk, founder Lynne Darcey Quigley said.
“It’s our mission to get people paid on time. I’m excited to really assess the Australian SME market and hopefully make a big impact,” she said.
“Our software solves a global problem, you know. Late payments is not just a UK issue.”
from Small Business Loans Australia this year showed that two-thirds of Australian SMEs were negatively affected by late payments, with 15 per cent saying they struggled to pay staff when customers failed to pay on time. The hardest hit were small businesses of between 11 and 50 employees: 86 per cent of those businesses specified late payments had at least one negative consequence for their business.
Know-it works by connecting to accounting software like Xero or Quickbooks. Users can request credit checks or credit monitoring on their customers or suppliers, fully automate late payment reminders and communications, initiate litigation or debt recovery and take out loans or insurance against invoices.
“It’s quite modular. That’s the way it’s been built because not everyone has to use debt recovery,” Quigley said.
“Not everyone has to litigate, not everyone has to credit check. So, you can pay as you go and choose what you want to use.”
Quigley has a 30-year history in the commercial debt recovery and litigation sector, and her own company, Darcey Quigley & Co, is used to facilitate recovery on the Know-it platform. The original idea for Know-it came about when business dried up during the COVID pandemic, and Quigley’s team set out to create a cloud-based solution. But the platform also gives SMEs access to some capabilities they wouldn’t otherwise have, she said.
“Small businesses don’t have access to big credit bureaus like Equifax; the contracts are expensive and they really don’t have the need to pull a hundred credit checks a month. It’s totally unrealistic,” she said.
“We’ve got a relationship with Equifax out here, and we will bring single reporting. So one person, one SME, can go and get one report at a time if that’s what they want to do.”
Prices for Australia have not been set, but in the UK, users can pay the equivalent of $330 per month for a bundle with all the capabilities included, or around $100 per month and then add extras on top as required (for example a credit report for $20, or 100 SMS reminders for $25). All new users are given a 60-day free trial of the bundle.
“SMEs are typically time poor and cash poor. What we don’t want to say is, ‘This is fantastic piece of software, but you can’t use it because you’ve got no money’,” Quigley said.
“But I believe as soon as an SME starts to use it, and sees their cash flow increasing, their debtor days reducing and the money hitting the bank, the consequence of paying $100 a month just disappears.”
This article was first published by Tim Biggs at Brisbane Times.