The Rise of Non-Bank Lenders

by Business Fuel | 06 October 2020

The world of small business is adapting, and it’s adapting fast. The industry has become nimble, it’s digitising, and opportunities have to be grabbed as quickly as they come and go.

And how have big banks adapted? They still require copious amounts of documentation and endless financial statements and forecasts – and that’s just to hand in your application. For small businesses looking for loans to react to the market in real-time, the big banks are simply too slow and too picky.

Access to finance certainly is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses in South Africa today. Globally, technology is transforming the lending industry and changing the way business owners access finance, through the introduction of smarter and faster lending solutions offered by non-bank lenders.

They move quickly and exist specifically to assist small and medium business with simple short-term financing. Here’s why a business loan from a non-bank lender, like us at Business Fuel, could be just the kick-start your business needs:

Easy to apply

Non-bank lenders are not as excited about paperwork as the big banks, usually requiring minimal documentation such as bank statements and basic documents your business should already have on hand.

What about the waiting time? Well, most non-bank lenders can turn approvals around in within a week or less. At Business Fuel we can make you an offer within 24 hrs of receiving just your bank statements. We can get funding in your account within days from your application. That means your business gets the money it needs when it needs it.


Most banks require collateral to secure any business loan, which for a small business is difficult to offer since you likely do not have any significant assets to put up as collateral. And so, the bank won’t even look at your application. Non-bank lenders generally do not need any collateral.

“But… doesn’t this open me up to higher interest rates?”. Yes, non-bank lenders generally charge a higher rate than banks. However, if you look at the lifetime cost of your loan and what your actual finance cost will be and the impact to your bottom line, you might find non-bank lenders being an affordable option. This is because non-bank lenders generally allow you to repay off your loan over a short term. At Business Fuel, we offer a maximum term of 12 months but allowing you to repay off the loan as early as you like with no exit or penalty fees for doing so. Want to pay it off by the end of next quarter? Fine by us.

It’s personal

How many times have you tried to call up your bank, only to be transferred to a call centre, where you will likely be speaking to a new person with no knowledge about your business? Non-bank lenders are smaller institutions, which means you can pick up the phone any time and should be speaking to the same loan analyst that processed your loan.

For example, at Business Fuel we assign each client a dedicated analyst to assist them at all turns. They take the time to get to know you and your needs. They’ll help you throughout the application process and optimise your loan so that it works for you. It makes the whole journey and experience seem less like an unrelatable bank manager and more of someone working side by side with you to try to get you’re the funding that you need.

If you would like to talk more about what a short-term business loan could do for you, Business Fuel is a non-bank lender that is proud to support many businesses just like yours.

Give us a call, chat to us on live chat or submit a quick application (taking minutes) and let us see what we can do for you.