Universal Partners, a cross-border payment and foreign exchange provider for businesses, has announced a partnership with fintech Muse Finance to offer clients digital invoices and trade finance.

Universal Partners has entered into a collaboration with Muse Finance to elevate its financial product suite.

These services are designed to provide UK-based SMEs with an improved command over their cash flow and a clearer view of their financial standing.

SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, constituting approximately 99 per cent of all businesses. Over recent years, they have endured an extraordinarily challenging period, initially due to the pandemic and, subsequently, the Ukraine conflict and global commodity shocks.

Compounded by Brexit ambiguity and a volatile governmental fiscal policy, 43% of SMEs have been forced to close. Those that have survived have sought additional funding, primarily to manage cash flow – with seven in 10 UK businesses (69%) seeking credit for this reason.

In 2023, as more SMEs seek to expand internationally, they face hurdles such as exchange rate instability, uncertainty in cross-border payments, and extended waiting periods for payment or goods receipt.

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The partnership with Muse Finance will now enable Universal Partners to also mitigate liquidity concerns, with its digital invoice and trade financing, providing businesses with a suite of tools to improve their cash flow.

Muse Finance’s innovative invoice-based financing solutions will enable Universal Partner’s customers to receive payment before the invoice’s settlement date or make payments to suppliers whilst keeping the funds for up to 120 days. 

Oliver Carson, CEO of Universal Partners, said: “We are on a mission to become the go-to partner for businesses wishing to expand internationally. Our partnership with Muse is a step in the right direction, giving us proven, best-in-class solutions for digital factoring and trade finance.

“These two core services will give our customers the cash flow management tools they need to scale anywhere in the world without the liquidity concerns  that can slow down growth.” 

Ann Juliano, CEO of Muse Finance, added: “This partnership is a testament to the demand for financial products driven by consumer needs.

“At Muse Finance, we have built solutions that address key challenges faced by consumers, leveraging the power of embedded finance to provide fast, reliable and low-cost digital invoice and trade finance products.”

Universal Partners is one of the UK’s fastest-growing fintech, utilising an analytic approach to provide customers with tailored cross-border payments and bespoke risk management strategies.

Based in London, Universal Partners is a natural partner for UK SMEs dealing with customers and suppliers in the EU, USA and beyond.

Launched in 2020 by ex-Fortress investment group managing director Ann Juliano, Muse provides non-dilutive working capital solutions for business owners in the UK through buy now, pay later (BNPL) for businesses and digital factoring.  

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