Amazon is Making Major Moves in SME Banking
Since Amazon Lending began in 2011, it has surpassed $3 billion in loans to small businesses. Recently, the company announced that it has surpassed $1 billion in small-business loans to more than 20,000 merchants involved in its Amazon Marketplace in the U.S. UK, and Japan during the past year. In fact, Amazon is making money from both the sales of products via its online platform and by charging interest on the loans.
A cause for concern, reported by industry analysts, is that Amazon has signaled it may move beyond lending to its own Amazon Marketplace merchants. Amazon's entry into mainstream small-business lending would knock the small business banking industry for a loop. Amazon could disrupt small business finance in the same manner that it forever changed retail. Starting 22 years ago by selling books and CDs, it has made more than $400 billion in sales.
With a lot of cash to lend, Amazon easily entered the lucrative small business lending marketplace. Currently, the company only offers short-term business loans ranging from $1,000 to $750,000 for up to 12 months to micro, small and medium businesses that sell on Amazon. It has the potential to expand into retail banking. Eventually, Amazon could expand such operations to the other countries across the globe where it operates marketplaces. Think about the potential of moving into markets such as India and China.