Funding Societies, the first and largest peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform in Malaysia, has announced a partnership with Curlec, a homegrown FinTech company specialising in Direct Debit payments. Funding Societies will be the first partner to adopt Curlec’s online Direct Debit system. With an integrated system, the repayment process for Funding Societies’ SME clients will be automated, increasing customer efficiency and lowering processing time.

With the partnership, Funding Societies’ SME clients will have a choice to get rid of their cheques and paperwork to process their repayments. Most repayment methods require clunky software and sizeable teams to manage the operational process. Curlec’s Direct Debit system saves cost and decreases operational complexity. Local SMEs will benefit from a hassle-free customer experience when performing monthly repayments.

Funding Societies connects SMEs with investors through an online marketplace, thus increasing access to financing for the SME sector. By financing SME funds, investors can earn returns up to 14% per year, higher than fixed deposits, bonds, and other traditional instruments. Meanwhile, SMEs can obtain up to RM500,000 in working capital financing to expand their businesses through a fast and simple online-based process. SMEs do not need to provide collateral as part of financing requirements.

Mr. Wong Kah Meng, CEO of Funding Societies Malaysia, said “We are proud to be the first P2P financing platform to use an online Direct Debit system for our SME users. Curlec’s system offers an option to automate SME’s repayment. With an efficient and practical process like this, we hope to enhance customer experience. If they no longer need to process paperwork for every repayment, our users can focus more fully on developing their businesses.”

Mr. Zac Liew, Co-Founder and CEO of Curlec, stated that he was delighted to be working with Funding Societies. He said, “Going forward, Funding Societies will offer Curlec’s Direct Debit system for SME as an additional repayments method, and our Instant Pay FPX payment gateway for investor deposits. It is a great opportunity to collaborate with another local FinTech company who is committed to support SME businesses. We share the same goal: to serve SMEs currently underserved by existing financial institutions.

According to estimates cited by Securities Commission (SC), the SME sector in Malaysia has a financing gap of more than RM80 billion. Yet domestic SMEs comprise 97% of Malaysian businesses and contribute to 65% of national employment. Market-based, technology-driven financing options such as Funding Societies can provide alternative solutions to address the needs of SMEs in Malaysia.

Funding Societies Malaysia currently holds the largest domestic market share in terms of crowdfunded amount. The platform also holds a 0% default rate – well over a year since it began operations. “With Curlec’s automation technology, Funding Societies hopes to scale our business faster and more efficiently to achieve our goal of RM50 million in SME financing this year. We want to serve more and more of underserved SMEs who require financing,” added Mr. Wong.

Funding Societies also operates in Singapore and Indonesia (under the local name Modalku). Regionally, Funding Societies has disbursed more than RM560 million in working capital financing to SMEs across more than 5,770 deals. Funding Societies is a Regulated Market Operator and has been registered at SC. It has received various awards and recognition both regionally and globally, including winning the Global SME Excellence Award from the United Nations’ ITU Telecom Unit, which recognizes the most promising and innovative information and communication technology developed by SMEs for social impact.

Launched in early 2017 in Malaysia, Funding Societies is the first and largest P2P financing platform in Malaysia. Funding Societies connects SMEs with investors through an online marketplace, thereby increasing access to financing for SMEs. By investing into SMEs, investors could earn risk-adjusted returns greater than fixed deposits, bonds, and other traditional investment instruments. Meanwhile, SMEs obtain access to short-term financing to expand their business through a fast and simple online process. Additionally, SMEs benefit from not having to provide collateral for financing, while interest costs are minimized due to short financing tenures.

Funding Societies has achieved numerous milestones in its short history, including USD 25 million in Series B funding led by Softbank Ventures Korea and supported by Sequoia India, Alpha JWC and Golden Gate Ventures. Funding Societies also has presence in Singapore and Indonesia (where it is known as Modalku), becoming one of the largest digital financing platforms in the Southeast Asian region. Through its searing growth, Funding Societies remains dedicated to the vision of supporting underserved SMEs and improving societies in Southeast Asia