OakNorth Introduces Commercial Card Program for SMBs

OakNorth, the UK-based digital commercial bank, has launched a new commercial card program for its small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients. The initiative is part of a broader effort to offer services typically reserved for larger commercial banking customers. The card program, developed in partnership with Marqeta’s card issuing platform, aims to give OakNorth’s SMB customers enhanced financial flexibility and improved control over their business expenses.

The program will be accompanied by additional features, including deposit accounts and automated bill payment tools, providing a more comprehensive suite of services for SMB clients. OakNorth’s objective is to help businesses navigate the challenges of rising costs and uncertain economic conditions. This effort aligns with an analysis by embedded finance platform Liberis, indicating that UK businesses are facing significant cost pressures, with estimated cost increases of £10,000 in 2023 due to the £22 billion funding gap in the sector, as identified by the Bank of England.

OakNorth emphasises that the new program will offer a more holistic view of financial management, allowing businesses to track spending and manage cash flow more efficiently. By extending these services, the bank seeks to empower SMBs to thrive in a challenging economic landscape.

The commercial card program is the latest in a series of initiatives by OakNorth to support small businesses. In November, the bank introduced its business banking unit, focusing on “overlooked and underserved” founders and C-suite executives, providing them with a dedicated business partner to tailor banking services to their needs. The unit is led by Sam O’Connor, former CEO and founder of the accounting and tax app-based solution Coconut, who joined OakNorth to drive the bank’s efforts in supporting SMBs.

With this new commercial card program, OakNorth aims to strengthen its position in the SMB banking sector, offering innovative solutions to help businesses adapt to changing economic conditions and plan for future growth.

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