Walmart and Citi introduce a digital lending platform that connects the retail giant’s network of 10,000 US-based small business suppliers with 70+ lenders that may provide loans of up to $10 million
Walmart and Citi are collaborating to introduce the Bridge lending platform to help improve access to capital for Walmart’s U.S. supplier base through a network of over 70 lenders, including 20+ diverse financial institutions.
Through a single loan request form, Walmart suppliers can interact with the partnering institutions, ready to provide qualifying businesses with loans of up to $10 million. Multiple potential lenders can evaluate their requests and make their loan offers.
The new solution aims to create a more efficient loan process for both suppliers and lenders. Not only does the Bridge offer suppliers greater choice, convenience, and access to capital, but it also provides lenders with the potential to diversify their lending businesses.
Although Walmart has already offered its suppliers programs that help with post-shipment financing, Bridge built by Citi has the potential to expand lending options available to include working capital loans, commercial mortgages and other pre-shipment financing loans.
Besides, Citi says it has focused on increasing the number of Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions on the digital lending platform. More than 20 of them are MDIs and four are women-owned institutions. Furthermore, 15 of the 20 Black-owned banks in the US are lenders on the platform.
Rohit Mathur, Head of the Bridge built by Citi platform, also confirms that the platform was developed to provide more inclusive access to capital while supporting innovative, digital-first solutions for SMBs, stating that “Many small and medium-sized business owners don’t have a network of existing bank relationships – especially those operating in underrepresented communities.”