When an SME is looking to make purchases to grow and invest, its options are often to wait until it has the money to pay its suppliers, finance its operations with a credit card or take out a business loan.

At least that’s what a small business’ options used to be. It turns out SMEs are not as beholden to small business loans as their predecessors may have been in years past. They can instead look to lending companies such as Marketlend, which, much like a bank or financial services firms, can help boost and manage cash flow, often under friendlier and more flexible payment terms with less interest when using UnLock, the B2B Buy Now Pay Later Solution designed for business.

Keep reading to learn more about alternative small business loan options that are available to SMEs.

The UnLock business loan alternative

UnLock takes the hassle out of trade finance and is supported by the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. Our Buy Now Pay Later for Business solution offers you, as a business owner, an easy and effective way to take control of your cash flow. Through UnLock, your suppliers are paid on their terms; you make repayments on your chosen term.

The UnLock product grants you access to extend your trade credit terms and suppliers are paid on time, in full.

As an UnLock user, you can also enjoy simplified expense management, have the ability to pay using UnLock with a vast range of suppliers, as well as payment flexibility, real purchasing power, a personalised buying limit (the amount of money you’re allowed to spend on purchases using UnLock), avoid Supplier late fee issues and more.

A small business loan is a popular option SMEs turn to make purchases that might exceed its liquidity at a given time, but it is not the only one. When you make purchases with UnLock, your suppliers are paid on their due date and you make repayments to us at a later date, based on your predetermined payment plan, typically 30 to 90 days from the supplier due date.

Gone are the days of having to “wait for payments to come in” to make purchases needed to achieve your business goals. Now you can use a business pay later option like the UnLock product to pay your suppliers for the goods your business needs, and you repay Marketlend in 30 or 60 days at the end of the month from the month the transaction was made in (for UnLock Mastercard® transactions). There’s also the 30-, 60- or 90-day payment plan for supplier invoices when the invoice was funded via UnLock.

How UnLock, the business loan alternative works

You can use the UnLock product to make purchases when you don’t have enough cash on hand. Rather than waiting until you do, you can buy the product via UnLock, Marketlend will pay your supplier, and you have additional time to repay us (30 or 60 days, typically).

Make purchases with Mastercard or by invoice

Buy something with your UnLock Mastercard (up to $19,999, within your personalised UnLock limit), or by accepting an invoice from the supplier and uploading it to the UnLock Customer Portal.

UnLock pays your supplier bills for you – on time, every time

Marketlend pays your suppliers for your UnLock Mastercard purchases on the same day and your invoices on the date they’re due or earlier, per your direction. You’ll never have to worry about being charged for a late Supplier payment.

Easy accounting

We pull all of your UnLock transactions for the month into one direct debit. You decide when you want to pay the loaned amount — 30 and 60 days from the end of the month (EOM) that the transaction took place.

Additionally, you can choose to pay your supplier invoice via UnLock. We will pay them on the due date and you pay us on your chosen 30, 60 or 90 days past the due date.

UnLock is a simple business loan alternative. When you make a purchase via UnLock, you only repay Marketlend, rather than a group of different suppliers.

You can start buying with UnLock within 48 hours if you have:

  • An active ACN or ABN
  • Been in business and have been registered for GST for at least 12 months
  • No judgment defaults

Securing working capital through a business loan

Working capital is the difference between an SME’s current assets (cash, accounts receivable and inventory) and liabilities (unpaid invoices and debts). The working capital metric is a good measuring
stick for an SME’s financial well-being; a positive mark indicates investment and growth
potential. On the other hand, if a business’ liabilities outpace its assets, it could be a sign of
future financial trouble.

A negative working capital total doesn’t necessarily mean a company is financially irresponsible
or in a permanently bad financial situation, however. It might be a situation where a startup spent
to get its operations going before it could begin generating significant revenue. Or the negative
working capital number could be a temporary financial situation where a company just needs
some of its invoices to be paid.

In situations like these, a product like UnLock can be a valuable asset for an SME. Rather than take
out a business loan from a bank, companies can turn to capital lenders or a pay later service for
short-term financial support to enhance their cash flow, keep their business operations moving
forward or simply purchase needed materials.

What can business loans be used for?

Funds acquired through a business loan can be put toward just about anything related to an SME’s operations. This includes office supplies, technology, rent, renovations and paying employees’ salaries. When you’re completing a business loan application with a bank, it will determine your eligibility by reviewing your company’s current financial standing, how much debt your SME can afford, cash flow, likely your credit score and any available collateral. Banks check this information to ensure you’ll be able to make your loan repayment.

The UnLock business loan alternative works similarly to small business loans. You can purchase any business-related expense with your UnLock Mastercard.

You also have the flexibility to change your UnLock repayment terms each month if needed.

The combination of UnLock’s simple application process, quick funds access and flexible repayment terms make it an attractive business loan alternative to a bank.

Here’s what separates the UnLock product from its competitors:

Simplified expenses

You and your team’s UnLock Mastercard transactions are bundled into one account so that you can pay in one monthly payment.

Low fees

Many providers charge a higher fee than UnLock.

Payment flexibility

Consumers can use UnLock to pay invoices and make purchases online and in-store.


Use the UnLock Mastercard to buy from anywhere that accepts Mastercard or upload invoices from your suppliers.

Cash flow can make or break an SME. UnLock can help manage a complex and unpredictable cash flow environment. Repayments are not required within the standard 30 days; you can delay this deadline back to 60 days for purchases made with your UnLock Mastercard, or up to 90 days for purchases made by invoice.

Stop waiting for “money to come in” to keep your business going. Instead, let UnLock help you access the money you need to pay your suppliers and boost your cash flow.