The partnerships reflects the growth of SME finance with one in five SMEs considering an online lender.

Research by OnDeck found that close to one in four SMEs had applied for business finance with a bank and were rejected, and this rises to 37 per cent of SMEs that have been in business for less than five years.

Chief executive of OnDeck Australia Cameron Poolman said research showed that it was challenging for SMEs to secure bank finance and OnDeck provided an alternative.

“There is definitely growing interest in alternative lenders among SMEs, with one in five likely to consider an online lender. This provides outstanding opportunities for brokers to build on their revenue base,” he said.

The partnership with FAST will allow its broker channel to move into SME lending, particularly as OnDeck Australia offers plant and equipment finance in addition to unsecured term loans.

“The alliance with FAST is a logical step for OnDeck Australia," said Mr Poolman.

“It broadens the distribution channel for our SME funding and plant and equipment finance products and lets us continue our mission of helping Australian SMEs reach their full potential.”

CEO of FAST Brendan Wright said the appointment of OnDeck Australia to the panel reinforced its commitment to FAST’s 1300 brokers who are business owners in their own right.

“SME and business finance has always been a core part of our value proposition, and with 2.1 million SMEs operating in Australia, FAST brokers continue to support this growing segment, helping businesses get access to the funding they need.

“OnDeck is a valuable addition to our panel, providing diverse solutions for FAST brokers and their business clients,” he said.