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PayPal, Square, Intuit approved to participate in coronavirus relief program

Banking Dive

Nonbank lenders PayPalIntuit and Square were approved to offer direct loans to small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the companies announced.

The $350 billion program, which is part of the federal government’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed last month, is meant to help businesses with fewer than 500 employees cover payroll, business expenses and operations amid the economic disruption caused by the crisis. 

Fintechs were able to begin applying to become direct lenders for the program last week after the Treasury Department issued loan applications for nonbank lenders. The ability to provide the loans is a major step for fintechs, which have been lobbying Congress for weeks for the opportunity to assist in the program.

PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman said the company is in a “race” to help save jobs amid the crisis.

“We are eager to deploy our capital and expertise to do our part in helping small businesses survive this challenging period,” he said in a statement. “We are thankful to Congressional leaders for ensuring the CARES Act allowed companies like PayPal to help distribute funds quickly to those businesses that are most impacted.”

Intuit said eligible applicants can apply for the PPP through the company’s QuickBooks Capital systems. Federal relief processing will initially be available for a subset of QuickBooks Online Payroll customers, the fintech said, adding that it will continue to expand the ability to apply to other customers in the coming days.

Jackie Reses, head of Square Capital announced Square’s approval in a tweet Monday morning, and said the company would roll out its loan applications this week.