O2 Business is to introduce new options to help ease the mobile upgrade process for its small business customers, enlisting loan admin, credit and business intelligence provider Equinity Pancredit to assist.

The company, which is part of business process outsourcing (BPO) supplier Equiniti, will oversee the delivery of technology that O2 hopes will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more easily and cost-effectively upgrade their mobile estates to the latest devices.

Dubbed Business Essentials, the programme will allow organisations to separate the monthly tariff out from the cost of purchasing handsets, something that was not previously possible when signing a contract.

SMEs will be able to pay outright for the devices and subsequently only pay for airtime, to bring down their monthly spend.

The programme will provide a suite of loan application, admin and collections services – which is already in use at a number of high street financial institutions.

The services suite includes the ability to handle real-time electronic contract signatures; integration into O2 Business’s online and callcentre systems; and real-time integration with Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) software and Bacs processing.

O2 Business SME general manager Paul Lawton said: “When developing Business Essentials, we needed a solution that could provide the best customer experience.

“We wanted to ensure that the process was user-friendly for our customer service team and nimble enough for business customers applying online.”

Equiniti Pancredit managing director Graham Donald said the O2 deal was a significant move into a new market for his firm.

“Business loan provision is expanding as more organisations look to offer it to their clients, and therefore need the support of a dedicated loan management system,” he said.

“For O2 this allows them to offer more options to their business customers including the ability to spread the cost of device upgrades with an affordable loan.”