Online giant Amazon is to step into the UK moneylending game by offering small businesses using its platform short-term working capital loans.

Its Amazon Lending arm has been active in the US since 2012, offering “hundreds of millions of dollars”, according to an exclusive from Reuters. More than half of the sellers that took a loan out with Amazon subsequently opted to repeat the experience.

The program, which will be invitation-only, will also launch in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Spain and Italy, the other Amazon countries offering a third-party seller’s market. Repayments will be deducted directly from Amazon’s Marketplace payments to vendors, a feature which Amazon says offers it greater security.

The loans, which in the US equivalent range from $1,000 to $600,000 and have a repayment period of three to six months, will be offered depending on data Amazon already possesses on companies, which Amazon says gives it the power to make “great loan decisions”.