Surety plays a key role in providing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the stability they need to thrive. From supply chain disruptions to rising interest rates and financing limitations, surety bonds help SMEs face the challenges of growth by spreading out risk more broadly.

However, the obvious benefits of surety are not the only factor enticing SMEs to seek out bonds in addition to traditional financing options. In Germany, all companies are legally required to provide guarantees to their contractual partners.

“Bonding is part of the basic work that all companies need to do to comply with German law,” says Christian Lüdtke, Head of Bonding SME at Allianz Trade in Germany. “For that reason, German companies are well-versed in bonds. They’re looking for fast, simple, well-priced products. That’s where Allianz Trade comes in.”

Allianz Trade in Germany offers three products featuring a wide range of coverage to meet the needs of every SME. For credit facilities ranging from €50,000 to €1.5 million, Allianz Trade’s KTV-Dispo uses a manual credit underwriting process to assess balance sheets within 5 days. The system is extremely flexible and customizable, allowing for almost all kinds of bonds and bond wordings.

Larger companies can access individual facilities ranging from €1.5 million to €5 million. All kinds of bonds and individual bond wordings are allowed, and clients are assessed manually according to balance sheets, forecasts, monthly reports and more.

“It’s our newest product, KTV Smart, however, that is the real gamechanger,” Christian says. An automated online tool designed for smaller products ranging from €5,000 to €750,000, KTV Smart enables intermediaries to instantly assess the applicant’s credit worthiness and confirm a suitable facility.

“With over 2.6 million SMEs[1] operating in Germany, we needed to develop a product that really met the needs of a smaller businesses,” Christian says. “We know that they don’t typically require special bond wordings – but they do need speed, efficiency and simplicity. That’s what we’re providing with KTV Smart.”

So, what does it look like in practice? After entering the database, an intermediary identifies the company in question. An automated credit check is then conducted within 10-15 seconds. Finally, after selecting a tariff, the contract is concluded and the credit contract is sent out by email. A company is able to request bonds in just five minutes.

“Intermediaries love the product. They compare it to house banks where it can take up to two weeks to conclude a credit facility,” Christian says. “And while we aren’t the only company using an online tool such as KTV Smart, we have strong ambitions to make our products smarter and more efficient. “

With more than two decades of experience working with SMEs, and a huge portfolio, clients can trust Allianz Trade as a long-term, reliable partner for risk-mitigated growth.


Christian Lüdtke

Head of Bonding SME,
Allianz Trade in Germany