MAR 31, 2015 @ 09:00 AM – Dusty Wunderlich
Originally published on forbes.com
We’ve all watched technology upend industry after industry, transforming how we consume media, how we shop and even how we hail a taxi. But one of the fundamental elements of the economy — the way we borrow and repay loans — is still tethered to a brick-and-mortar, paper-shuffling past.
But the wait for financing’s future is almost over. Today, new software algorithms — not some buttoned-up banker in a corner office — price and rate credit. Paperless processing eliminates the frustrating paper pushing between retailer, borrower and lender. Simple and seamless financing apps offer loan approval and transparent pricing and terms on the spot.
My company works directly in this space and we’ve been watching things change for some time. Here are four key ways that we believe consumer financing will continue to be transformed by technology in 2015, and opportunities for companies in the space to keep up:
Approval Will Shift to Apps
As we start to see new, innovative startups in consumer lending, we’re also seeing an evolution of the way those startups are thinking about and understanding the customer. Technology is eliminating the burden that was once placed on the customer by making the approval process quick and hassle free.
As Millennials age and move into their 30s, they are leveraging technology even more for shopping and large purchasing decisions. With electronic platforms and contracts, we can make things easier. For example, in 2015, our next iteration will include an app for iPhones and Android users, so consumers can get approved in the palm of their hand.
Data Will Dominate
Big data is about more than just the “who.” To utilize it to its fullest capabilities, we have to look at the “why.” We’re taking data sets that have not been traditionally combined and putting them together to calculate a much more accurate picture of a borrower’s default risk, resulting in a truer lending model. The more data we put in, the better we’re able to price credit for our customers.
Traditionally, businesses have relied heavily on credit scores to drive decisions, but very different borrowers who might have been lumped together under the same credit score — say a college graduate with almost no credit history and a borrower with bad credit — can now be identified and offered personalized loans through the application of big data.