Minutes not hours: Funding Options uses Open Banking to reduce business loan decision times

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Open Banking will allow businesses to be pre-approved for
loans, reduce application times, and reduce fraud risk


 Funding Options
, the marketplace for business finance, is now
using Open Banking to make it quicker and easier for businesses to
access finance. Businesses applying for finance will see their
application time reduced from days and hours, to just minutes as
they will no longer need to source original bank statements. Around
20 lenders have agreed to consume the Open Banking data as part of
their analysis for credit decisions. These include Just Cash Flow,
YouLend, Liberis,
iwoca
, Newable, and White Oak UK.  
To date, around
200 UK finance providers
are enrolled in the UK’s Open
Banking scheme, meaning the potential for expansion is huge. There
is an opportunity for the industry to come together and unlock
data, which can streamline access to finance and extend the choice
of providers for SMEs, allowing for fast and secure access to
funding. In the current health crisis, this will be of the utmost
importance. 
Last week, the Chancellor overhauled the Government’s

Coronavirus
Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) after
claims that many businesses were being denied the government backed
loans, and that it was taking too long to deliver the funds. Open
banking can help deliver funds more quickly to businesses whose
cash flow and revenue have been disrupted. 

 

By partnering with AccountScore for Open Banking and driving a
strategy of API connectivity with our lender partners, Funding
Options can minimise the amount of work applicants and lenders need
to do to approve a credit application. For applicants, they will no
longer need to send documentation to lenders. Instead, thanks to
open banking APIs, Funding Options can immediately make their
transaction history available to lenders, in a safe and secure
manner. As all the data is standardised, it’s easy to share with
multiple lenders.

 

For lenders, they will be able to make decisions based on the
standardised data much quicker than through the traditional
methods. It will also move the financial services industry towards
being able to pre-approve businesses for loans based on real time
data.

 

Simon Cureton, CEO
at Funding Options, says:
“Open banking has the
potential to transform the business lending landscape, improving
the experience for the customer while also improving security and
response times for lenders. We’ve already seen a number of
customers using the platform and successfully receiving loans which
highlight the value and benefit from shared data. In the face of
the current health crisis, when access to finance is vital for the
survival of many businesses, reducing the time it takes to go from
application to draw down is of paramount importance.
 Cureton continues: “In time, open banking will
be adopted across the board, and we will see the true potential of
how data can be used to improve all aspects of business finance.
This will require some behavioural changes, and as an industry,
it’s up to us to lead this revolution and improve the experience
for all our customers.” 

Caryl Regnault,
Senior Product Manager at Funding Options, adds
: “Open
Banking has been around for a couple of years now and yet we’re
still to experience mass adoption. Although there are several
resources out there published from credible sources and industry
bodies such as Which, Money Saving Experts, FCA and Open Banking
Org, it can be overwhelming for individuals to understand the value
of Open Banking. This opens up uncertainty which is coupled with
concerns around data security. It’s important to recognise that
streamlining processes using the data is not compromising the
security of customer data. Regnault continues:
“At Funding Options, we have made a conscious decision to ensure
our business finance specialist teams are in contact with our
customers over the phone to avoid relying solely on email, which
could be mistaken as a phishing attempt. Our teams will talk
customers through the data usage, security measures in place and
consent of data access so they can understand the value.”

John Davies Exec Chair and Founder of Fintech Lender
Just CashFlow Plc adds
“I couldn’t agree more with the
comments made by Simon and Caryl but the time saving isn’t just
about uploading hard copies (which are easy to forge) but also the
analysis that can be done on those statements using Accountscores
dashboard which cuts hours from manually checking them and is
clearly more accurate. We applaud Simon and his team for innovating
and making it easier for Borrower and Lender alike and we look
forward to further partnering with Funding Options with the
projects they have in the pipeline.”

The post
Minutes not hours: Funding Options uses Open Banking to reduce
business loan decision times
appeared first on The Fintech Times.

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