The current way consumers access lending products and lenders distribute lending products is broken. Consumers increasingly look online in search of a personal loan, but the existing digital infrastructure of the consumer finance sector makes it a difficult and incredibly inefficient process for both consumers and lenders alike.
It might seem strange that we can shop around for something and then make our decision only to be told we’re not allowed to buy it – but this is often the case with consumer finance. If someone is rejected for a loan but continues applying for further finance, this can damage their credit score.
Providers of consumer finance also experience massive inefficiencies when finding their ideal customer set, spending heavily to advertise for customers, only to decline large volumes that fail to meet their lending criteria.
“Imagine if you were a sports shoe manufacturer advertising a pair of trainers and a potential customer clicks your advert wanting to buy your shoes, and 80% of the time you had to say ‘no these shoes don’t fit you so you can’t have them’. This is akin to the challenges faced by lenders when advertising for new customers online everyday – that’s where Monevo can help,” explains Monevo Group Commercial Director, Tim Kirby.
Monevo is a personal loan marketplace and API-integrated platform. The North West based FinTech works with over 300 lenders and partners globally to power personal loan marketplaces for a range of clients that include banks, financial service apps, and well-known consumer brands.
Monevo is the FinTech platform that allows customers to test whether or not they qualify for a loan. Through Monevo, UK consumers can apply to over 40 lenders simultaneously through a single application using API technology. It does this without lenders leaving footprints on the consumer’s credit file.
API stands for Application Programme Interface and allows two tech platforms to “speak” to each other. “In other sectors such as travel, connecting consumers to products programmatically is far more evolved – think Skyscanners or Booking.com,” explains Kirby. “You enter your search query and get a personalised table of results returned instantaneously from providers, all through API connectivity. Consumer finance just hadn’t got there as quickly. Monevo has changed that.”
Monevo was founded with the intention of improving access to credit for all. It is a fundamental step in making financial services more inclusive – something Kirby is passionate about. “We simply don’t talk about the consumer enough in FinTech. We love to talk about the tech, but as an industry, we need to raise our commentary to communicate what it does for the consumer. Monevo is connecting consumers to lending products in a more integrated way than has ever been possible before, connecting consumers to the real tools used by lenders when making decisions.
“We need to celebrate a consumer-centric approach and educate consumers that they can have a great online experience when seeking credit without any possible detriment. It’s easy to become obsessed with ‘we’re all cool sitting on beanbags doing FinTech’ but FinTech is about improving lives, by offering consumers more convenience with simplicity. That’s why Monevo is driving the innovation agenda.”
Since its foundation in 2009, Monevo has grown to a £40mn global turnover in 2019 and has originated billions of pounds worth of credit. “We’ve experienced exponential growth in the last three years, a trend which is set to continue,” says Kirby.
The route to disrupting incumbent service providers isn’t always easy, but Monevo’s critical success factor is the ability to offer flexible levels of integration solutions at high speeds of implementation. “From ultra dev light with all the work happening within the Monevo environment, through to fully integrated options when a partner has the resource, time and inclination to handle the raw data, Monevo is highly customisable to suit a variety of business requirements,” says Kirby.
Monevo’s approach has certainly got attention of the sector: it was selected by tech giants Credit Karma to power the launch of its lending marketplace in the UK. Additionally, Monevo was selected by some of the UK’s most renowned price comparison websites, such as Confused.com and Money.co.uk. Major banks are also starting to take notice, with Monevo powering the lending marketplace within ING Bank’s personal finance manager app, Yolt.
Macclesfield, a market town in south Manchester and home to Monevo’s headquarters, may not be the obvious birthplace for a global FinTech – but as the company continues to grow internationally across Poland, Australia and the US, Monevo will not forget its roots. “The UK is such a great place to build and scale a FinTech. You’ve got a really diverse range of traditional highstreet banks with dedicated innovation teams, alongside challenger banks and would-be usurpers, that have really accelerated the FinTech agenda over the past two years,” says Kirby.
It’s also important for companies like Monevo that the entire UK FinTech ecosystem is nurtured and not just around London. “In terms of tech hubs that exist outside the M25, I think the FinTech vertical is more evolved geographically than in many other sectors,” says Kirby. “When we attend conferences we see a very diverse range of people in the room, in terms of geographical bias and Monevo is leading the charge from the North West.”
Looking to the future, UK FinTechs like Monevo will play a vital part in making finance work for everyone. “In terms of FinTech’s ability to drive great consumer outcomes, Monevo has changed the rules of the game in providing experiences for consumers who, when seeking a credit product, can now enjoy the same seamless experience with products and providers in the consumer finance sector as they can in other verticals such as travel,” Kirby concludes.