TransUnion and Fincheck streamline credit applications
The joint endeavour is designed to make credit application processes “easier and less frustrating” for customers than their current incarnation.
Combining Fincheck’s comprehensive understanding of domestic financial institutions and TransUnion’s market-leading credit information, the two hope to marry the right individual to the right bank, insurer or lender at an expedited pace.
Furthermore, TransUnion has made a free credit report available via Fincheck so that customers can understand their situation, plan and take action in a more informed manner.
Increasing access to credit
“The TransUnion/Fincheck partnership will assist consumers in managing their finances, especially during these challenging times,” said Hans Zachar, Director of Emerging Markets at TransUnion Africa. “By working with Fincheck we’re helping to increase financial awareness and access to credit.”
Fincheck reports that a rise in consumer interest regarding credit checks occurred simultaneously with the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic. It became obvious that consumers were concerned about unexpected expenditures and how they would pay for them.
Michael Bowren, CEO of Fincheck, stated that the collaboration would help address these concerns:
“Being able to access affordable credit and valuable information in the same place will help South African consumers during these challenging times. Checking the information held on you is accurate before making an application can be an invaluable tool that can help you understand your financial options more clearly.
“Ultimately, we aim to assist the user with their financial choices and move them toward financial freedom.”
Credit: A changing industry
The credit industry is changing; as new technologies, ecosystems and partnerships combine to make lending easier and more accessible to the general population, a great ‘levelling’ of financial access is taking place.
“Improving financial access for thin-file and credit invisible consumers will play an integral role in our road to economic recovery,” Alpa Lally, Vice President, Data Business, Consumer Information Services at Experian North America.
“While it is difficult to predict when the economy will return to pre-COVID-19 levels, it has never been more important to protect consumers’ financial health and maintain the integrity and accessibility of the credit economy.
“Combining traditional credit data with alternative data to access consumer creditworthiness plays a critical role in achieving this. Doing so will help determine a consumer’s stability, ability and willingness to repay during the current financial landscape and beyond.”
Five minutes with Helene Panzarino, Associate Director, LIBF
Name: Helene Panzarino
Role: Associate Director for Digital Banking and Finance
Company: The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF)
We all know the companies, but what about the people behind them? Here, we find out more about Panzarino’s background, why she’s an advocate for entrepreneurs, and her take on US community bank heroism.
Who was your childhood hero, and why?
My dad. It may seem a bit of a cliche, but for someone who left school aged nine, he instilled in me the value of education and self-belief. He also had enormous pride and confidence in me and my abilities. He was my biggest supporter and a wonderfully innocent and kind person who helped shape the person I am today.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
‘Mentors are great, but advocates are better.’ I discovered that it's much harder for entrepreneurs to find true advocates, so this is something I try to do for other people.
Which activity are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over?
I can't wait to go to Terroni Brothers in Clerkenwell, London, for some authentic Italian pastries and an espresso that I haven't had to make myself! I wrote most of my books in cafes, and I find a change of scenery also helps me think outside of the box on all my projects.
Is there a personal achievement from 2020 of which you are particularly proud?
I am most proud of having my second book, Reinventing Banking and Finance: Frameworks to Navigate Global Fintech Innovation, published by Kogan.
This book's schedule was very tight, and I was fortunate to have Alessandro Hatami, a good friend and industry peer, as co-author. We've received industry accolades, powerful endorsements, and many compliments on the clarity of thought and content, so it made it even more worthwhile.
What inspires you in fintech today?
I am hugely inspired by the way community banks in the US have become the unexpected heroes of the pandemic, getting money into accounts quickly but also being there for their customers as trusted partners.
Many community banks have been big enough to recognise that they could do more to support their customers, and it has been hugely inspiring to see them partner with the fintech community to drive operational and customer service improvement.
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