FinTech lending options overtaking conventional banks ─Survey

*ClearScore’s latest data indicates the outbreak of the Coronaviris pandemic has allowed newer entrants and much smaller operators in the Financial Technology (FinTech) space to focus on growth as the firms using open finance are able to reach more consumers than ever before

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Following increased consumer adoption of open finance in economies around the world, the latest data from ClearScore has discovered that during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, challenger banks and Financial Technology firms (FinTechs) tripled their share of the credit card market and grew their personal loan books by 50 percent.

The data, for instance, revealed how around 9.3million adults in the United Kingdom (UK) would consider using open finance over a bank in order to gain access to credit, improved offers and interest rates.

From these lot, 3.2 million are currently underserved by the market, being that they lack credit options or are unsatisfied with the credit options available to them, reports TheFinTechTimes.

Besides, 3.6 million are currently using no credit products at all, according to report.

This combination of the underserved and those without any credit products indicates that the lending market is set for considerable growth and that those using open finance will be able to reach a wider array of customers than ever before, the report stated.

ClearScore’s data also suggests that consumers who choose to share their data are typically lower risk than others within the same credit score bands.

This means that lenders can afford to test the use of open finance data with little risk to their product economics.

Andy Sleigh, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ClearScore, commented: “The pandemic allowed newer entrants and more nimble, smaller operators to focus on growth at a time when the high street banks had to – understandably – protect and serve their current customer base.

“And we don’t see this trend abating. In fact, our own analysis points to increased consumer adoption of open finance which in turn could help challengers to take further market share from the high street banks.”

Sleigh also stated: “The lending market has been changed forever by the pandemic. “FinTechs and challengers have embraced open finance more readily than their larger competitors, as it allows them to expand their lending footprint, manage risk better and reduce their overheads.

“The fact is that open finance allows lenders to offer more competitive, personalised rates to consumers thanks to a far deeper understanding of their finances and risk profile.”

The ClearScore COO said: “Traditionally, customers would first turn to their existing financial partner – i.e. their bank – if they were in the market for a credit product.

“But with the influx of challengers and fintechs, who, thanks to open finance and more agile technology, are able to offer not only highly competitive rates, but also pre-approved products with a guaranteed rate and credit line.

“This all means that the traditional route to market is becoming less and less popular.”

He further noted that the size of the open finance market “is huge and presents lenders with the opportunity to create innovative products that benefit the customer.

“Those customers are engaged, aware of the benefits and ready to shop around. The lending market is still 30% down compared to pre-Covid, but we see open finance as the key to unlock it and offer consumers better options than before.

When it does, we expect the floodgates to open and the race to support those customers is one we’re excited to see.”

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