From pawnbroking and indentured loans in the Middle Ages to digital payment wallets and Buy Now Pay Later services in the 21st century, the lending industry has come a long way. Gone are the days when pedantic paper documentation, lengthy manual verification, and multiple branch office visits were prerequisites in a business loan approval process. Today, thanks to the rise of alternative lending, borrowers can accomplish this in the space of a few hours, that too without leaving the comfort of their home or office. This paradigm shift is possible thanks largely to technological advances that make credit processes more efficient. TRaiCE is a tech-driven platform that aims at doing just that – improving an alternative lender’s operational efficiency so they can continue to provide easier financing options to all.
Why alternative lenders need to be operationally efficient
Alternative lenders provide conventional banking services such as business loans and commercial credit without the associated time, cost, and eligibility hassles that traditionally come with it. They also approve more loans than the incumbents do. As of June 2021, alternative lenders had an SMB loan approval rate of nearly 25% while that of large banks sat at 13.6%.
This then is the secret sauce of the industry – the promise of quicker, cheaper, more inclusive, and hassle-free borrowing. And if non-banking lenders want to deliver on this promise, they must have data infrastructure, automated systems, and streamlined workflows in place that ensure a faster and safer borrowing experience.
In addition, the alternative lending market is a fast-growing one. Valued at over $560 billion, the sector is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% for the next 7 years and is forecasted to bring in revenue of over $800 billion in 2028. Needless to say, this is a highly-competitive space with new players entering the fray constantly. In such a crowded marketplace, being operationally efficient can be a strategic advantage. As explained below, efficient systems can help lenders drive growth, deal with risks more efficiently, and unlock new opportunities with ease.
How the TRaiCE platform helps alternative lenders improve operational efficiency
Reduced processing time
There’s a lot that needs to happen before a loan or credit line is approved – lengthy application forms must be filled, supporting documents must be collected, and the information must be verified. Throw in some manual errors and workflow bottlenecks and you have a complex and protracted process that can go on for weeks and take up most of your team’s time and effort.
The TRaiCE platform can help lenders create a streamlined lending process that is faster. The application’s automation and data infrastructure help minimize manual entries, eliminates human errors, and takes care of repetitive tasks. For example, the system can dynamically update information using previously filled or third-party data sources. With its use of real-time data, it can also help flag inaccurate entries. Moreover, the TRaiCE application’s robust offline data collection and verification system works in tandem with existing processes allowing lenders to process applications faster while still adhering to organizational risk rules.
Improved revenue generation
According to Small Business Trends, 65% of sales come from existing customers. In addition, studies show that your chances of selling to a current customer are 14 times higher than your chances of selling to a new or prospective customer. Given this, lenders need to leverage their base of engaged customers. The TRaiCE platform’s extensive database can help with this. The application collects and analyses pertinent data points that can give lenders the insights they need to make better marketing and sales decisions.
For example, internal and external data collected on a business can provide a good overview of how it has performed during the tenure of its loan. This can then be used to facilitate automatic renewals without the need for any additional paperwork. Such data also makes it easy to conduct historical, geographical, and demographical analyses of customers giving lenders the business intelligence they need to cross-sell the right financial services to the right customer at the right time.
This is a win-win for both the lender and the customer. Lenders have the data needed to increase a customer’s lifetime value. And for the consumer, it ensures a seamless customer experience with timely delivery of services.
Easier data processing
As with technology, data is also a key ingredient in the alternative lending recipe. There is both good news and bad news in this regard. Today, both traditional and alternative forms of data are available in plenty in the digital world. The bad news is that most of it is unstructured and needs to be subjectively analyzed for relevance and veracity, making it time-consuming and difficult to quantify. In addition, there is no unified source of information. So, because of its plenteous and disorganized nature, finding the right data can often feel a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack.
As illustrated below, TRaiCE takes care of all the arduous aspects of digital data tracking. It collects pertinent financial and non-financial data using internal account, credit bureau, world data, and commercial data APIs. Its proprietary algorithms then process, analyze, and extract intelligence from this data before presenting it to you in the form of multiple user-friendly indices. This allows alternative lenders to reap maximum benefits from all the rich data that is available today without spending any extra time or resources on it.
Faster and more accurate risk decision making
Inclusive lending should not equate to unsafe lending. To build a profitable portfolio, alternative lenders need to ensure that their services are not just faster, but safer too. This can only happen with up-to-date risk profiles and continuous portfolio monitoring. The TRaiCE platform uses powerful, advanced AI algorithms that process information rapidly and accurately. This gives lenders the ability to monitor their portfolios completely and continuously. Its use of real-time data also helps identify critical situations as and when they happen.
In addition, the application’s customizable red-flag detection system helps reduce the chance of write-offs by revealing businesses that are in danger of default and should be paid more attention to. Lenders can also apply their own risk decision rules to ensure that organizational risk guardrails are never crossed. All of this gives alternative lenders the agility needed to respond rapidly to industry changes and make timely de-risking decisions when necessary.
Operational efficiency is one of the centerpieces of alternative lending. At TRaiCE, we understand this. We use AI-augmented end-to-end automation to streamline the lending and monitoring process. Our data infrastructure gives lenders the business insights they need to make faster and more accurate decisions. In short, TRaiCE can help you increase productivity and customer satisfaction without increasing employee headcount and costs, a very useful functionality to have in today’s dynamic and competitive credit environment.