The Future of Lending: Trends from Lend360

Earlier this month, the Ekata team paid a visit to Chicago, IL for Lend360, a conference that brings together thought leaders in the fintech community to examine the future of the online lending space.
One thing we loved about this conference was just how lively the discussions were. The installment lending space is changing rapidly due to consumer trends and technology advances, and at Lend360, the brightest minds in the business were discussing exactly what that means for lenders. We brought home our top three biggest takeaways:
Auto-funding is key to competitive edge
Over and over, we heard about how consumer buying habits are driving business decisions for installment lenders. Consumers have more choice than ever before, and they’re not willing to wait around for a loan to go through. They’re also less tolerant than ever of clunky user experiences, which is why it’s important to create a loan approval process that is as frictionless as possible.
In essence, auto-funding is no longer a “nice to have” in the installment lending space. It’s a necessity for attracting the best borrowers and staying competitive.
Ekata identity data speeds lenders along the path to auto-funding by allowing for risk bucketing (filtering out the bad actors and speeding the good borrowers to clear). This lets you remove high-friction underwriting steps from the application process for your good borrowers, while ensuring a thorough review process for the rest of your borrowing pool.
Alternative identity data is more important than ever
The underbanked community presents a big opportunity for lenders who have the tools to confidently originate loans to them. One statistic that caught our attention is that 57% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover an unexpected $500 expense. And because 43% of Americans have credit scores lower than 700, their needs aren’t being met by traditional lending institutions.
Serving this underbanked population is a key opportunity for installment lenders. And in order to originate loans to these “thin file” customers, lenders are turning to alternative data to confidently assess the identities of this lesser known population.
Ekata provides lenders with alternative identity data (around names, phones, addresses, emails, and IPs) that has much higher coverage on thin file customers than conventional credit bureau sources. Incorporating this data in a layered approach alongside credit data is key to a successful lending program.
Reaching new customers requires leveraging technology
To meet customer expectations—and reach more customers than ever—savvy lenders are shifting away from “in store” loans and moving their business online. But simply going digital isn’t enough to make you stand out from the crowd if you’re not using available technology to transform your workflows, as well.
Lenders at the forefront of the industry are incorporating technology like lead verification solutions and data providers into their underwriting workflows, allowing them to automate more of the process, as well as to reach a broader slice of the market. This provides the crucial competitive edge in a crowded industry.
Ekata integrates with industry-leading platforms like GDS Link and Lead Envy, providing lenders with global data signals and actionable insights to help qualify leads and speed good applications through to funding.
Learn more about how Ekata is helping lenders streamline their online lending workflows, tap into underserved markets, and take care of their best customers even faster.

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