A team of self-isolating entrepreneurs from London's fintech sector have built a proof of concept which aims to support the UK’s five million self-employed in the Covid-19 economic crisis.
The idea allows a sole trader to self-certify and evidence their loss of income due to Coronavirus through a web site. The service then uses open banking to collect historic banking data, proving previous income and predicting future loss of income.
The group believes that with this tool banks could release loans faster, helping businesses to bounce back from disruption.
The group, which includes self-isolating staff from Credit Kudos, Fronted, 11:FS, Coconut, Capital on Tap, Mazuma, SeedLegals and TrueLayer are currently engaging with a number of key stakeholders across HMT, HMRC and the FCA in a bid to move into a beta testing phase then to a wider roll-out.
Freddy Kelly, founder and CEO of Credit Kudos comments: “The Covid Credit team came together as a group to design a concept that verifies the income trend of self-employed workers. The process features self-certification combined with impartially retrieved banking data to deliver a comprehensive view of someone’s income. In this way, we hope, the government may be able to assess the self-employed in the same way that they can the full-time employed. Additionally, the project has been created in open source so that it is simple to use and can be rapidly adopted by HM Government.”
From a technical perspective, the teams have developed a standalone Python web application which is running on Google Cloud. This application interacts directly with the Credit Kudos API which, in turn, is aggregating data from individuals’ bank accounts and applying a number of pattern recognition algorithms in order to deduce the key income figures for the statement. In this proof of concept only sole traders are supported but the Covid Credit team believe that this group can be extended once government support is offered.
In a separate initiative, a team of quarantined coders in Spain at the mobility startup Iomob, have developed a project that will help local and regional governments and transit operators preserve social distance in transportation. The app allows users to see the best way to travel to sanctioned destinations based on most social distancing and least potential infection.