Fintern, a UK-based fintech startup, is aiming to shake up the market for low-value consumers loans with the launch of credit technology that bypasses credit scores in making lending decisions, focusing instead on affordability.
Founded by a team from McKinsey, EY, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and XiaoMi, Fintern skips traditional credit scoring techniques by applying AI, Open Banking and transparent affordability testing to make lending decisions.
The UK consumer lending market is worth £160bn, yet over 15 million people in the UK are denied access to affordable loans, says Gerald Chappell, CEO and co-founder of Fintern and a former partner at McKinsey.
“Fintern will help people to really understand what is affordable for them, rather than offering yet another faceless transactional process," he says. "Currently, lenders either lend money or don’t, and then don’t engage with the borrower again until the loan terms ends or payments are missed."
The company is focussing on the sub-£5000 lending market, targeting consumers who may be resorting to high-cost lenders and buy-now-pay-later schemes to manage their lives.
Having received FCA authorisation in February, the firm has a 20,000-strong waitlist to plough through. Offering loan durations of up the three years, Fintern charges interest at an APR of 18.8%.
Says Chappell: "Over the next four to five years, we intend to rapidly grow in the UK building a £1bn loan book alongside broadening our product range and considering expansion to other geographies.”