Neath Port Talbot Credit Union taps GB Group for IS checks as applications soar

Source: GB Group

Neath Port Talbot Credit Union is using GB Group's ID Verification (IDV) solution as part of a move to automate its customer onboarding process.

The credit union has seen a surge in requests for loans since the recession hit, with many banks and building societies cutting back on credit. Those hit hardest have been young people, or people without a credit footprint who cannot be validated through many of the traditional ID Verification processes or solutions.

Neath Port Talbot has therefore deployed GB Group's IDV solution to automatically check and validate the 200 new applicants it receives every month. The automated system means the organisation no longer needs to manually check every application or physically process paper-based verification documents. This is set to save both time and money and will place the organisation in a strong position for future growth as it looks to enable online credit applications.

'We are the fastest growing credit union in Wales, and one of the fastest in the UK,' said Steve Mallinson, General Manager at Neath Port Talbot Credit Union. 'We're gaining around 200 new members per month, meaning we need an efficient, automated onboarding process. The first stage is to verify that the individual is who they say they are. Then, we need to look at their profile to establish whether they may qualify for a loan. Too often, applicants don't have a financial footprint, so they will fall through traditional credit checks. We therefore wanted a solution that can access a broader dataset and identify those who may not have a credit card, savings account or mortgage - either because they are too young, or because they haven't previously qualified for one.'

Credit Unions are growing in popularity as they not only provide access to funds where banks don't, but they also provide an ethical alternative to pay-day loans or money shops because of favourable interest rates.

John Lord, Managing Director at GB Group highlights, 'The breadth of services offered by credit unions is expanding. Many now offer debit cards, standing orders and ISAs, meaning there is increasing parity between credit unions and traditional banks and building societies. As a result, they are also liable to similar FSA regulation and compliance measures. Credit unions therefore need robust solutions in place to protect both themselves, and their customers.'

'At the same time, they need a solution tailored to their customer base,' explains Lord. 'There are seven million people in the UK without a bank account. This means they are often invisible to traditional credit reference checks. However, our IDV solution goes much deeper than other identity checks. We match an individual's given profile against multiple datasets, including our exclusive identity check, Consent ID, the largest proprietary database of identity verified consented records in the UK. Clients such as Neath Port Talbot are then able to sign up customers instantly and securely, to drive through maximum revenues whilst protecting all those involved.'

For Neath Port Talbot, this kind of solution is central to its long term strategy: 'We're looking to the future,' said Mallinson. 'We want to double our customer base and double the amount of loans we provide. We're becoming more mobile and we're opening up online services. A robust, reliable and automated verification solution is critical to our success as we look to grow, expand and evolve.' 

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