Lending Can Be as Easy as P2P, Says Former Venmo Exec

  • Diana Asatryan
  • May 5, 2017
  • 2

The likes of OnDeck and Lending Club have made the borrowing experience significantly simpler for borrowers, removing paperwork and reducing the decisioning process down to minutes. Most (if not all) major banks have also upped their lending experience, offering online applications and immediate decisions.

What about the small financial institutions?

Many of the smaller players in lending lack the needed infrastructure to keep up with the tech advancements in lending; thus, many choose to rely on fintechs to fill this gap.

Thrive —  an end-to-end lending platform — is one fintech newcomer that wants to cater to small banks (for starters). The vision is to make lending as easy as P2P payments, according to Thrive CEO Kunal Sehgal, formerly director of finance at Venmo.

“When you go into these banks, most processes still have manual setup, or financial analysis of the applicant is driven by bank statements, which is highly inefficient,” Sehgal told Bank Innovation. “We want to make this lending process as efficient as regular P2P payments, and we start with small business lending. But the idea is to transfer what you have done for small businesses and apply it horizontally across consumer lending, or real estate.”

The company, first launched in 2015, sealed a licensing agreement with Horizon Community Bank this week to provide its cloud-based lending technology for end-to-end small business lending process for HCB, encompassing, digital applications, automated credit and ID verification, and automated loan offers, among other features. HCB is the company’s first official partner, with other FIs “in the pipeline” already.

Sehgal plans to adopt the “Venmo approach” in many of the future features for Thrive.

“Venmo took an archaic bad user experience, and capitalized on technology to solve that. Adding the social element to the boring process of sending money provided customer engagement, and added that element of magic,” he said. “We are also taking a process that works old-school, and create a secure experience, utilizing AI and social, to make lending as fast and engaging as Venmo works.”

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