How to Lend Amidst Rising Expectations

By: Dylan Jacobson
August 13, 2022

Necessity has always driven technological innovation.

In the midst of lockdown and uncertainty, consumers and businesses alike scrambled to adjust to life during Covid. Processes that relied on face to face interactions were no longer a viable option. Consumers stayed inside and businesses adjusted to their new work from home environments, the need for technological advancements to accommodate this new way of life were desperately needed. 

That call was answered. It has been speculated that the response to Covid-19 has sped up adoption of digital technologies by several years. In the lending industry specifically, new ways of offering financial relief became available with new technology that powered the ability to create innovative lending types.

The Rising Demands of Borrowers

Though Covid has been a large factor in the speed at which technology has advanced recently, history has rewarded those willing to leverage technology, providing their customers with a more streamlined user experience.

Think of the shift from Taxi cabs to Uber. What was once a manual process of either calling a phone number of hailing a cab yourself, has been reimagined through the use of technology. 

Amazon changed the shopping experience entirely. Consumers once traveled to the nearest Walmart to buy something they wanted, or waited over a week to have their item delivered. Now, they get frustrated when the “prime” logo doesn’t appear next to their purchase because of the implication of waiting more than 2 days.

It’s safe to say consumer expectations are at an all time high.

With businesses improving the quality of their services and technology, borrowers feel it’s their turn for an improved lending experience. 

Some of the things borrowers are looking for:

  • Instant visibility into their accounts
  • Accurate loan and payment portals
  • Intuitive website and apps
  • A streamlined loan approval process
  • World class, instant communication options

Borrowers are no longer ok with calling in to their lender to check basic loan information such as loan balance and when their next payment is due. Borrowers now expect slick interfaces, complete visibility into their loans, the ability to make payments online, and ultimately getting their money faster.

How to Meet Borrower Expectations

The lending market is saturated. With a record high $177.9 billion in unsecured personal loan balances, people are borrowing more now than ever before. This also means there are countless options for borrowers to get money. One of the best ways to set your business apart is with a strong customer experience. 

Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your current customer experience:

  • What is my software capable of offering? – Whatever you want your borrowers to praise you on, your software needs to be able to deliver. Can your current software build and service the products you want to put on the market today? What about 3 years from now? 5 years from now?! Flexible software that is able to adapt to trends such as “Buy Now Pay Later” without missing a beat could be the key to providing your competitive advantage. If you’re still tracking payments through an excel sheet… consider this your sign to upgrade.
  • What is my ideal borrower experience? – Take a second to put yourself behind your borrowers screen. What would you want to experience? How do you want borrowers to view you and your brand? Maybe you want to be seen as an easy to work with lender that values customer experience to keep borrowers coming back. Do you want to offer your borrowers extended deadlines or delayed payments in the case of an unexpected financial crisis? Offering different payment options to your borrowers can go a long way in establishing trust.
  • Is my business utilizing my data to its fullest? – Collecting and using the right data can speed up your origination process, improve aspects of your loan servicing, and even expand your market. Not just relying on pulling a credit score, instead use services that pull alternative credit information, identifying people with a thin credit file who are eligible for a loan. With data that identifies borrower buying behavior, bank history, payroll cycles and more, you can paint a real picture of who your ideal borrower is. Think of what it would mean for your collections process if you knew what day of the month your borrower gets paid. Data such as this makes it easier to predict your borrowers behavior and encourage them to make loan payments. This information could also assist in your origination process, getting your borrowers their money faster.

Conclusion

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a lender. As new technologies become available and innovative lending products redefine lending, borrower expectations will continue to rise exponentially. Make sure you have the tech stack, borrower experience, and data utilization to meet them at the top.

There’s more to know about not only the rise of borrower expectations but that of capital partners as well. Both play vital roles in the success of your business. Our free eBook “Lean Into Lending” touches on how to successfully navigate both of these expectations, as well as showcase new tech and trends that will help your business thrive.