Freedom Finance integrates Open Banking to digital customer journey
Freedom Finance, a fintech lending platform, provides first Open Banking access to a true panel of lenders for secured loans.
The announcement follows a Freedom Finance industry workshop, in partnership with AccountScore and Equifax. This brought together large and challenger banks to discuss a common Open Banking goal – to provide customers with better informed options whilst ensuring lenders offer clarity, and not just choice.
Open Banking removes the need for manual documents, such as payslips, and makes the processes smoother and more efficient for both lenders and borrowers. Freedom Finance will include Open Banking to the unsecured journey in March.
It categorises transaction data to provide more detailed financial insights on customers and notifies personal finance providers with real-time changes in a customer’s circumstances that could alter their requirements or eligibility.
The service provided by AccountScore via their Account Information Service Provider, consents.online is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and gives customers visibility of the Open Banking exchange. This includes the full list of required consent management; the permissions and the level of access, which can be altered or revoked at any time by the individual. AccountScore works in partnership with Equifax, integrating Equifax Bank Account Verifier into its service to check that transaction data belongs to the person applying for credit in real time, helping to avoid fraud.
Freedom Finance’s Open Banking solution integrates seamlessly in its lending platform, which speeds up the customer journey time from approximately two days to five minutes. However, it will continue to offer a manual application process with paper documents that can be completed over the phone with advisors.
By bolstering loan applications with additional insights, alongside credit checks, Freedom Finance ensures that consumers using the service can achieve better clarity on the options that are right for them.
Andrew Fisher, Group Managing Director at Freedom Finance said:
“Collaboration is really important to us. From working with other leading fintech services, to offering our customers human interaction alongside new technology – should they choose it. Freedom Finance’s growth is led by digital innovation and we help refine choices for customers, so they can better understand the options available to them, and this is very much part of that process.
“We enable our customers to use technology to its full potential, whilst guiding and educating throughout. Open Banking is a unique opportunity that allows borrowers to unlock their data to make the most of their money, and we’re currently seeing around a third of customers choosing to opt in.
“In a personal finance market crowded with options, it provides security and clarity for customers to help them make positive and well-informed choices.”
Emma Steeley, CEO for AccountScore said:
“Our service has already powered the UK’s first live consumer Open Banking journey for HSBC and working with Freedom Finance to provide the first lending platform offering for both borrowers and lenders signals a positive change for new technology.
“Open Banking delivers better efficiency in the customer journey than previously possible, whilst also helping customers find the most relevant option when applying for either a loan, mortgage, or credit card.
“We’ve found that Freedom Finance is determined to provide the best finance solutions for individual circumstances, and our data exchange service will also improve its lender capability to achieve even better clarity for customers.”