How does taking a selfie make applying for a business loan easier?

Elizabeth Barry 23 September 2015

I'm about to submit my business loan application – but first, let me take a selfie.

It’s payday and you’re handed a cheque. Do you accept your fate and walk to the bank, deposit your funds and wait three days for it to clear? Or do you point out the myriad instant payment options your employer has available to them and demand an alternative?

Fintech, short for financial technology, has entered the arena to answer the growing concerns of people unsatisfied with anything less than the most instant, convenient and hassle-free option available.

This approach has extended far beyond cheques. If your bank doesn’t have a mobile app, it soon will, for fear of losing tech-savvy customers. If you still do banking in-branch, you will be ushered towards waiting computers to perform any task that can – and has – been assigned to the bank’s Internet banking platform.

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While banks are slowly introducing technological conveniences for customers, it is often the new, smaller entrants to the market that are bringing some of the most innovative ideas.

Banjo Loans is one such outfit. It launched in the online business lending space yesterday (28 September 2015) offering loans up to $250,000 to small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Its point of difference? A paperless application system consisting of ten questions which can be completed entirely online. If approved, business customers can have their funds within 24-48 hours.

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One interesting part of the verification process is the “selfie” applicants upload as part of the identity verification process. Used to supplement the identification documents, applicants can take a photo on the spot or upload a suitable image.

CEO Andrew Colliver, an ex-NAB senior executive, says this is all a part of taking the pain out of business borrowing.

Banjo joins the ranks of other SME lenders such as Spotcap, a lender that also keeps the business borrowing experience completely online.

Fintech is relatively new in Australia, but its influence on the banking sector is growing. Time will tell what the larger institutions will embrace when it comes to innovative technology – all-online applications are becoming commonplace, but identity verification with selfies might be a more long-winded process.

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