The Financial Inclusion Summit Series: Issue no. 27

Interview with Instantor

 

Instantor is a Swedish fintech company founded in 2010 by John Grundström and Niklas Bergman. The founders identified a strong need to provide a broader range of people access to responsible and better financial services. There is a substantial demand for financing that is not met by the retail banks and still more than 1.7 billion people worldwide that do not have access to financial services. This is not only a huge problem but also represents an enormous missed opportunity.

Our objective as a business is to help our customers to make more accurate credit risk decisions based on up-to-date and alternative transactional data. This is our objective but for us, it about so much more than this. It is about helping everyday people prove their creditworthiness. At Instantor, we are helping the underserved by providing more people with responsible access to finance, which ultimately means better access to education and healthcare (among other things) and therefore a better life.

Our mission represents a win-win-win situation: win for our clients because they are able to accept more at less risk; it is a win for their clients because they are assessed more fairly and it is a win for us as we are able to help democratise the financing system. Our services provide a positive impact for social inclusion when we see financing organisations have higher acceptance rates and lower default rates – people previously unable to get credit now have access to the money they need to change their lives.

 

Area of focus

Instantor provides a gateway of access to finance for half a billion people in 25 markets.

Instantor solutions offer the fastest way to digitalise your credit application flow and take credit risk models to the next level.

 

Reduce credit risk

Instantor is a Swedish Fintech company that reduces credit risk through transaction monitoring while simplifying customer onboarding. We aggregate transactional data to help our customers increase profit, reduce fraud and improve acceptance rates.

We focus on financial institutions or anyone looking to digitise underwriting and onboarding processes. Instantor lets you test the benefits of transactional data at minimal cost with fast results.

Our solutions process transactional data, support financial data aggregation and improve credit risk management. We make credit risk decisions faster, easier, and fairer for all.

 

Challenges in the geographical areas of influence

Financial inclusion is one of the toughest challenges for the 21st century and is becoming a major priority for governments and policymakers. Financial inclusion means providing individuals with access to financial products and services that meet their needs; no matter their age, ethnicity, occupation or location. This includes access to financial services such as bank accounts, insurance options and most notably: credit products, essential for families and businesses to survive and grow. Sadly, this level of inclusion is not currently available to all.

Current credit decisions rely on factors such as where a person lives, their gender and their age. It is unfair to base creditworthiness on these parameters – just because a person is younger does not necessarily mean that they are not responsible with the money that they have, nor does it mean that they are less likely to repay a loan. We can also look at refugees, for example, that start with absolutely nothing, and so building up a life for themselves, gaining a source of income and creating a home in their new city is of the utmost concern.

In the Northern European countries alone, there are currently more than 32 million refugees that are not able to access credit. This is a massive part of the challenge to begin a new life because part of establishing permanent residency in a new country lies in accessing finance. All types of credit checks are much harder when it is your first application so vulnerable groups like refugees are often turned away by credit bureaus because of their lack of financial history in the new country, at a time when they are most in need of credit.

The good news is that Instantor can change this scenario. By working with transactional banking history, individuals are in a much better position to be considered for credit products. Alternative transactional data allows individuals fairness in opportunities – whether through qualifying for a loan, renting a car or even getting a job, helping both the person and the economy to grow.

 

Co-operation and partnerships

Women In FinTech – on a mission to promote a more inclusive and supportive FinTech environment. Women In FinTech aims to achieve more equal gender representation in the FinTech sector, in Sweden and internationally.

Women In FinTech stems from the belief that FinTech is shaping the financial industry landscape, and that it will only unleash its full potential with equal gender representation. This initiative promotes an inclusive and supportive FinTech environment. It is all about women not only sharing knowledge experience and professional advice but also inspiring one another within a meaningful network to help us break through the glass ceiling.

Women In FinTech is born under the leadership of Raiha Buchanan and Helene S. Westerlund, CMO and CTO at Instantor respectively, two inspirational women with a sound record in the industry locally and internationally. Women In FinTech has already seen in the inaugural mingle, talents from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Korea, New Zealand, Sweden, Tunisia and Ukraine. See more at www.womenfintech.com

Findec – connects all players in the ecosystem to help them work out their own paths forward – and avoid becoming obsolete. We believe that healthy ecosystems need bridges, not walls.

Swedish FinTech Association – an industry association for Swedish FinTech companies. Our mission is to gather the Swedish FinTech community to create impact. We work for a well-functioning FinTech market in Sweden by initiating meetings and cooperation with relevant government officials, authorities, agencies, politicians and other business organizations. We arrange network meetings and events for our members. As a non-profit association, we rely on our members to set the agenda and finance our operation.

 

Successes

Since 2010 Instantor has developed advanced analytical solutions and products using transactional data. To digitise the lending process, Instantor is empowering financial organisations to make better risk assessments using AI, as well as supporting people in emerging financial markets to verify and prove their identity, income, and employer directly online.

Instantor helps organisations understand their customers´ true financial capacity. Instantor’s solutions process transactional data from bank accounts, support financial data aggregation and improve credit risk management. Instantor empowers customers to accurately predict the possibilities of defaulting – making credit risk decisions faster, easier, and fairer for all. With Instantor’s fully digitalised solutions, financial organisations can increase acceptance, reduce risk, and streamline credit risk management. Instantor has 300+ integrated banks in over 25 markets, with 200 clients in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In March 2019, the Financial Times ranked Instantor as the second fastest growing Fintech in Sweden. Instantor is the first authorised FinTech by the Financial Swedish Authority (FSA) to operate as AISP under PSD2.

Instantor provides data-driven credit underwriting tools to the 1st fastest-growing Spanish FinTech, ID Finance. As a result, ID Finance is bringing around 20,000 creditworthy individuals to the financing system every week in Brazil, Mexico and Spain.

 

About the Nordic effort

Locally, Instantor helps refugees, as well as, many other groups of people such as millennials, immigrants and low-income families that have trouble accessing finance because of bias within the traditional credit scoring systems. Alternative credit scoring has the potential to solve a massive issue with technology, that creates a system that’s fairer for all.

Particularly in the Nordics countries where cash is not king, our substantial digital footprints mean that there are sources of information with large amounts of potentially valuable data that can be used to determine creditworthiness. For example, within a person’s bank account we can look at spending patterns to determine if bills are paid on time, if spending is higher than earnings, or if spending is not done in a responsible way.

The crucial part of alternative credit scoring is to provide new tools so that financial institutions can better understand risk levels and focus less on an established history. Instantor has proven results that are good for both the lender and the borrower.

Women in FinTech – Sweden Chapter: In Sweden, so far a diverse group of around 30 women from the ecosystem -and beyond, have joined the Women In FinTech inaugural mingle. Some came from Findec, the Swedish FinTech Association, Bambora, Danske Bank, Nordea, and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). The Women in FinTech initiative stems from the belief that society will benefit from having a more inclusive FinTech sector and create mindfulness around the under-representation of women in FinTech. With this initiative, we are on a mission to help to build the future of Fintech.

 

The Financial Inclusion Summit takes place in Oslo, Norway, on 28 March 2019. To find out more or request an invitation, visit: https://financial-inclusion.com/#register

Follow us on @FinIncSummit #fintechforall

 

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