Loanspark partnered with world-leading tech brands Mastercard, Middesk, and LexisNexis to enhance, speed up, and secure service delivery for its co-branded partners and their business customers.
A partnership with Mastercard enables Loanspark to leverage Mastercard’s open banking platform, with some services delivered through its subsidiary, Finicity, allowing businesses to establish direct consumer-permissioned connections with their customers’ bank accounts. This enables SMB owners to submit financial information securely and easily while focusing on running their business, and in turn allowing Loanspark to make better credit decisions by quickly verifying the borrower’s financial details. Accurate borrower information minimizes the lending risks and increases accuracy and speed of funds for SMBs.
“Small businesses are increasingly looking for greater choice in how they borrow, pay and manage their finances. Partnering with organizations like Loanspark provides small businesses with a streamlined process to gain access to capital and putting their financial worries at ease.”Andy Sheehan, EVP, US Open Banking, Mastercard.
Read more about this partnership here.
Today, Mastercard is announcing that it has added advanced analytics to its Open Banking platform delivered by its subsidiary, Finicity in the U.S. These analytics can help lenders manage their risk profiles while also adding diverse and inclusive credit models for small business loans as well as ongoing monitoring and expansion of credit card lines.
“Small businesses are increasingly looking for greater choice in how they borrow, pay and manage their finances,” said Jess Turner, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President for Global Open Banking and API. “Open Banking provides lenders the owner-permissioned data and advanced analytics they need to offer more choice in financial services to small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy.”
Read more about Open Banking for Business and how we’re innovating with our partners here.
Mastercard has partnered with upSWOT, a U.S.-based white-label embedded financial platform, to add data for small businesses on upSWOT’s platform.
With the addition of owner-permissioned data from Mastercard’s open banking platform, upSWOT now gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) the ability to link financial data to 200 API-enabled apps. These include accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), payroll, ecommerce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), marketing, and POS business applications.
With this partnership, Mastercard and upSWOT will be able to provide SMBs with a smooth and effective approach to run their operations.
Read more about this innovative partnership here.
OPEN, EMBEDDED, MODULAR, AND ON A PLATFORM
The rapidly-evolving space of open banking, embedded finance, modular banking and banking as a platform is driving innovators with an API mindset, and the future will see more and more public-facing consumer brands embrace APIs across many industries.
A new report from Mastercard Data & Services looks at the relationship between BaaS and open banking, an aggregated approach to BaaS as it evolves into hosted marketplaces and ecosystems and how banks and fintechs can enable BaaS at scale.
Read the full report here.
Getting a mortgage has traditionally been a long and challenging process. Customers have had to dig up paystubs and bank statements to hand off to loan officers. Loan officers and processors then manually uploaded the paperwork into the lender’s database for review and then hope for the best. When a borrower sent an incomplete document or a processor made an error in data transposition, it could delay the loan approval process by days, even weeks.
But in today’s climate of rising interest rates and low inventory, those long wait times have gone from just annoying to potentially costing house hunters the chance to close on the homes they desire. For example, serious buyers should arrive at each showing with a pre-approval letter in hand, in order to be competitive. Even those just browsing will need to move quickly if the right house comes up. And those refinancing—yes, even as rates are climbing, there are borrowers who could save by refinancing—must act fast to nail the lower rate in place.
These inefficiencies and delays were troubling to Guaranteed Rate, who, as the second-largest retail lender in the U.S., has been helping to make the mortgage process easier since 2000.
Two years ago the company decided to look into taking its underwriting process digital. There was a lot on the line. The mortgage industry sets a high bar for the financial data used to underwrite loans, requiring documents from verified institutions. What’s more, borrowers share some of their most sensitive financial information to secure a loan. Guaranteed Rate was committed to protecting the consumer’s privacy and financial data.
What Guaranteed Rate came up with is a platform that enables customers to go online or use a mobile app to grant permission for the lender via a third-party service to access their financial and payroll accounts. That lets the lender quickly and accurately verify assets, income and employment.
If everything checks out, the lender can give the borrower a quick thumbs-up. In some cases, that’s all the data the lender needs for the mortgage to go forward. This digital verification process can cut up to eight days off the underwriting process. “From an efficiency standpoint, our underwriters don’t have to manually verify income and assets for every loan, so we can scale up,” says Brad Lando, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Guaranteed Rate.
The company protects borrowers’ sensitive data by using Mastercard’s open banking platform. When a borrower grants a lender access to their data, Mastercard’s technology issues a token. The token allows the lender to see the data, but never house it. Nor does the lender receive login credentials. The risk of those credentials being hacked during the mortgage process is reduced, and the customer gets a better experience.
Another advantage is that borrowers can grant ongoing account access for prolonged periods of time, such as 60 days. That means the lender can refresh the data as needed without having to go back and ask for renewed permission to track down more documents, alleviating the burden on the consumer. “It’s cut down on risk, in addition to bringing a better customer experience,” says Lando.
Loan officers and processors have been quick to adapt to this digital-first method. The automated verification system allows them to sign off faster on more straightforward loans, which frees them up to focus on the more complicated ones.
And while there’s still some trepidation among consumers, they’re also starting to see the benefits. When offered a choice to manually upload their documents or grant permission for the lender to pull their information, 83% of borrowers who chose the digital path said their loan processing time was shorter than they expected it to be, or that it met their expectations.
As digital verification becomes more prevalent, the mortgage process will speed up, from application to close. And that means more people can look forward to a smoother process on the way to landing in the homes they want to live in.
Revised July 1, 2022
This week, Freddie Mac announced the latest Loan Product Advisor® (LPASM) enhancement that includes on-time rent payments as part of the company’s purchase determinations.
Mastercard, a designated third-party service provider for Freddie Mac, is excited to provide two reports for lenders that include rent payment history.
Our Mortgage Verification Services (MVS) product provides the consumer-permissioned data necessary for LPA’s rent payment history credit assessment with no setup required for the lender. If you’re already using an MVS asset report, you will automatically send the data necessary for a rent assessment.
Mastercard’s open banking platform (provided by Mastercard’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Finicity), is a designated service provider that offers a digital, single-vendor solution for assets, income and employment through both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. By automating the asset and income assessment process, we can also provide transaction data for rent payment history, direct deposits and 10-day pre-closing reports for employment verification. These solutions help to streamline lenders’ loan approval process and increase homeownership opportunities to qualified borrowers.
Rent Payment History in Lender Credit Decisioning
By virtue of sheer numbers, millennials are defining the trends of today’s housing market. The age group now accounts for 43% of all homebuyers so far in 2022, according to a new report by the National Association of Realtors. With approximately one-third of this demographic being credit invisible, there’s an opportunity to incorporate additional data sources to help establish creditworthiness and the ability to repay the loan. The integration of rent payment history into the mortgage lending process can be helpful to first-time homebuyers who have a strong track record of on-time rent payments, creating a new path to homeownership while still promoting safe lending.
In addition to this week’s announcement from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae has included rent payments in their automated mortgage credit decisioning process in Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) since September 18, 2021. Fannie Mae identified recurring rent payments in bank statements and transaction data as a factor which could deliver a more inclusive credit assessment.
Fannie Mae said 17% of applicants who have not owned a home in the last three years and who did not receive a favorable mortgage recommendation could have instead received an “approved” or “eligible” recommendation if their rental payment history had been considered.
To take advantage of the rent payment history feature, Mastercard provides a Verification of Asset and Income (VOAI) and a Verification of Assets (VOA) report through its Mortgage Verification Service (MVS) that includes 12 or 24 months of transaction data that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can use to identify rent payment history that may provide a more favorable credit assessment.
If they are using the VOA report, lenders have the freedom to access either two or 12 months of data to satisfy their own underwriting requirements. The reports can be called with a direct API or are available currently in ICE Encompass and Encompass Consumer Connect, as well as the SimpleNexus mortgage point-of-sale (POS) platform.
Integrated with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Systems
Mastercard is a service provider for Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting system, LPA, which automates the assessment of borrower assets, income and employment using LPA asset and income modeler (AIM). By leveraging the expertise of service providers, AIM helps to deliver a simpler, more efficient loan origination process.
Fannie Mae’s DU validation service also accepts our mortgage verification services to independently validate borrower assets, income, and employment data—providing Day 1 Certainty® on validated loan components. By digitally validating secure third-party data through DU, you can help eliminate the paper chase and help get your borrowers approved quicker.
Learn more about Mortgage Verification Services here or request a demo from one of our open banking experts.
Small-to-midsize business (SMB) owners have had to pivot and adjust to the new realities of the economy, throughout the pandemic and beyond. Implementing new business models, investing in PPE and managing employees all come with additional costs, in a business environment that’s already rife with inflationary pressures.
Managing these challenges takes every available resource, and owner-permissioned SMB open banking data is powering the financial management apps and services that owners are embracing to improve their business operations. According to Mastercard’s Rise of Open Banking Small Business report, connecting accounts is the main driver that provides the insights and analytics that owners are looking for to help tackle critical business tasks. Ninety-six percent of owners are currently linking their business financial accounts, taking advantage of fintech apps and services that leverage open banking data to generate crucial information and insights for their businesses, helping to improve decision-making. The top reasons for connecting accounts are:
- Receiving payments from customers (75%)
- Banking (73%)
- Billing/invoicing (73%)
- Paying bills/expenses (73%)
- Accounting (73%)
- Cash flow management (72%)
With all the benefits of linking accounts, fintech innovators have a window of opportunity in the SMB space to improve the connection process:
- Reducing time for cross-platform verification
- Making it intuitive for SMB owners to link their accounts, or communicating how to link accounts
- Utilizing UI that auto-populates routing and accounting numbers
- Utilizing account owner verification to mitigate fraudulent accounts
Even with the understandable adjustments that it takes to press forward into a new era of digital business and financial management, the desire to adopt is strong in the SMB sector. Owners want to digitize their businesses to help prevent fraud, automate processes and share data and insights across apps.
Linking Accounts Generates Real-Time Financial Insights
Despite rising fintech use, 94% of small business owners still encounter financial pain points. Many of them cite financial management as a major source of stress.
Owners are seeking solutions that can help them with financial management to address these pain points. They’re looking for better ways to harness their business’s data to get a holistic view, optimize financial management and inform business strategy.
This is where SMB fintech services providers can step in and provide solutions, partnering with SMBs as they push forward into the new digital economy. Owners are open to receiving help. Sixty-three percent are looking for help with financial planning for their business, and 85% want the kind of custom financial recommendations that come from linking accounts and sharing open banking data.
The top driver for owners linking accounts is improvement in business decision-making. This comes directly from financial management apps and services. Real-time data paired with AI, machine learning and analytics can have a powerful impact on an owner’s speed of decision-making and action, allowing them to either take advantage of opportunities or avoid costly mistakes.
Better data and better decisions naturally feed into the rest of the top-three SMB owners’ concerns: saving time and improving financial health.
How Small Businesses are Using Open Banking Fintech Apps and Services
According to Mastercard’s report, banking is the top use case for small businesses, once they link their accounts. Depositing checks, paying bills and transferring funds are core, everyday needs that SMB owners are currently using fintech to accomplish.
Billing and invoicing can be streamlined and automated with fintech, and small businesses want this. Sixty-one percent of small businesses are already using fintech to do so. When routine tasks can be handled in the background by apps, owners can move more pressing concerns to the forefront. Growing, scaling and developing products or services can be given the bandwidth they deserve.
Sixty percent are using digital apps and services for cash flow management. With real-time data from linked accounts, owners can pay bills strategically, while making sure they can pay vendors, employees and themselves.
While the number of SMBs leveraging fintech apps is currently in the 50-60% range, the Rise of Open Banking study found that the number who want to use digital apps and services powered by open banking is over 90% for the majority of use cases.
The 31.7 million small businesses in the US are looking for more choice in financial services. They’re willing and ready to adapt to the digital future, and are looking for innovators that provide solutions to help them make better decisions.
Mastercard’s “always on” platform means maximum connection uptime and the highest quality data for insights into the financial health of a small business. Read the full report here to see details on the solutions small businesses are looking for from financial service technology.
*Some open banking services are provided by Mastercard’s wholly owned subsidiary, Finicity Corporation.
According to a recent study from Mastercard, consumers say obtaining a mortgage is a serious pain point in an already painful homebuying process. The survey shows that 89% of homebuyers find the mortgage process to be equally or more stressful than the homebuying experience.
Borrowers whose lenders used digital mortgage verifications were less likely to say the loan process was the most stressful part of buying or refinancing a home, and 83% of respondents using digital verifications said their loan processing time was shorter than expected or met their expectations.
As a designated third-party service provider of Freddie Mac, Finicity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mastercard, offers an integration of its open banking data and Mortgage Verification Services (MVS) with AIM that allows clients to automate the capacity assessment using consumer-permissioned data, direct deposit account data and work history. In the case of income, lenders can now look at direct deposit history to verify income.
Click here to read the MReport article by Andy Sheehan, EVP Open Banking about how Mastercard’s open banking platform (provided by Mastercard’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Finicity) is moving the mortgage process into the digital future.
The United States is home to 32.5 million small businesses, which amounts to 99.9% of all businesses in the country. They employ just under half of the workforce, and are responsible for 44% of total GDP. Clearly, supporting the growth of small-to-midsize businesses is essential to the lifeblood of the economy.
The important role of the small business in the economy isn’t always reflected by lending guidelines that work for the small business owner, however. Thirty percent of businesses that apply for credit through traditional lenders are denied, or only qualify for a portion of the funds they need. These numbers drop even further for minorities looking for the operating capital they need to grow their businesses.
In an increasingly data-driven, digital economy, there’s room for additional choice. Innovative lending solutions can give every owner an equal opportunity to make their business dreams a reality.
Open Banking is Giving Lenders and Small Business Owners More Choice
According to Mastercard’s Rise of Open Banking study, 74% of small-to-midsize business (SMB) owners would share business performance data if it meant that they could better demonstrate their ability to pay back a loan and have more choice in lending options. Black, hispanic and millennial owners are even more enthusiastic about sharing financial data, if sharing it means being presented with better loan terms and options. Over 80% responded positively to data sharing in each of those demographic categories.
Owner-permissioned data through Mastercard’s open banking platform can power apps and services with up to 24 months of rich cash flow attributes. This can inform better, more accurate insights which lenders can use to make financial decisions. Approvals, credit increases, leases and other small business needs can be granted with reduced risk of bad debt.
Data can be used to develop new lending models and underwrite new lending products. This opens up access to capital with terms and options that can be crafted to fit unique SMB needs. Funding is an ongoing issue for small business owners. Eighty-five percent are looking for faster, easier access to capital, and 62% have received a business loan.
Whether it comes from public-facing consumer retail, ecommerce, professional services or seasonal businesses, owner-permissioned open banking data is the launchpad for a fast-growing ecosystem of effective financial tools that simply didn’t exist in the pre-digital era.
Rather than basing lending decisions on metrics like personal credit scores, business credit scores and time in business, lenders are using open banking data points and analytics to unlock capital. Businesses that may have been impeded by traditional guidelines that aren’t aligned with the modern economy now have new options for funding. They’re benefiting from advances in open banking data technology, and they’re asking for the financial opportunities and insights that data can provide.
Small Business Owners Want to Grow With Tools and Allies
Despite the challenges of rising costs, talent acquisition, supply chain issues, cybersecurity and a host of other concerns, owners are optimistic and ready to grow. Forty-seven percent say they’re in growth mode, and looking for allies to help them scale up.
Over 80% of owners say they want a partner to help them find access to capital and to loans that fit the needs of their specific business. This is where open banking solutions stand out, and where innovators are expanding the lending ecosystem with data-driven loan products, like:
- Low-interest loans
- Credit card options
- Niche lending
In just a three-month period at the beginning of 2020, U.S.-based fintech Lendio helped over 100,000 small businesses connect to over $8 billion in U.S. Paycheck Protection Program loans, using owner-permissioned open banking data to analyze cash flow and other alternative lending metrics.
Small business specialists like Lendio have been a badly-needed lifeline during the pandemic and beyond. An open banking platform makes it possible to close the smaller loans that financial institutions don’t typically originate, and to do it more quickly. The manpower needed to run open banking-powered apps and services is less intensive than what is required to handle the traditional underwriting process at larger institutions. The amount of work that it takes to underwrite smaller loans has made them less appealing to some lenders in the past.
This has caused some business owners to be left behind, particularly women and minorities seeking less capital to fund their enterprises.
Open banking provides real-time data that helps lenders understand a small to mid-sized business’ creditworthiness, letting them more quickly and easily approve loans, no matter the size. With small business loans ranging from $5,000 to $1.2 million, it’s clear there is a wide range of opportunities to ally with owners by offering specialized lending products.
Addressing a Growing Need in the Small Business Sector
There’s a growing list of lenders covering every need and every niche that the market is asking for, and demand has never been higher. According to the Mastercard study, eighty-seven percent of owners already use or would like to use open banking-powered fintech apps and services to secure funding for their businesses.
Small businesses are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, with the percentage of cash-strapped enterprises moving up slightly, from 15% to 18%. Innovators have an opportunity to create solutions that help owners who need reserves and operating capital, but who may have a short tenure in business, a thin credit file or low FICO scores.
Owners want to secure and refinance loans. They want allies to help them make informed decisions. Ninety-six percent of them are linking their accounts and sharing their data. Alongside the desire for funding, 85% are looking for the customized financial recommendations that can come from sharing data with open banking apps and services. They want access to capital, and they want it quicker and smarter, to keep pace with an unpredictable consumer marketplace.
In the next installment of the Rise of Open Banking series, we look at how open banking is transforming the payments experience for the SMB. Click here to download the full study.
Mastercard’s open banking platform (provided by Mastercard’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Finicity) offers pre-close reports that provide just the right data that GSEs need for 10-day verification of employment. Today, Freddie Mac announced the acceptance of our Verification of Employment (VOE) Reports.
In adding the VOE Payroll and Transactions reports to our Mortgage Verification Services (MVS) product, we have enabled lenders to receive only the data GSEs require for the 10-day verification. Lenders can use these reports to view only your borrower’s employment status, rather than refreshing the full reports that contain more data than required for an employment verification. This minimizes the introduction of new income data or other redundant and unnecessary underwriting changes that could delay the loan closing or cause additional work.
The two available reports provide different types of information. The VOE Transactions report contains 120 days of refreshed transactions with dates and description, but no amounts or totals so income is not reassessed. It shows the latest direct deposits in the income streams, to confirm the borrower is still being paid on their regular cadence.
Another option is the VOE Payroll report. This contains only employment status and details—no income or other data—so lenders can see that the individual is still employed according to their payroll provider.
These two reports are part of MVS at no extra charge and are currently available for lenders connecting directly to Mastercard and through Ice Mortgage Technology.
The VOE Transaction and Payroll reports can help lenders improve accuracy and simplify the process of verifying employment within ten days of closing, removing more friction from the loan origination process without increasing risk. With one click, a GSE-accepted VOE report is available in moments, avoiding the lost time and the uncertainty of tracking down verbal verifications from employers.
How can you access these 10-day pre-closing reports?
To pull the VOE reports today, your team will need to code directly to the endpoints or add this functionality through Encompass LOS from Ice Technology. You can find documentation here. To see Mastercard’s Mortgage Verification Services in action, request a demo here.
Want to learn what borrowers want from a digitized mortgage process powered by open banking solutions? Click here.