Technology

How Is Fintech Emerging To Provide More Transparency For Consumers?

If you think about how traditional financing has worked in the past, consumers had very little leverage in a negotiation because they didn’t know what the person sitting on the other side of the table knew. Whether sitting in an auto dealers finance office or at a bank, the number of options available and transparency into those options was limited. The general consumer mentality was that it was a privilege to be offered financing. Now services like SuperMoney are changing that dynamic by giving consumers leverage. By aggregating many options and making each offer completely transparent, we are providing an ecosystem where financial service providers must compete to win a consumer’s business.

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Has financial technology for consumer financing - such as personal loans, auto loans, etc. - been behind the eight ball so to speak compared to other industries like travel? 

Consumer financing has been slow to evolve relative to industries like travel. This is partly due to abundant and sometimes outdated financial regulations. Financial-related businesses also tend to be more capital intensive. These barriers to entry delayed innovation within the industry in some respects. But over the last few years we’ve seen a ton of investment in the space drive forward the digitization of financial services. This is now leading to a new wave of financial transparency as services like SuperMoney integrate into these digital-first financial service providers to make it easy for consumers to transparently compare options in real time - something that’s been available in the travel industry for well over twenty years.

What technologies might we see emerge in this space in the near future? 

Artificial intelligence will have a major impact on the Fintech space in the coming years. Some companies have generated buzz around their AI powered chat bots, but these are really just a novel interface for consumer interaction. I’m referring to the general application of technology to make financial services smarter. We’ll see a continued application of machine learning algorithms to things like credit decisioning and many other back office areas of financial businesses. Additionally, on the front-end we’ll see applications providing much more value to consumers by giving them good advice. The marketing side of financial services has been dominated by companies that generate data leads and sell them off to the highest bidder. I think we’ll see a few incumbents emerge who get really good at analyzing consumer data and providing them sound recommendations for services or general plans of action that can improve consumers financial well-being - similar to how a financial advisor might sit down with a client, analyze their finances, and help them generate a financial plan.

What is the benefit of technology that provides a comparison shopping experience in personal financing? How is it changing the game in financing? 

Whether its comparison shopping or other forms of aggregation, platforms that are transparently bringing together multiple options are fueling consumer choice, educating consumers about personal finance, and creating a free market ecosystem that ultimately helps consumers save money. But they are doing so in an everyone wins scenario because they can store detailed rule sets from suppliers to help them reach the exact segment of consumers that their services are appropriate for - rather than try to carpet bomb consumers in other forms of traditional or digital advertising.

How does SuperMoney’s loan offer engine work? Can you explain how lenders compete for a borrower’s business in real-time? 

SuperMoney is directly integrated with over 20 leading banks and direct lenders at this time. A consumer fills out a financing request on SuperMoney.com, we forward the request to matching lending partners, and they return pre-approved offers in real time. We show our users all the loan offers they received with details about the loan terms, APR, monthly payments, origination fees, prepayment fees, and total repayment costs. Additionally, they can see the user reviews from our community. It makes it easy to compare apples to apples as if they were shopping for an airline ticket.

Many people can’t get a quote without hidden fees and have to exchange many emails/phone calls with a mortgage broker to get all the details. How is SuperMoney streamlining this process for consumers?

In the lending verticals we operate, SuperMoney transparently lists all origination fees related to a loan offer. We also transparently list any applicable late payment fees or prepayment fees. Mortgage is a vertical that is particularly ripe for disruption and we are working hard to apply the same model to this vertical.

Article By Miron Lulic, Founder and CEO of SuperMoney

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