U.K.-based FinTechs have banded together to help self-employed workers prove their income so they can be eligible for financial support, according to a report.
The founder of FinTech 11:FS proposed that open banking technology could be used to certify lost income, and the founders of Fronted and Credit Kudos then joined him in coming up with a solution.
Soon, many others were also working on what they termed “Covid Credit.”
“Like many, we saw a challenge for non-salaried workers who are currently ineligible for government relief,” said Fronted Co-founder Jamie Campbell. “By using open banking, we have been able to quickly develop a simple process that allows non-salaried workers to generate a proof statement [that] details their past income and the impact of COVID-19.”
The group says that for people who are self-employed, authenticating their income is much more difficult than for salaried employees, and they recommend using open banking to analyze income.
“Using the application, applicants answer a few simple questions relating to their legal status and the impact of COVID-19 on their income,” Campbell said. “The application processes this information and creates a unique link that (in time) can be shared with the appropriate government body in order to prove loss of income.”
Covid Credit is a Python web application that runs on Google Cloud. It uses the Credit Kudos API and amalgamates data from bank accounts using pattern recognition algorithms.
“We believe Covid Credit can provide a crucial piece of the puzzle in identifying and validating the needs of freelancers and non-salaried workers affected by COVID-19,” Campbell said. “In practice, this might help extend the reach of furloughed worker relief (part of the government’s package for full-time workers) to include self-employed workers, though this is just a hypothesis. We plan to present the finished solution to key stakeholders this week and to support the potential rollout in the coming days.”