Experian has launched a new Open Data lending solution that makes it quick and easy for small businesses (SMBs) to apply for financing, according to the credit bureau in a blog on Wednesday (Oct. 30). Experian Commercial Acumen lets businesses avoid most of the loan application paperwork. Instead, the necessary information — bank transactions and management account information — can be sent to a lender in minutes.
“The manual, paper-based method of applying for finance is archaic and laborious for both lenders and [SMBs]. Small business owners are often time-poor, and only get the chance to fill out a funding application in the evenings when many lenders are closed for business,” said Lisa Fretwell, managing director of data services at Experian. “Commercial Acumen can help [SMBs] get an answer from a lender in days, not months. It will help challenger lenders to offer an always-on service, so they can securely receive documents 24 hours a day in a format they can quickly get to work with.”
It can often take as long as three months for businesses to gather the necessary information needed for financing. In addition, companies’ accountants will have to weigh in, and lenders need time to analyze the documents.
With Experian’s solution, lenders can set up an application in five minutes — businesses can share needed data in 10 minutes. The lender can see a company’s bank statement almost instantly in a secure portal, in a ready-to-analyze format.
In the next few months, accounting information will be added to Commercial Acumen through a single API via a partnership with the FinTech firm Codat.
“With Commercial Acumen, Experian has put itself right at the forefront of the market in delivering contributed data on small businesses, which is unequivocally the future of small business lending,” said Alex Cardona, co-founder of Codat.
Earlier this month, Experian announced that it acquired a controlling interest in RAM Credit Information (RAMCI), a leading credit bureau in Malaysia. The deal will help Experian boost its market presence in Malaysia, and create more synergies across its Data and Decisioning portfolio.