Regulated, instant, no limit on the amount or maturity.
Those are three elements that Charles Egly, co-founder and group CEO at Younited Credit, says differentiate his firm’s solution from that of legacy credit firms or buy now, pay later (BNPL) players operating across the region.
“It’s a credit [product] to buy electronics or other goods and it’s always a regulated solution. So, in that sense, we are very different from the BNPL providers which most of the time propose unregulated solutions [to consumers],” Egly told PYMNTS in an interview.
Another characteristic that differentiates the Paris-based FinTech unicorn from BNPL players is the amount of credit disbursed. While the average amount of credit given by BNPL firms is between 20 euros and 100 euros with short maturities ranging from a few weeks to a few months, he said Younited can offer instant credit of up to 50,000 euros ($56,000) or more, with no limit on maturities and a payback period from one month to 84 months.
Egly added that the European instant credit provider also places a high value on responsible, ethical, and transparent lending, using the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) regulation and open banking application programming interfaces (APIs) to ensure its data-driven offering is set at an amount users can afford.
“With the login and password of your main bank account, we can retrieve your banking history [of up to 12 months and] this information will allow us to score you precisely in two seconds. This is the instant credit product we’ve invented with virtually no limit on amount or maturity,” Egly noted.
Thanks to PSD2 and open banking, even people who do not have a typical profile or regular income can still be scored with only one month of banking history, he said.
To date, the French firm, which launched in 2009, has granted more than 2.4 billion euros ($2.69 billion) in credit and saw its annualized revenues exceed 150 million euros ($168 million) last year.
The firm currently covers 60% of the European market with operations in four countries outside of France — Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany — and it has plans to expand geographically to reach 80% of the regional market by 2025.
Balanced B2C and B2B Offerings
From a business-to-consumer (B2C) offering, the European firm has expanded into the business-to-business (B2B) space, embedding their solution into a range of third-party products through partnerships with banks such as Germany’s N26, France’s Fortuneo, FinTech companies like Lydia and Apple Premium Resellers.
“In 2021, [our B2B offering represented] between one-quarter and one-third of our GMV [Gross Merchandise Value] and revenues, and the idea is to have a very well-balanced model with 50% direct-to-consumer and 50% through partnerships,” he explained.
And now that Younited Credit has firmly found its product and market fit, Egly said its key focus is on achieving high growth rates and growing its presence in the markets its operates in, all while maintaining a solid reputation and brand.
“A good client service quality is super important to us,” he said. “As of today, we have a 4.8 Trustpilot score and the idea is to keep this score or even to increase it, which is not easy when you’re growing fast.”
Starting next year, the company is set to expand its services into new markets, targeting one new country from a short list of countries including the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania and the U.K. in 2023, 2024 and 2025, respectively.
And regardless of the market the firm land in, leveraging its European Central Bank (ECB) credit institution license to offer “regulated solutions” will be its topmost priority.
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