Serve and Protect Credit Union announced as a winner of the Affordable Credit Challenge
The Affordable Credit Challenge, run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with HM Treasury, encourages fintech’s to partner with community lenders to provide alternative solutions to high cost lenders.
Serve and Protect Credit Union alongside Credit Kudos were announced in the budget as winners of Nesta Challenges’ Affordable Credit Challenge, for our reward loan solution which aims to use open banking to help even more borrowers access responsible credit.
Tacking financial exclusion
Over time, many of the individuals who serve and protect our nation have struggled to access mainstream credit due to nature of their roles. This has forced many to turn to high-cost lenders such as payday or guarantor loans, which can result in a spiral of debt, that can be difficult to recover from.
The reward loan solution will look to help those serving in the Police, Military and Prison & Probation Service who struggle to access affordable credit.
Paul Norgrove, CEO of Serve and Protect Credit Union, said: “We exist to provide affordable loans for our members and always want to treat them as individuals — not just a credit score. Our reward loan solution, created with Credit Kudos, allows us to support even more members and reward them for healthy financial behaviours. Using open banking derived scores, the solution will automatically adjust the interest a borrower pays during the life of a loan or provide rewards to encourage financial behaviour. This means borrowers from the police, military and wider protective services family can proactively and positively impact their own financial situation.”
At present, high-cost lenders have access to data and technology that credit unions often do not, making it difficult for them to compete. Through the partnership, Serve and Protect Credit Union and Credit Kudos hope to level the playing field and, ultimately, support more borrowers.
Stephen Mazurek, IT & Innovation Manager of Serve and Protect Credit Union, said: From the start, the process was focussed on building solid lasting relationships between Fintech’s and Affordable Lenders. There were nearly 50 applications so there was a definite coming together of parties who wouldn’t normally have cooperated. The challenge opened up the sector to more than the usual suspects and gave genuine tech innovators a chance to work with affordable lenders on concepts that can scale.”