Online lender launches new loan portal

CHARVEL KADIB
Meeting

A custom-built introducer portal designed to facilitate fast, real-time processing of loan applications for brokers has been launched by an Australian marketplace lender.

Online lender Zagga this week launched the new portal, which uses custom-built algorithms to match wholesale investors with borrowers.

Speaking to The Adviser, Zagga CEO Alan Greenstein said that the portal would provide brokers with simple, fast and direct access to the loan application process from start to finish.

“[It’s] very quick, it’s very easy, it’s very convenient, you get a much quicker turnaround and you’re in control of the process at all times,” the CEO said.

After observing the portal’s use in New Zealand, Zagga decided to bring the technology to Australia and broaden its availability to all intermediaries.

“[We] wanted our portal to be slightly broader than the New Zealand portal, not only interfacing with classic mortgage brokers, but interfacing with anybody who wanted to introduce an opportunity,” Mr Greenstein added.

The portal enables registered third-party intermediates to act on behalf of their client up until the final stage of the approval process.

“They are effectively submitting an application on behalf of their client, and they can take the application all the way up to approval stage,” Mr Greenstein said.

“It’s only just before we actually execute the borrower agreement that we need that client to execute the agreement for themselves, and that’s where the relationship gets handed over to from the broker to the client.”

According to Zagga, the portal is tailored to offer an “efficient client registration and credit assessment” through a transparent online process.

Further, the Zagga chief stressed that the portal contains in-built mechanisms that ensure Zagga delivers on its commitment to meet compliance standards and fulfil responsible lending obligations.

“One of the advantages of our system is that a lot of the compliance is built into the process, so you can’t really shortcut the compliance because it’s automated into the system.

“In many instances, I would imagine that we’d put just as much effort and emphasis on meeting all of the compliance standards and adhering to all of the risk management checks and balances that the banks do. But we’re just able to do it a lot quicker because we are much smaller, [so] we can use automation and other forms of assistance to make quicker decisions.”

Mr Greenstein is hopeful that the portal can further facilitate loan approvals for the increasing number of borrowers seeking alternative finance.

He believes that Zagga is well placed to service unmet borrower demand, brought about by tightened lending conditions imposed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

“I think that the banks have been under significant pressure by APRA and the regulators to walk away from certain types of funding that they used to do, but which they are not being allowed to do,” the CEO said.

“That demand for funding has not disappeared; just the banks’ appetite for it has disappeared and that is not being taken up by alternative funders.

“I do believe that alternative funders are now beginning to prove their worth and value in the market. They are definitely meeting a need, they’re definitely picking up market share and that market share is going to continue to grow.”

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