PEER-TO-PEER lending platform Flender has hired credit report service Equifax to support the underwriting of its loans.
Equifax will supply real-time consumer and commercial data to automate the underwriting process and help Flender better assess applications for loans from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
It comes after Flender, which lets borrowers share campaigns directly with their social circle either by sending an email or connecting through their contacts book or Facebook account, raised £500,000 through Seedrs.
Read more: SMEs struggle to access finance as banks don’t meet their needs
“This partnership represents our continuing commitment to the alternative lending sector and our support for new and innovative entrants to the market,” said Andrew Hullock, head of new business – alternative lending at Equifax.
“It’s a great example of a lender maximising the use of commercial data, an exciting area to watch as the potentially industry changing commercial credit data sharing scheme continues to develop.
“Competition in SME lending needs to improve, and providers like Flender with a new approach are a healthy addition to the market.”
Kris Koik, chief executive of Flender, said Equifax was the clear choice for the firm as a partner.
“We’re the only P2P provider that allows you to lend money while integrating social circles into the process,” he said.
“We’re doing things differently and Equifax has a proven track record in working with lenders on flexible solutions at the early stages of their development.
“The combination of extensive consumer and commercial data that Equifax provides will be vital in enabling us to meet our targets, both in the UK and as we expand into Europe.”