ZOPA is set to launch a new income verification tool for borrowers as part of its first foray into Open Banking.
The peer-to-peer lending giant, which is building its own Open Banking infrastructure, says loan applicants will be able to have their income verified by securely using their bank account transaction data rather than having to manually upload bank statements.
Marie Steinthaler, head of new products and Open Banking lead at Zopa, said other features will be launched such as aggregating any accounts linked with Zopa onto the P2P platform so they can be managed in one place.
The consumer lender said it will also make recommendations on spending and budgeting based on user data if access is approved.
Steinthaler also addressed concerns about how safe providing access to accounts using Open Banking would be.
She said users will be able to choose whether to provide access to their information and said there are lots of requirements on companies such as proper controls and audits, as well as dedicated processes around sensitive payment data.
“We know that sharing your financial data isn’t something we should take lightly at Zopa,” she said.
“We take it very seriously, and have strict information security policies and procedures that we follow whenever building new products.
“We also regularly run so-called ‘penetration testing’ on our systems.
“This is where we pay an accredited third party to try and ‘penetrate’ our systems, as a hacker might, to flag up any possible vulnerabilities.
“Finally, we encrypt sensitive data so, in the highly unlikely case that someone got their hands on it, it would only be gobbledegook to them.”
Read more: P2P lenders gear up for Open Banking