July 30, 2018
by Ben Morales, CEO QCash
Why would a credit union make their own payday lending platform versus using the QCash platform?
I’m often asked, “Why wouldn’t a credit union just do this on their own versus using the QCash platform?”
The bottom line is, what we want from QCash Financial is everyone to deliver small-dollar lending.
Credit unions need to get back to our roots of where they began. Credit unions started by delivering small-dollar loans to their members, and we’ve gotten away from that over time. At the end of the day, we just want everyone to get back to providing for their members. Above all else, this is a means of really eliminating predatory lending. We know credit unions have a lot of things to think about with regulatory concerns, member implementability, and member need. If we can help make this an easier and quicker process to implement, then we would say, “That’s why you should use us.”
QCash has over 14 years of experience with running a small-dollar loan program, which we bring to the table to help credit unions manage their small-dollar loan programs. QCash wants to make sure it’s helping them in achieving their member goals, their mission goals, and their margin goals. We’ve specifically built that in as part of our program to create this platform for credit unions. That’s our differentiating factor.
Credit unions have delivered and created small-dollar loans since the beginning and are still doing that today. There’s one or two out there that are also doing what QCash is doing, but they haven’t added the automation parts of it. Leveraging that automation to lower the cost so that you can deliver this to a broader market is key.
The issue that we have today is that the solutions in the market aren’t scalable. You can’t deliver thousands of e-loans to the members that need it in the time that they need it with conventional underwriters and systems. It’s a slow process. Most systems right now are using traditional methods, they’re using underwriters, they’re pulling credit. Let’s just remember how many credit invisible, thin-file members with no credit, or thick-file people that truly need these loans will be excluded if we use credit score. It’s a great start but they need to advance to really serve the market. If they really want to get small-dollar loans to the consumers that need it, they need to change their method.
Members: “Thin File” or “Thick File”
This is a great first-time opportunity for thin files. A thin file is typically a member that possesses no credit as they stand currently. Thick file is someone who has probably gotten into a little bit of trouble and hasn’t been able to manage their finances adequately. They would possess quite a bit more credit than a thin file. Small-dollar loans are a great opportunity to pull them back into the fold and begin to coach them into being able to have access to more affordable financial services.
QCash Financial has seen firsthand some of the benefits for thin/thick-file clients. At WSECU, a number of members are millennials whose parents were members initially. Ideally, part of their first loan would come from QCash as a way to solve a problem of, “Hey, my car engine blew up, and I need a new car engine,” or, “Hey, I have this medical situation, a dental emergency that I need to attend to,” or “Hey, I have this pet emergency that I’ve got to solve.” QCash would be the means through which they receive the necessary funds to deal with these emergencies.
Typically, from a younger perspective, it’s one of those emergency situations that says, “Where do I get money from?” People first go to their family, but if that’s not there, they’ll use a QCash small-dollar loan to do that. That’s where the member service reps will educate them and inform them of the product availability.
Ultimately, the hope is that QCash Financial will be able to provide small-dollar lending to all credit unions because it is a safer and more efficient process that is easy to implement.
If you’d like to read more about credit unions and small-dollar loan programs, follow the links below. Or, if you’re curious about how you can help your credit unions when they need you most, download our Member Crisis Guide.