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Laps-IT - Completing the Loan Cycle

Lending Software solutions delivers a new automated lending and credit decisioning platform to Places for People’s Financial Services.
Author: David Wylie

Places for People is one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK and owns or manages around 180,000 homes. It is made up of 20 different businesses, which includes its Financial Services company, and has assets in excess of £3.1 billion. Its products and services are socially and commercially driven. They are a business with a social as well as a commercial purpose, and corporate responsibility remains at the heart of what they do... Read More

As a not-for-dividend organisation, Places for People invests all its profit back into the business. This means it can sustain a wide range of activities that make a difference to people's lives. The Group believes in responsible business, and works hard to integrate responsible business principles into everything they do.

Its Financial Services business works with housebuilders, social landlords and the wider consumer market, specialising in giving people access to responsible, equitable and often life-changing financial products and services. It focuses on helping those who may be financially excluded or unable to borrow from traditional lending streams.



Origins

Since 2008 Lending Software Solutions (Laps-IT) had been offering automated lending and credit decisioning software in the online lending sector and were recognised as one of the leading providers. In 2015 Places for People Financial Services invited us to present our solution and proposals to them and after a review of many competitor platforms we were delighted when they commissioned our platform to be implemented in early 2016.



Requirements

Places for People Financial Services was operating a small but growing personal loans operation using a legacy software system and recognised that automation and clear underwriting and processing would be essential to cost effectively scale the business. As a lender with a strong social conscience and in order to give the fairest possible deal to their customers, their interest rates would be lower than the industry average so margins would be relatively tight. It was therefore necessary to have a loan management platform that would introduce considerable automation and intelligence so that staff recruitment could be kept to a minimum. The solution must also have a proven track record and pay close attention to security.



Approach

The Lending Software Solutions implementation team, headed by a client dedicated Project Manager, held several scoping and requirements gathering calls with the Financial Services operations team in order to fully understand what they were looking to achieve and within what timescale. This included extensive discussions about the desired automated credit risk engine rules, which 3rd party data services would be used, the loan model and the funding / collections practices. Based upon our extensive experience in the consumer lending space, Lending Software Solutions were able to make various recommendations to the client which addressed these areas. Rather than having to “reinvent the wheel” the client was then able to make modest amendments to our proposals, confident in the knowledge that they were following a largely tried and tested route.



Results

Places for People Financial Services successfully launched on time in early 2016 and have enjoyed solid performance and on-target triple-digit growth rates. By leveraging the system’s features which offer significant automation of credit decisioning and loan processing, they have been able to significantly increase business levels without increasing their head count. This has delivered a sustainable and scalable model that delivers the fairest lending rates to customers who in some cases may have resorted to borrowing from higher rate lenders.



Summary

The combination of highly automated decisioning and lending technology and our long industry experience delivered a highly satisfactory solution on budget and on time. The client has successfully migrated to our Laps platform with minimal business disruption and is enjoying the benefits of the decision taken to upgrade.

Places for People Financial Services chooses Laps-IT
Author: David Wylie

Laps-IT, the leading provider of automated decisioning and lending technology is delighted to welcome its latest customer - Places for People Financial Services... Read More

Part of the award-winning property and leisure management, development and regeneration company, Places for People, the financial services division offers unsecured personal loans and certain types of secured lending. It also recently received authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority for its consumer credit permissions.

Laps-IT, which has been providing innovation to the credit technology sector for the past 8 years, is supplying the systems which allow Places for People to offer online personal loans from £250 to £3,000 repayable over 6 to 36 months. The applications are handled via the Laps-IT proprietary auto decisioning technology, providing customer access 24 hours a day.

Commenting on the partnership, Victoria Drummond, Operations Manager at Places for People ,said: “We’re really excited to have launched our new online platform. The Laps- IT system removes the complexity associated with traditional loan application processes and means our customers can be told whether or not they’re eligible for a loan in a matter of minutes.” David Wylie, Managing Director at Laps-IT said, “We are honoured to be chosen by such a well recognised and professional organisation as Places for People and look forward to supporting them through this exciting development.

Laps-IT opens Australian office
Author: David Wylie

Laps-IT is delighted to announce that it has opened offices in Perth Western Australia as part of its expansion and increased commitment to the Australian lending sector... Read More

The company has distributed its loan management and decisoning software since 2009 but until recently all client support had been delivered from our head office in the UK.

The Australian market has grown steadily and its strategic importance to Laps-IT has been the driver to this decision.

As one of the industry leaders in the design and supply of lending software and auto-decisioning tools, Laps-IT has established a significant footprint in the Australian lending market and is helping lenders to innovate and improve efficiency. The Australian lending sector is highly competitive and highly regulated and as a result, margins are tight. It is therefore imperative that lenders introduce automation and efficiency in order that they can flourish by improving consumer experience and reducing operating costs.

Opening this first physical location in Australia demonstrates our long term commitment to the sector and illustrates to our customers that we are here for them and want to help them to grow.

Quidie partners with Laps-IT
Author: David Wylie

London based online lender Quidie has chosen Laps-IT as its technology partner in support of its proposed launch into the UK online payday and instalment sector. Quidie will initially offer a range of single repayment “payday” loans before launching a wider range of credit products (including instalment loans) later in 2015... Read More

Commenting on the news, The CEO of Quidie, Morisso Taieb, said, “We have spent most of 2014 researching the UK online lending market and sourcing the right technology partner. We were looking for a team with experience and a proven track record in our initial target market. After looking closely at all of the alternatives, Laps-IT stood out as the platform with the most comprehensive functionality. Moreover it has a team with extensive industry specific experience which demonstrated to us its ability to add significant value to our business. With innovation at the core of Quidie’s DNA, we needed a technology partner with the ability and desire to evolve with us. We consider Laps-IT to be that company.”

Banks and Credit Card firms blamed for Britain’s personal debt problems
Author: David Wylie

In a recent survey conducted on behalf of Channel 5 for their “Can’t Pay” debt debated aired on the 17th March 2014, 36% of respondents blamed banks and credit card firms for the ballooning personal debt problems facing hard pressed borrowers. But in a surprise to many observers of the results, the You Gov pole placed “Individuals” in a tightly fought 1st place with a narrow advantage of 38%, suggesting that a significant proportion of the British public are convinced that we all need to take more responsibility for our own decisions when it comes to borrowing responsibly... Read More

In an even more surprising turn of events, Payday Lenders were placed as the LEAST to blame for Britain’s debt problems with only 5% of respondents naming them. This will not come as a surprise to many people within the Payday lending industry who have long argued that payday loans represent a tiny fraction of the debt burden and the real damage to personal lives is being done by irresponsible mortgage, personal loan and credit card lending.

If we were to believe the media hype we may be forgiven for concluding that Payday lenders are running amok throughout Britain’s impoverished communities and preying on the vulnerable, but this survey of a sample 1826 adults conducted by the highly respected You Gov would appear to firmly dispel that opinion.

The results of the survey were aired during an hour long live televised debate on debt called The Big Can’t Pay Debt Debate Live, broadcast on Channel 5. During that same program the audience heard from a lady named as Debbie who had turned to a “friend” for help when she needed some short term financial help. Everyone listened intently as her story unfolded and she revealed how a £500 loan from a person she considered to be a friend, turned into a nightmare. Whilst trying to repay the loan she missed some payments and the debt ballooned, over a further (undefined) period of time she and her husband paid the “friend” who actually turned out to be a loan shark, £88,000. It was also revealed that according to the loan shark she still owed them a further £40,000. Debbie described how she had been unable to heat her house or feed her children whilst “every penny earned by her and her husband went straight to him [the loan shark]” and tragically she even contemplated suicide due to the stress and threats she and her family were receiving.

Congratulation to the producers of this program for highlighting the plight of some of the most hardpressed members of society and also for cutting through the warped political agenda to get at the truth behind the rhetoric.

Laps IT, finalists in the Credit Today Technology Awards 2012
Author: David Wylie

Lending Software Solutions (T/A Laps-IT) is delighted to be named as one of the five finalists in the Credit Today awards 2012 "Best Use of Technology - Consumer" category. Laps-IT offers market leading online and storefront lending software to around 50 lenders based mainly in the UK and also in Australia and New Zealand. Having grown rapidly over the past three years amidst stern competition, the Laps-IT product range has shown that it resonates positively with its target market and has quickly become the product of choice in this rapidly growing sector. By combining the Laps-IT platform with the unique DAS functionality (see www.lendingmetrics.com) the company believes that the combined offering stood out to the judges when being assessed for the final shortlist... Read More

Commenting on the news, David Wylie the company’s Managing Director said “we are thoroughly delighted simply to have been recognised by the judges in this way and no matter what happens on the night we already feel like winners. We are a relatively young company and we have faced a number competitive challengers in this fast moving sector over the past few years, but our product has stood out, our client base has continued to grow and our platform has quickly evolved to maintain the standard for others to follow”

The winners are announced on the 10th May 2012 during the annual Credit Today Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London (see http://www.credittodayawards.co.uk/)

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