A win for Financial inclusion for the ‘unbankable’
Jacaranda Finance founder wins Australian Young Entrepreneur Finance Award second year in a row.
After winning in the Professional Services category last year, Jacaranda Finance founder and CEO, Daniel Wessels, has won his second Australian Young Entrepreneur Award in what marks another big win for fintechs nation-wide.
Australia’s young business leaders were on full display last week at Business News Australia’s annual Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards. The Awards, which seek to unearth and celebrate Australia’s entrepreneurial talent, were the culmination of the city-based ceremonies held across the country earlier this year.
After winning in his local Finance category, Wessels beat out his fellow three finalists for the national title at the gala ceremony on Saturday. The recognition comes as Wessels’ company, Jacaranda Finance, continues to break ground within the online lending industry thanks to their innovative deployment of tech.
“In swapping out traditional legacy loan management systems for our proprietary program, we’ve streamlined the application process to satisfy the demands of tech-savvy, time-conscious consumers who are excluded from traditional finance,” said Wessels.
“This enables us to process thousands of personal loan applications per day, without compromising on responsible lending practices.”
In a time of increased misinformation and consumer mistrust in the finance sector, Wessels stressed the importance of marrying optimised tech with such practices.
“The impact of the of the Royal Banking Commission has sent shockwaves across the whole finance industry,” he said. “Even for non-traditional lenders like us, there’s an expectation when it comes to accountability and transparency.”
“Through machine learning systems like ours, we can accurately assess our customer’s viability, adhere to responsible lending obligations, and still provide the convenience our clients are searching for.”
Although there is a consensus among some consumer advocates that private lenders provide finance to those who are unable to afford it, the National Credit Providers Association (NCPA) says this is far from the case.
According to NCPA, in the last financial year consumers took out an average of 1.3 loans and, in 84% of cases, the repayments on these loans were successfully made on time.
According to NCPA Chairman, Michael Rudd, “The current laws that apply to payday lenders are working as intended as evidenced by the exceptionally low complaint rates.”
“The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) reported in their first six months of operations from 1st November 2018 of receiving 36,263 complaints. Just 115 were regarding small and medium loans providers, which is less than half of 1% of complaints”
Although the fintech industry is still relatively new within Australia, there is real confidence among the finance sector that technology is helping to shape a more positive future for the industry.
“Ten, even five years ago, there was hardly a fintech industry to speak of when it came to financial inclusion,” said Wessels. “Now, it’s different. Australia is at the forefront of innovations in fintech and new regulations around comprehensive credit reporting and instant banking are just the tipping point for opening new doors for consumers and business alike.”
“It’s truly never been a more exciting time to be in the fintech space!”
Ultimately, there are around three million people in Australia who are deemed ‘unbankable’ by traditional financial institutions. Yet, fintechs like Jacaranda Finance are enabling financial inclusion through advanced algorithms and machine learning.
While the fintech sector continues to evolve rapidly across the country, undoubtedly its entrepreneurs like Daniel Wessels that will be leading the charge for innovation.
Jacaranda Finance is an ASIC-regulated lender based in Brisbane that believes every Australian deserves a fair go at finance. For press enquiries contact email@example.com.
Australian Credit License number 456404.
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