Technological advancement and the emergence of digitalization have changed the dynamics of the finance sector. Once only limited to the long ques and tokens, today, the finance sector has moved to the digital giant. The journey from cashbooks and registers to the internet and mobile banking finance space has seen a revolutionary shift. The strides that technology has taken, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet-of-things, etc., are exploring new horizons for finance space.
This shift in the working culture gave birth to the new normal, i.e., fintech. Fintech firms are currently at the forefront of the sector, focused on the primary goal of making money management easier and more efficient. Looking at this ever-growing sector, many companies started their endeavor in the fintech market. One prominent name in that list is FinMkt, which delivers customizable technology solutions for sale financing and loan originations.
In an interview with Insights Success, Luan Cox, the CEO, and Founder of FinMkt, sheds light on the inception of her company, its values, and the future of the fintech market.
Please brief our audience about FinMkt, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the financial services space.
FinMkt is an award-winning SaaS provider of BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) and Point of Sale (POS) financing technology. We are revolutionizing BNPL and consumer financing through our API-driven, multi-lender, omnichannel, highly customizable, and scalable SaaS platform. A key differentiator of our technology is that it is designed to support multiple lenders and products in one seamless real-time consumer experience. This provides a full credit spectrum solution with much higher approval rates than single lender solutions.
We enable more banks, credit unions, and non-bank lenders to enter the BNPL consumer financing space and empower merchants with more products, providing borrowers across the credit spectrum fair access to a range of financing options. Vertical and product agnostic, our technology can be leveraged in eCommerce, healthcare, home improvement, and retail. Anywhere a sale takes place, FinMkt’s technology facilitates safe and secure financing and payments.
What other services/solutions do FinMkt offer, and how are these making an impact on the industry and your clients?
FinMkt offers a complete end-to-end or modularized SaaS solution that is completely customizable and globally scalable. Banks, credit unions, manufacturers, and merchants can virtually leverage any piece of our state-of-the-art technology across all channels with any financial product. Essentially, our SaaS solution has no limits in its application.
Because of the platform’s plug-and-play functionality, it is adaptable across consumer financial products, including but not limited to BNPL, POS loans, insurance, mortgages, and other consumer loan products. Our solution supports merchant and consumer underwriting, merchant monitoring, seamless API and lender integration, payment processing, and funds disbursement.
In addition to our point-of-sale financing platform, we also own and operate Lendvious, an online lending marketplace offering direct-to-consumer cash loans from top online lenders. Consumers can use Lendvious to browse and compare pre-qualified loan offers without affecting their credit. Our flexibility and breadth of offerings enable us to provide our clients with the financing solutions they need, accompanied by unparalleled white-glove service and support.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on what impact has the adoption of modern technologies such as AI, big data, and machine learning had on the finance niche and what more could be expected in the future?
There continue to be lots of buzz surrounding AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning – and for a good reason. Buzz words aside, the algorithms which power this technology are already revolutionizing so many industries, and financial services are no exception. The way in which AI can power automation is really just beginning to be fully realized. Intelligent automation is a game-changer for financial services across all verticals, from wealth management to lending.
Data-driven decisioning models, utilizing both traditional and non-traditional data elements, enable financial institutions to automate processes and decisions which used to take hours or days. This not only increases operational efficiency (time/money) but, more importantly, can greatly improve customer experience. For financial institutions to fully succeed in leveraging AI, it needs to be embedded in the capability stack. This will help deliver better solutions and experiences at scale.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face, and how did you drive FinMkt to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
In a way, our platform was already designed to meet the challenges faced by companies during the pandemic. When designing FinMkt’s technology, the team focused on developing a product that would be highly customizable for merchants and lenders alike as well as highly adaptable to changes in the market. The technology is omnichannel and built to accommodate all verticals and lending partnerships with seamless integration.
As a fintech company, FinMkt is able to be nimble and adapt to market changes in real-time. As changes in the market and consumer demand occur, FinMkt quickly and effectively integrates new technologies to its platform. In the past, this has included card processing and prescreened applications. Fully agile and able to develop enhanced technology on demand, FinMkt had already added innovative features to its platform when consumer demand for contactless point of sale financing and payments exploded after the outbreak of COVID-19.
FinMkt not only paved a pathway for banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders to quickly and seamlessly enter the rapidly growing point-of-sale financing marketplace but empowers lenders to become industry leaders with perpetual innovation demanded by an ever-evolving marketplace.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the financial services space?
Fintech is a complicated and challenging industry because you have the convergence of finance and technology. One of the biggest things to recognize when you are building a company is that you can’t do it all by yourself. It is incredibly important to surround yourself with a great team. And not just in terms of your co-founders and whom you have within your company as teammates, but also the investors you bring on.
You want to make sure you have investors that will help you, support you, and cheer for you because there will be more down days than up days. You want a team around you that will be with you through the good and the bad. People who will pick you up and dust you off during the rough times and be your cheerleader when things are good.
It is also important for budding fintech companies to develop good partnerships. Find leaders in your industry to partner with and gain their support; learn from them. Use your past experience as a springboard to build something to improve that space, whether it is lending, brokering, banking, etc. And also, be willing to be flexible and listen to others.
How do you envision scaling FinMkt’s operations and offerings in 2021?
We have some very exciting announcements coming in the following months. Our team has been hard at work on new lender integrations that will set FinMkt up to transform healthcare and home improvement financing, bringing more industry-disrupting financial products to market for consumers across the credit spectrum. In addition, we are working on projects that will further cement our footprint in retail and eCommerce. We continue to build out the team and will announce the appointment of some new senior staff later this year.
About the Leader
Luan Cox is the founder and CEO of FinMkt, a best-in-class multi-lender platform, and point of sale solution that has processed billions in loan application volume since launching in 2016. Ms. Cox is a seasoned fintech veteran going back to the mid-’90s in Silicon Valley. At that time, she joined a group of fintech pioneers that democratized access to stock quotes and ‘Wall Street Quality’ information to the masses via the web. Since then, she hasn’t stopped innovating and introducing revolutionary fintech products to the market.
Prior to the founding of FinMkt, Luan was General Manager and Co-Founder of Interactive Data’s Managed Solutions Group – Americas, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Stock point, and Executive Director of Partner Solutions for Quote.com. She is an alumna and advisor to the Springboard Accelerator, comprised of the world’s leading women-led media and technology companies, and is a Techstars mentor for its fintech accelerator.
In 2019, Luan was included in the NYC FinTech Women’s Inspiring Fintech Females list in recognition for her outstanding leadership and support of the community of women in financial technology. In September 2020, she again joined a prestigious list of female leaders, being named as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020 by the Financial Technology Report. And this year, she was named one of the Top 100 Women in Fintech by Fintech Magazine.
Under Luan’s leadership, FinMkt has grown from its humble beginnings in a small office in New York City to an international team of financial technology innovators. Still headquartered in NYC, the company has now added offices in Hyderabad, India, along with US team members working in California, Georgia, and Texas. Luan has led the team in stealthily building groundbreaking technology that is poised to power the world of financial products.
“In this retail revolution where consumers expect to buy anything anytime, our partnership with FinMkt allows us to meet our customers’ needs with exceptional technology. When we first connected with FinMkt, we were immediately impressed by the extraordinary speed, responsiveness, and agility at which they operate. FinMkt made integration seamless and frictionless, allowing us to leverage their technology with zero disruption.” – Larry Collins, CEO, HFS Financial
“FinMkt’s unique enterprise technology solutions and its deep bench of highly successful fintech leaders solve a huge problem for organizations looking to provide full credit spectrum lending options to customers. By working with banks and other traditional lenders, we believe FinMkt will be the backbone of innovation in helping these financial institutions become increasingly digitally-enabled and leverage best-in-class technology.” – Joe Maxwell, Managing Partner at FINTOP Capital
“It was essential we partner with a fintech innovator, like FinMkt, who could provide world-class technology and also assist us through every step of the integration process, including training for our team and our users. Every challenge along the way has been met and solved with incredible creativity and swiftness. FinMkt’s dedication and passion surpassed our expectations.” – Stephen Galvin, CEO, US Credit