Lendwise brings together students and investors into one, peer to peer, lending platform providing accessible funding for higher education.
The platform is built with a commitment to giving both borrowers and lenders a superior service, at a fair rate to ultimately help them achieve their goals.
Since launching in 2018, Lendwise has focussed on optimising operational aspects of the business to make access to finance as simple as possible for it’s majority millennial customer base. This includes the business’ approach to collecting the loan repayments.
Read on to find out more from Co-Founder Ioannis Georgiou.
A seamless payment experience
Lendwise has used GoCardless since launching in 2018. When Ioannis and his two business partners set up the company, they knew that choosing the right payment method was key:
We wanted a payment provider that meant once a customer was set up, it didn’t require any more action from them. We wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to make their repayments,” says Ioannis.
The pull based nature of Direct Debit makes it efficient for recurring loan repayments because the payments are taken automatically from the customers account, each time a payment is due.
Ioannis looked at various Direct Debit providers in the UK and decided on GoCardless, initially getting set up via the online dashboard, before building an integration with the API. Ioannis explains:
“We needed something reliable that could support us as we grow. Thinking ahead, we plan on expanding into other territories, so GoCardless’ international offering was a key factor too.”
The Lendwise team was able to quickly get up and running with the API and used the Sandbox environment to fully test the system before going live.
“The online documentation was really clear, even for me as someone who isn’t a developer. If we needed them, the support team was always on hand as well.”
Building customer relationships
With a student customer base, Lendwise needed something flexible to cover the occasions when payments failed due to insufficient funds. Although the failure rate associated with Direct Debit is already low, Lendwise has been using GoCardless' Intelligent Retries feature to make repaying the loans even easier and improve customer relationships.
The feature automatically retries failed payments up to three times, using smart technology to determine when the payment is most likely to be successful. For Lendwise, this has allowed the collections team to adapt the payment journey based on customers who intended to pay, and those who didn’t. Ioannis explains:
The customer is notified about the retry so it gives them time to put money in their account. After the automatic retries, we know we will have collected payment from anyone that was intending to pay.”
For those with intent to pay, this distinction is key because it means that the team can avoid chasing the payment, causing unnecessary friction in the relationship:
“Before, we would manually be chasing every failed payment in the same way. With GoCardless, we can avoid chasing and having those awkward conversations when we don’t need to – this lightens the workload for our collections team too.”
100% of Lendwise’ customers pay through GoCardless, and Ioannis is looking forward to continuing the partnership as the company grows:
“We are getting increased interest from foreign students, who will be looking to repay in their home currency after their studies. Being able to use GoCardless in these new regions will help us to expand more quickly.”