Blaine Stephens (MIX Market): A market lady needs a sum to invest in her business, pulls up her phone, checks her savings balance, realizes she’ll need a loan to supplement her available savings, will enter the amount needed for her loan, a set of local providers will pop up, she’ll filter for those who are Smart-Certified, she will then check client reviews of the providers (as one would for a restaurant, for example), then will check loan terms offered — including the price, calculated by MFTransparency — and finally, will go to her local broker to submit the loan application.
Hans Dieter Seibel (e-MFP): Do you think that’s realistic? When I need a loan, I go to a bank, where I’m known and I likewise know them. Can you really move that entirely onto a digital platform?
Stephens: I think the human element is still there — the bank is there behind the scenes, the broker is likewise a human link.
Seibel: But are agents (brokers) really the right way to go? In India, banks had a terrible experience with loan agents, whose incentives are after not at all aligned with either the client or the bank.
Stephens: Well, I’m not really an expert on agent lending.