New technologies for verification of income and employment are sideswiping traditional methods, unleashing a host of financial opportunities for the frequently underserved. At the same time, consumers remain in control of their personal data and to whom they grant permissioned access. Zach Lee, Atomic’s Product Manager over Data Products, spills the details on what Atomic’s Verify solution is and how consumers are benefiting from these latest advances in VOI/E with direct payroll integrations.
Q: How can Atomic’s new Verification of Income/Employment technology benefit me as a consumer?
A: VOI/E solutions like Atomic’s Verify allow lenders to access real-time information about a consumer’s income and employment status. At the same time, our solution enables a cash-flow based risk model that can benefit people who don’t have a credit score (known as “credit invisibles”), or those who have slim credit files (called “thin-file consumers”) by giving them access to loans they’re typically turned away from. Often, younger generations, immigrants or those just starting to bounce back on their feet financially, fall in these categories. Credit invisible consumers can also include those who have a strong financial history in another country that’s inaccessible or inapplicable in the United States.
Q: Does Atomic’s Verify solution allow me to stay in control of my data?
A: Yes. Atomic’s Verify solution is consumer permissioned, meaning you, the consumer chooses to grant access to your payroll data specifically for verification purposes. You have the authority to opt-in and share this information. Unfortunately, many other VOI/E methods are conducted without consumer permission or knowledge. And in some cases, consumer data is sold from one company to another – yikes. With solutions like Verify, consumers are more aware of data privacy while maintaining power over which information about them is shared.
Q: How can lenders use my income data to help build my credit history?
A: Lenders can use VOI/E data to offer loans based on a cash flow model to those who may not traditionally qualify for a loan based on credit score alone. Once the loan is established, the lender reports repayment history back to the credit bureaus. If you, the borrower, make all loan payments on time, this will positively influence your repayment history and improve your credit score. Some Atomic customers have taken it a step further by combining Verify with our direct deposit switching product called Deposit. Here’s how that works: They use Verify to qualify a borrower for a loan. Then they leverage Deposit to set up a direct deposit and automatically apply a portion of the borrower’s paycheck toward the loan each pay cycle. Timely payments using this structure help build consumer credit history with no manual efforts or intervention.
Q: How does automated VOI/E mitigate fraud for me as a borrower and for the lending institution?
A: Consumers want to do business with companies that they feel confident can keep their data secure. With an automated solution, lenders can maintain complete transparency that they’re going to require direct payroll access. This immediately deters consumers looking for an easy target. Meanwhile, first-party fraud is also significantly reduced when you go from paper to a consumer credentialed source of truth. W2s, 1099s, and paystubs can easily be fabricated through Google or editing software.
Q: Does VOI/E help open up financial opportunities and services for borrowers?
A: Absolutely. Anytime you introduce a solution that lowers the barriers of entry, you’ll stir competition and open up opportunities. A huge segment of the U.S. population is considered credit invisible or thin-file, meaning they’ve had limited or no access to lending options. The more solutions we can make accessible to these populations, the better for them and lenders.
Atomic’s mission is to help the most financially vulnerable consumers in our society, including those who have limited or no access to traditional means of banking, financing, and credit. With Verify, Atomic helps lending institutions better service these populations. Interested in learning how your company can help better serve customers with Verify? Schedule a demo today.