Financial IT: Can you tell us more about ITSCREDIT and your background?
Filipe Catalão (FC): Applying for credit from a bank is traditionally a complex, paper-based process involving countless trips to and from a bank branch to obtain information and deliver and sign dozens of documents. This process brings unnecessary stress and strain at a very busy time.
The presence of banks in digital requires a constant adaptation to new business models, according to the profiles of a new generation of customers that privileges the relationship bank-customer in an intuitive, attractive, simple and fast online environment, without the bureaucracies often associated to traveling to the banks' physical branches. In the digital world the customer must be in control.
ITSCREDIT, was born in 2018 with the goal to simplify the credit process and ease people’s life the world over. Our Omnichannel Digital Lending Platform allows bank customers, in real time, to complete an online credit application process in minutes. They start by simulate the amount and term of a new loan and apply for it. After signing a contract, they can obtain its approval and the money is released. Taking place completely online, this can be made via computer, smartphone, or tablet.
We offer an Omnichannel Credit Platform that allows our clients to always be one step ahead of the competition, obtaining total control over the credit process.
ITSCREDIT Platform comprises four main modules:
- ITS Calculators is a unique and centralized calculator for all products and channels within the institution and related partners. Through its back-office catalogue is possible to manage product characteristics and price lists autonomously. Among other features, it’s able to perform custom simulations, store and save those simulations as assets.
- ITS Flowcredit is a loan origination system, 100% online, with automatic decision, for customers and non-customers and API availability for Open banking integration. With a complete parametrized system, our modular platform adapts to all types of business and credit, offering a product managing tool that allows business teams the ability to change product parameters easily.
- ITS Risk Analysis & Scoring is a fundamental tool to calculate Scoring and Rating of the clients. It gathers information from companies, corporate groups’ bank systems, national banks and documents uploaded online becoming an essential tool to analyze the credit risk and score of corporate and particular clients.
- ITS Collections provides a centralized management of credit in arrears including rehabilitation, specialized recovery, and write-off processes, providing automatic and manual communications through different channels with customers that overdue credit instalments as SMS, letters and phone calls.
These modules can be quickly integrated with all existing banking software systems and work independently or together. Taking place exclusively in a digital environment, our solution is highly configurable, reducing the distance and formalism between the banking institution and its clients.
By making digital and automating all these processes, our customers can establish a relationship that is much simpler and more immediate, meeting their customers’ expectations. A win:win scenario! Besides, our credit platform has already proved capable of providing a considerable increase in leads, an increase in the volume of loans and efficiency. At the same time, there were decreases in the waiting time for credit approval, a decrease in operating costs and a reduction in the time taken to launch new products.
Financial IT: How varied the impact of COVID-19 has been on fintech companies?
FC: In general, we believe that this crisis is an opportunity for fintech to gain preponderance. From ITSCREDIT perspective we were already prepared to have our people working remotely in both our internal developments and contact with clients. The fact that almost everything is being done remotely, further accelerates the widespread digital transformation in society.
Fintech that are very indexed to consumption may have been negatively affected, especially those related to tourism, transportation and other areas that have suffered major falls. However, e-commerce has seen a big increase, and this can benefit many fintech.
Financial institutions with this crisis must accelerate even more their digital model implying changes in areas such as means of payment, commercial management of clients, contracting and others. It has also become fundamental to digitalize the credit area, where ITSCREDIT with its platform has played a key role in this phase of COVID-19.
A topic of concern, is related to the investment cycle of potential clients that may shift their attention and delay the investments, resulting in being more difficult to close business. Besides, as it is ITSCREDIT’s scenario, one important part of Fintech business strategy is the presence in major events to generate leads but, as COVID cancelled all this events, that part is more difficult even though with the increase of digital events (mainly webinars).
Financial IT: In your opinion do all of them pass the "Digital Stress" test?
FC: Fintech, as technology companies, are much better prepared to pass the Digital Stress test. They have much more agility and adaptability than most traditional companies with a strong legacy.
Technology has proved to be one of the greatest foundations of society throughout the crisis, allowing millions and millions of people to continue their "normal" lives, without having felt any difficulty in any type of service including financial ones.
Moreover, as COVID cancelled all major events which allow Fintech to generate leads they had to adapt business strategy and go for a more digital approach as participate and create webinars.
Financial IT: What’s the role of ITSCREDIT in addressing the impact of COVID-19?
FC: The coming months will be tough for many businesses and banks will play an important role to stabilize the system for their customers, employees, and for the economy.
The current Covid-19 crisis is radically changing consumer behavior, pushing many to take all their banking needs online, which means that this investment in technology and processes to redefine business models, which were reactionary measures that had a lot to do with cost reductions, are now necessary for survival and a preventive measure to stop the contamination by the new virus.
ITSCREDIT offers an Omnichannel Digital Lending Platform which allows bank’s customers, in real time, to complete a credit application process from home in 20 minutes - helping them, in the current context, to comply with the government recommendations.
At the same time, as the effects of COVID-19 become more widespread and impactful, many banks and financial institutions are considering having their employees, work from home, which comes with unique performance and managerial challenges.
Our 100% Online Platform was already prepared to give banks total control over the Digital Lending process. As our four main modules - ITS Flowcredit, ITS Calculators, ITS Risk Analysis & Scoring and ITS Collections – can be quickly, easily and completely integrated with the existing lending workflows of a bank and its core system for the contextualization of the client and data import, all management can be easily done from home.
ITSCREDIT team started working remotely prior the lockdown because is something we are used to do with success. Remote work is being supported by the solutions and network architecture in place to allow resources to be securely accessed from anywhere, including VPN and remote desktop services. With these measures we are making sure everything goes as planned, keeping the efficiency our clients are used to!
Financial IT: What's next for ITSCREDIT?
FC: We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure banks an effective day-to-day operation, improving the credit process from the simulation all the way to the disbursement, to help them improve and excel during these difficult times.
Last year we increased the number of customers, reaching 13 banks within 3 continents (Europe, Africa and north America) but it is our goal to strengthen our presence and increase our client base in the American market.
We want to make our solutions known and position ourselves as world-class players in the development of software for credit solutions.
We don't want to follow the market; we want to establish it.
Filipe Catalão holds a degree in Systems and Computer Engineering from the University of Minho and has more than 20 years of software development experience in the Financial and Telecommunications areas. He was one of the ITSector’s board administrators, responsible for the development of the African Market and in 2020 he became ITSCREDIT's CEO.