Nesta will deliver the Affordable Credit Challenge, announced in Budget 2018 and backed by HM Treasury. The Challenge will open for applications in summer 2019, with participants selected in autumn 2019 and winners announced in spring 2020.
The challenge will support fintech/community lender partnerships developing innovative technological solutions that address challenges faced by community lenders in serving their customers. It will award equity-free cash prizes to fintechs and community lenders working together to make credit more affordable and accessible. It is an opportunity for fintechs to help change the personal lending market for the better through partnering with community lenders.
Background & opportunity:
Community lending by credit unions and other responsible lenders is a significant market comprising over £1 billion worth of loans annually and serving almost 2 million people. Community lenders compete directly with better resourced, more tech-enabled competitors like payday lenders, which alone lend £1.3 billion annually to 1.7 million people, charging interest rates averaging 1,250%. Many more people turn to unregulated lending.
Nesta has just started its work and over the coming weeks will engage with fintechs and community lenders to finalise the design of the Challenge and to help facilitate fintech/community lender partnerships.
Nesta wants to hear from fintechs across the UK. They invite you to take part in a short survey to register your interest in the Challenge and receive further communications about it. It should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. To complete the survey and register interest in the Affordable Credit Challenge, please click here.