With the rapid evolution of technology, many consumers often find it difficult to keep on top of the latest platforms available to them. From online banking and shopping to live sports updates, the apps and platforms aimed at enhancing cost and convenience are endless.

Stiaan Dreyer, group IT executive at GetBucks, a leading responsible lender of credit in South Africa, says while consumers are often happy to try out online banking platforms from the four big local banks, they are more resistant to those available from other financial service providers, and thereby miss out on the numerous benefits available to them.

“Unfortunately with online fraud an ongoing reality, consumers are, and rightly so, hesitant to use financial platforms where fraudsters may gain access to their banking details. In addition to this many also find technology platforms intimidating and disregard convenience for peace of mind. However, both are entirely possible,” he comments.

Here Dreyer refers to Yodlee, a big data tool in which GetBucks has invested, to enhance customer experience during the affordability assessment process incumbent to local credit applications following the latest amendments to the National Credit Act (NCA).

“The tool is based on technology owned by Yodlee; an American listed Fintech company and is structured to deliver financial data from more than 14 000 global server points, including those of the local big banks. Within the financial services sector the core of every financial transaction and every financial decision is data. It is here that Yodlee provides us with an invaluable tool in terms of making informed decisions based on live data during the credit application process,” he explains.

When it comes to its functionality during the GetBucks credit application process, Dreyer says the platform is being used in the system and called GetBucks’s Secure Online Verification Tool to verify credit applicants’ income and expenditure.

“Yodlee follows industry best practices when it comes to security of data of its customers and therefore allows customers to securely login to their online banking platform directly from the GetBucks platform during the credit application process. By doing this GetBucks is presented with a dataflow of the latest 90-days of transactions allowing us access to an aggregated data flow of expenses and income. The data is then presented to the credit applicant for verification where data such as their monthly income or salary is confirmed,” he comments.

Dreyer says that while customers were sceptical to make use of the secure online verification tool at first, uptake continues to increase monthly. “Initially uptake was slow but through informing and educating customers that we are only able to view and cannot transact on their online banking platform, they are slowly realising the benefit of using the tool.

“Not only does it completely eliminate paperwork, with no documents having to be copied or scanned, but it also drastically speeds up the credit application process as the necessary financial information can be verified online in literally a couple of minutes. An additional benefit is that the information is fool proof as there is no opportunity for fraud,” he adds.

Going forward, Dreyer says there is a lot of additional functionality from which GetBucks plans to draw to enhance their online service offering.

“Unlike most other local credit providers, the GetBucks system is structured on service orientated architecture allowing us to include any API into our system.

“Thus as a system accepting of change, we have the capacity to seamlessly launch any additional functionality on our back-end system. Customers can therefore look forward to reaping the benefit of a lot more functionality