The traditional lending process was time-consuming as the time for credit appraisal and disbursal used to be around three to four weeks, and the average time for account/money processing used to be approximately 60 – 70 days. In the traditional lending process, customers have complained that due to 30 days of the moratorium, the EMI would have started way ahead of the lending amount credited in their account. Often, customers used to opt for 6o days of the moratorium to avoid the inconvenience.
Soon organizations realized the need for digitalization to reform the lending process. Leading banks worldwide adopted digital lending to slash down the processing time to 24-hours. Digitalization brought a transformative change to the entire lending process. There has been a significant shift in end-to-end credit journeys, including the customer experience. Digital transformation has supported the credit processes. Digital transformation has improved revenue growth and achieved significant cost savings.
Digital lending allows customers to submit loan applications online. From applications, to documentation, verification and amount credited to your bank account, the entire process is carried out on mobile applications, and it takes less than a day to credit the principal amount to the customer’s bank account. From three weeks and 60-days, the time to cash is now reduced to 24-hours.
Rising customer risk in digital lending
Banks are enhancing the process by adopting paperless loan approval. They are automating the entire process to improve time and quality. But digital advancement has its own limitations. There is a rising concern for customer risk associated with digital lending. Customers share account details, personal information, credit history, and more on these applications. Hence, organizations must ensure that they maintain the stability, security, performance, and accessibility of these platforms.
The organizations are currently digitizing the credit and lending process. The banks are focusing more on improving customer experience by reducing the time taken for lending process. While organizations reduce the lending time, there is a major concern arising from customer risk. Let us look into the types of customer risks associated with the digital lending process.
- Multi-layered transaction process – The digital lending transacti0n is multi-layered as various lending services are outsourced to different entities. Multiple Fintech companies operate behind the operation to create a platform for transactions. As the customer uses these tech platforms for transactions, it becomes increasingly complicated in the cases of grievance redressal, like who will address the customer complaints, what actions should be taken and by whom to ensure that the services are more effective.
The platforms are integrated by embedded finance that forms a layer of services by different fintech modules. These platforms also work based on an algorithm that matches borrowers to lenders. While this algorithm creates efficiencies because several activities are performed simultaneously in a broader lending spectrum by outsourcing it to many Fintechs, there can also be certain drawbacks. If the borrower has appointed a defaulter as a guarantee, Fintech will address the loss. However, at the time of collection, customers will face many challenges.
- Irregularity in information during loan origination process – The terms and conditions in the lending process are lengthy. The lending process becomes complex because not all organizations will have similar terms and conditions; some will have more than others. It increases the customer risk because customers may not have thorough knowledge and understanding of the repayment terms while signing the loan agreement. The customers may not comprehend the information like the interest rate, processing fees, overdue charges, annual percentage rate and more if not informed by the lenders. They would also not know the consequences of repayment delay, credit score impact, and implications of NPA.
Customers are also not aware of the payment recovery actions that organizations adopt. All this inadequate information makes borrowers make uninformed choices and affect their credit ratings. The loan disbursal is quick in digital lending, but without adequate information about the charges and consequences of non-repayment, the risk will increase.
- Effects on unfavourable credit history – The previous point brings me to the current one that if the customers are not informed about the adversities of repayment delay or repayment overdue for months, it will affect their credit records. Most customers are not even aware that non-repayment or delays can affect their credit eligibility for future loans. Once the credit score is evaluated low, the customers must take multiple measures to rectify them or obtain credit approval to avail future loans. A low credit profile can lower the credit records making it difficult to apply for a new loan.
- Lack of communication and transparency on assessment of creditworthiness – Digital lending, unlike the traditional lending process, which follows a thorough process of evaluation of customers’ credit profiles, does not engage in interaction with the customers, which is a requirement to analyse the customers’ creditworthiness. Digital lenders spend a lot of time on automated IVR, text messages, and social media advertisements to create awareness and push their services. Borrowers are not even aware of how the lenders have procured their contact details and credit history. It is not even clear how the lenders have evaluated the credit eligibility of borrowers. It creates a lot of confusion regarding whether it is spam or a genuine approach.
Like traditional lending, digital lending also considers two important aspects of the lending process; the customer’s willingness to pay and the ability to pay. While the first intention is evaluated through the customer’s previous credit history, the second intention is evaluated by the customer’s salary credited in the bank account, debit and credit history, investments, liabilities, and more. While applying for a loan, the digital lenders request access to contact details saved on customers’ phones. The lenders use this alternate data model to cross-verify borrowers’ credibility and positive intentions.
- Lack of suitable assessment device – It is easy to avail of loans digitally as the processing is quick. But there is a lack of borrowers’ credit worthiness assessment that complicates the entire lending process. Often lenders provide top-up loans based on the timely repayment by the borrowers without a suitable assessment. This added loan sometimes may not flow well with the borrowers, and they may end up in high overdue.
The overdue reason could be the high-interest rates imposed within a short loan tenure. Several instances in the past highlighted that customers ended up being loan defaulters, and organizations had to contact them and force them to repay the loans. The collection process in digital lending happens digitally (mostly auto-debit). If customers miss one EMI, it will lead to a serious outcome, and lenders might look for alternative ways to recover the loans. Both borrowers and lenders face harassment.
- Lack of grievance redressal – Digital lending lacks promptness in addressing customer complaints. In fact, the grievance redressal is not as quick as the loan disbursal process in digital lending. It also lacks transparency for customers, which their trust in digital lending. The digital lending ecosystem evolves multiple service layers offered by many fintech, making the customer interaction complicated and confusing and finally leading to failed redress. For most lending fintech, the only option for redressal is either through an integrated chatbot or WhatsApp chat sessions, which have certain limitations and do not always suggest adequate information. All these increase the intensity of redressal issues, and customers face problems.
- Risk of compromised personal data – The unique selling feature of digital lending is how they gain access to customers’ personal data and use these alternate data for customer onboarding and credit appraisal processes. But it can be equally detrimental if the data points are sourced from external data agencies. Sometimes the borrowers sign two agreements in case the digital lending happens through a third-party service provider. In the above kind of agreement, the first signed agreement would be between the borrower and the lending app, where the lending app would be entitled to a different entity. This structure allows the third party to gain access to customer data to collect all necessary information. These sourced data can be misused without the knowledge of the customers.
Why testing is an important digital lending platform?
Let us consider a scenario; you enter all your details, and suddenly the application stops responding with a notification message for you to close the application. You have to turn off the application, unaware of whether the application has recorded the details you have already entered. Or, you upload your documents and click your image, but the image does not get saved. The digital lending platform might have to contact the customer to inform about the missing information and ask them to upload all details again. Customers relate to the digital lending platform because of its seamless functionalities, easy navigation, superior performance, and security. If any of these is compromised and has errors, customers would not think twice about discontinuing using the application.
As per a report in Statista, “Digital lending is one of the fastest-growing fintech segments in India and grew exponentially from nine billion U.S. dollars in 2012 to nearly 110 billion dollars in 2019. It is expected that the digital lending market would reach a value of around 350 billion dollars by 2023”. We can imagine the growth of digital lending in the upcoming years with a 13.5% CAGR. The projected data give us an idea that the number of the digital lending platform will increase, which implies that it would need rigorous testing to ensure that the platform is top-notch without any technical errors. Each Fintech must also ensure that no organization loses their business to their competitors due to technical glitches of applications.
Let us investigate how efficient testing can improve the digital lending experience.
- UI/UX and integration – Customers seek platforms that are easy to use and navigate. Testing can evaluate a clean UI design and integration point to ensure that the customers enjoy a seamless experience of the lending platform.
- Performance – It is a massive turn off for customers if the application stops responding or if there is a performance error. Performance testing can ensure that the digital platform eliminates the possibilities of performance issues in the lending application.
- Accessibility and functionality – Customers relate to applications with easy accessibility and functionalities. They will not prefer using an application filled with features and functionalities. It confuses customers with the click-boxes and fields that do not allow them to navigate through the window command. Functionality testing helps detangle the application so that customers can easily access the applications and ensure that the platform performs at an acceptable standard.
- Security – Security is an important aspect of a digital lending platform. Customers share data with an expectation that the platform will maintain customer data confidentiality. The digital lending platform must ensure that the security of borrowers’ details is not compromised. Security testing can ensure that digital lenders maintain data security under the proper protocol.
- Regression – Changes, modifications, and addition to the digital platform are extremely frequent. Each change implemented in the application can harm the entire application functionality if not validated properly. Regression testing ensures that the new features are integrated adequately and correctly without disrupting the previous application features and functionalities.
Conclusion – Test automation is an effective solution to scrutinize the workflow of digital lending systems workflows. It validates the end-to-end process and saves time and effort for each implementation. Digital lending platforms have a high degree of inter-connectedness, which requires repeated testing to minimize manual efforts and achieve optimal coverage.
At Yethi, constantly upgrade and update your LOS and digital lending platforms to make them flexible and agile. The major challenge in testing these systems includes usability, performance, security, UI/UX, and Configuration. With Yethi’s robotic, 5th generation codeless test automation solution, Tenjin and deep domain expertise, the experts address the above challenges. Our team help banks and financial institutions drive their testing operation and ensure that their customers achieve their business goals within the stipulated timeline. Our intuitive solution – Tenjin, reduces 60-70% testing turnaround time.