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Lending Briefing: Alternative data powering SMB lending, and the top US consumer lenders

  • Alternative data has been among the major driving factors for the rising interest in SMB lending, and fintechs are increasingly dominating the market.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs has ranked highest among personal loan lenders in overall customer satisfaction, according to a new study.
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Lending Briefing: Alternative data powering SMB lending, and the top US consumer lenders

Alternative data is powering SMB lending

Historically, the small business sector has been difficult to underwrite through traditional methods, but its complexities are starting to be understood through the power of alternative data. 

SMBs are still struggling to get financing from big banks – only 15% get approved for a loan. They are regarded as high risk and expensive to underwrite, and credit reporting agencies don’t focus much on this sector. The data that was available mostly revolved around accounting and banking records. 

But now there’s alternative data – information sourced from a variety of external resources, like market economic indicators, demographic data, POS transactions, website and mobile device data, and even satellite imagery. 

Alternative data has been among the major driving factors for the rising interest in SMB lending. In 2020, the US was the largest market for alternative financing.

 


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