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Unlocking Financial Inclusion: How Sunbit and TransUnion Are Shaping the Future of Consumer Finance

Medium

The Sunbit/TransUnion alliance delivers on inclusivity and real-world impact. The partnership helps individuals across the credit spectrum access financial solutions for everyday needs.

A conversation between Bill Walsh (Sunbit’s CCO) and Liz Pagel (SVP and Consumer Lending Leader, TransUnion)

Why is this the right partnership at the right time?

Bill: You know, in the consumer finance space, there is a lot of talk about being inclusive and doing what’s right when interest rates are low and venture capital is flowing. But when things get tough, the banking and finance industry often shuts out those needing help the most, leaving them with limited options.

Sunbit was created to challenge that norm and do better. Even when it gets complicated, we believe our technology can be used to get to “yes .” We’ve crafted innovative solutions, reaching over a million people last year.

Our partnership with TransUnion is exciting because we’ve found a like-minded partner who believes in innovation for good. As we deepened our partnership, we realized it’s not just about the products TransUnion offers; it’s about the people. This partnership is essential for Sunbit.

Liz: It’s fantastic to find a company that’s putting financial inclusion into action.

TransUnion’s strategy revolves around “information for good,” with financial inclusion as a core tenet. Sunbit meets consumers where they are, using data extensively to understand their needs and provide access to financial products when needed.

Understanding where consumers are and where they’re coming from is a key differentiator in TransUnion data. It’s not just about the consumer’s present but we can learn a lot from their trajectory to help them build their futures. By having this complete picture, we can create unique solutions for more people, especially those who have struggled in the past but are on the way up. TransUnion’s data and solutions give consumers credit for their efforts in improving their credit, helping them to build better lives.

Can you share some real world benefits consumers see as a result of this partnership?

Bill: Seeing the whole picture is powerful. We often receive stories from customers who faced challenges, and with our support, they’re on a different trajectory. Customers like Schepree Miles, a mother of a special needs child, was approved by our partner bank for dental financing to help her spread the cost of care over multiple payments. Without a partner like Transunion, it would be challenging for people like Schepree to access the care that she needed. We hear stories like this every day from people across the country. It’s these real-world impacts that make the partnership with TransUnion so significant.

This is about more than approval for a transaction; it is about seeing the average person’s potential beyond their credit score. It’s about using information for good in a broader sense. TransUnion provides a single source of validated, high-quality data that can be used by our bank partner, TAB, for loan decisioning. Together, TransUnion, TAB, and our merchant network, through Sunbit technology, meet consumers at the moment of purchase and provide them with more options on how to access their needs.

What comes next for the market?

Looking ahead, I’m optimistic about the future. Despite the challenges in 2023, 2024 will be a slow but careful comeback for consumers and credit. Sunbit technology is in the market, doing business and providing access to financial products where others can’t. The power of our data, coupled with TransUnion’s capabilities, positions us as an ongoing consumer resource.

Liz: There is no doubt that buy now, pay later is here to stay, serving a real need for consumers. It provides genuine value. We’re witnessing more activity in this space now than before. The challenge is to expand the convenience of buy now pay later beyond online purchases, making it accessible for everyday offline transactions, which is what Sunbit is known for.

Bill: Sunbit’s partnership with TransUnion is about meeting future needs, and I couldn’t think of a better partner for us. Their focus on a complete view, going beyond credit reporting, incorporating identity graphs, and understanding a person’s true identity is forward-thinking. This partnership challenges us to solve tomorrow’s problems with a mindset focused on where the industry is heading.

Liz: It’s about being close to the fintechs, understanding market needs, and innovating to stay ahead. I can attest that TransUnion values the insights and challenges presented by fintechs like Sunbit. This collaboration keeps us on our toes, pushing us to be better and innovate. The industry is evolving, and by staying close to fintechs, we ensure that we’re ahead of the curve and ready to address future needs.

Sunbit’s technology utilizes TransUnion’s robust data capabilities to gain insights into consumers’ historical and current financial situations. The collaboration is centered around leveraging this data to meet consumers at their current state, facilitating informed decision-making. All loans are made by TAB Bank.

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