The real-time economy is all around us. With the swipe of a finger, we can order a car, find a babysitter or make a mortgage payment. At the heart of this revolution is the smartphone — a whopping 97 percent of Americans between 18 and 44 own one. This makes the smartphone the single most ubiquitous piece of consumer technology in the United States today. But for all the sectors it has transformed, consumer credit — and the lending experience overall — sadly hasn’t been one of them. That changes today, with the launch of Experian’s Text for CreditTM.
In the past, obtaining credit was a tedious and often frustrating experience. Let’s use buying a car as an example. After test-driving a few makes and models, you’ve finally settled on the perfect car — an SUV, perhaps. You head to the dealership and then fill out page after page of personal information to prove your creditworthiness. Finally, after what can sometimes be hours, you’re (hopefully) approved. Not only does this take up valuable time, it also makes it less likely you’ll shop around for the best deal. On top of this, you’re sharing sensitive personal financial details with a complete stranger and leaving a paper trail.
Text for Credit solves for these issues. And it’s as simple as it sounds:
- When seeking credit, you text a keyword such as “CREDIT” to a number supplied by a business, the same way some retailers now allow consumers to “text to buy.”
- Within seconds, you’ll receive a text message response that takes you to a hosted website where you can review credit offers, apply and receive an instant decision. In most cases, you’ll be recognized by your device’s credentials, which lets you avoid filling out a lengthy credit application.
- If approved, you’ll have real-time access to the credit via a barcode or account details sent to your device.
To develop Text for Credit, we thought about consumers’ biggest concerns when applying for credit.
In a July 2017 Experian survey, consumers most frequently cited privacy as a top concern. This was followed closely by the time it takes to apply. Lengthy application processes are such a challenge, in fact, that one in 10 consumers surveyed said they have simply walked away from a purchase because the application process was taking too long. Perhaps more frustrating, roughly the same number have given up because the person in front of them was going through a lengthy credit application process. Text for Credit addresses these concerns by using sophisticated mobile security techniques to verify identity and provide an almost instantaneous credit decision, alleviating potentially dirty looks from your fellow shoppers in line.
Obtaining credit should never be done impulsively or recklessly, but it shouldn’t be needlessly complicated, either. Smartphones and the real-time economy are making countless facets of our lives more efficient and allowing us to dedicate our precious time to pursuits that matter to us. Text for Credit harnesses the power of mobile and real time to make stress-free credit a reality.