My Community Finance revolutionises access to ethical financing
UK-based My Community Finance (MCF) is a loan broker and IT provider to credit unions. MCF gives savers and borrowers access to ethical lenders through its Community Finance Network, a platform dedicated to community building and fair pricing.
In the past, the majority of UK borrowers used to gloss over credit unions, by and large a sector considered backwater banking. In reality credit unions typically offer lower fees, higher savings rates, and a more bespoke approach to customer service.
Realising the untapped potential of these lenders, My Community Finance set out to give all borrowers access to fairly priced and ethical financial products.
Today MCF offers front to back integrated software solutions, market access, loan processing, risk and data management and reporting, machine learning tools for payments, and much more.
Tobias Gruber, CEO and co-founder of My Community Finance says, “We want to build a better financial future with a focus on communities. Our credit unions are the fastest growing lenders for unsecured personal loans in the UK, and we truly believe that UK’s credit unions can grow to a similar size as they are in the US, Canada, Australia and Ireland, where they have nearly 40% of the personal loan market.”
- Established in 2016
- 100% digital offering
- 90 employees
- 30,000 members
- Processing 400,000 loan applications per month
- Issued more than £200,000,000 of loans
Due to their small size and the mutual nature of the credit union sector, lenders have no resources to invest in modern IT infrastructure and expensive core banking systems. They tend to run on outdated technology, a key reason behind their inability to grow and scale.
MCF was looking for ways to empower the credit unions to make their products and services visible to their target audiences. “Our goal was to give credit unions visibility and get them onto all major UK loan aggregator sites,” explains Gruber. “Credit unions help people with non-prime credit scores or damaged credit scores get better rates, which in turn allows them to improve their credit standing.”
To bring this vision to life, MCF first had to migrate from Curtains, their previous financial management platform, which is popular among the British credit unions, yet not fit-for- purpose. MCF wanted to scale and adapt their offering quickly and easily and therefore decided to take the cloud approach.
The team went to market to find a new solution, and in July 2016, finally began their cloud journey. MCF chose Mambu because of the robustness of the system, security, ease of use and support. Gruber adds, “Mambu supported all the products we needed. The platform is intuitive and easy to integrate with other third party services.”
The initial implementation of Mambu took only three weeks, with a team of three people. Once the transfer of the loan and deposit books were completed, the accounting ledger implemented and products created, MCF started building a custom orchestrator using Rest APIs. The initial, very simple version of this orchestrator took six month and a team of eight people to build.
MCF has since built a robust microservices technology platform and data architecture around Mambu, Salesforce and AWS, allowing efficient straight through processing for the majority of loan and deposit applications.
“We chose Mambu because of their origins in the micro lending space. Besides, their ethos aligned closely with the credit union sector, and Mambu offered us a deal that allowed us to get superior technology at a reasonable price,” says Gruber.
Providing reliable, future-proof services for both borrowers and lenders is a responsibility that MCF takes very seriously. And with Mambu, it’s transformed internal architecture and operations to give customers the best possible experience.
“Thanks to our partnership, we’ve been able to give the credit unions access to Mambu, a state-of-the-art cloud banking platform. We truly believe that Mambu is the enabler for the exceptional growth our credit unions have seen. They are the fastest-growing and largest credit unions in the UK focussing solely on personal unsecured loans and deposits.”
With Mambu, MCF can not only scale easily, but it also helps reduce Opex and streamline processes. With a more productive team and smoother processes, MCF is well positioned to grow its customer base without further increasing headcount.
The credit unions on the MCF platform offer their products to anyone in the UK and for the first time, they are visible on all major UK loan aggregator sites.
“The advantage of Mambu was that we could use it without any additional tech and without having to worry that there would be regulatory issues. We started as a very small credit union with a balance sheet of less than £500k. Mambu was affordable, and we could slowly build and integrate our own IT infrastructure over time. The impact has been transformational. We have managed to move the credit unions on our platform to compete with the best in the market and are on track to be one of the largest non-prime lenders in the UK,” Gruber summarises.