Lime Credit Group is a technology-driven financial services group providing credit to consumers in a number of geographies. The Lime Group’s lending platform comprises a number of international financial services businesses trading under the Lime Credit (or its local language equivalent) brand name. Lime Credit’s lending products assist under-banked consumers around the world to expand their purchasing power and to manage their short-term cash flow needs.
While the Lime Credit business has primarily focused on short-term single-payment loans to consumers, Lime Credit Group’s vision is to unlock the purchasing power of the billions of consumers across the world who are not well served by traditional brick and mortar financial services. Lime believes that given the availability of mobile connectivity and data sources today, people shouldn’t have to stand in line at the bank or have to be physically present to get things done. The way Lime sees it, as long as people have internet access, they have financial options.
The Lime Credit on-line lending platform is completely automated and available 24/7 for our clients’ convenience. Lime Credit’s algorithmic approach to underwriting was originally designed to synthesize credit scores for its many cash and credit-constrained applicants who didn’t have a traditional credit agency score or who had little prior experience with credit. Lime scores applications on thousands of data points including information provided by the applicant, credit agency and other commercially available database sources, as well as behavioral data.
Clients are underwritten for loan amounts, terms, and interest rates based on credit scoring models. Returning clients are rewarded with lower interest rates, longer loan terms, and are offered other credit products such as installment plans and revolving credit. Ultimately, Lime Credit Group intends to provide their clients with access to the financial tools they need to expand their purchasing power and to manage their financial lives outside of the traditional banking model.
Since its founding in 2013 by Alexey Nefedov and Stanislav Sergushkin, Lime Credit Group have scored hundreds of thousands of loan applications, issued 100,000 loans to 30,000 customers, and have grown to a team of over 70 employees in eight countries. The Group is profitable and its profits have been invested in scaling the delivery platform through geographical expansion.
Today, Lime operates in six countries and actively lends in three – Poland, South Africa, and Russia. Lending operations in Mexico are on track to launch before the end of 2016. Of course, scoring algorithms are tuned to fit each country, but the fundamental relationships between data points exist everywhere, and Lime has proven that its model is portable.
Short-term unsecured personal loans are not permanent solutions to our clients’ financial needs – they know it and we know it. That’s why Lime’s offering grows with our clients. As we get better at scoring, and our customers learn more about how access to credit can improve their lives, Lime broadens its offering to fit the needs of its clients. Beyond just better interest rates and longer lending terms, prepaid cards, installment plans for major purchases, and revolving credit all give Lime’s clients better tools to manage their financial lives. The typical first step for Lime Clients is a shift from single payment loans to installment plans.
But Lime can only do what it does by keeping costs low and the process automated. Lime does not intend to become a full service bank or to take client deposits. Regulatory requirements – usually in place to protect depositors – increase costs and slow the pace of business. This is clearly not in the best interest of Lime or of its clients. Further, secured consumer lending – a huge and generally stable market across the world – requires original documents, physical signatures, and often the involvement of lawyers and notaries – all of which disrupt the smooth, on-line, instant service that Lime’s clients appreciate. But, Lime wants to be a permanent part of its clients’ lives, and so intends to make other credit products (secured lending) available through its partner network.
Lime’s proprietary scoring algorithms provide useful information regarding applicant tendencies and creditworthiness no matter what credit product is on offer, so Lime expects that there is a market for its scoring and reviews with other lenders or financial partners. Firstly, Lime will explore offering its scoring and reviews to groups who have not traditionally had access to standard credit reports: individual landlords and small businesses. In markets where Lime works, similar services from other providers are already available to larger landlords and businesses, but not at pricing or in packages that make it worthwhile or affordable for individuals or smaller groups.
Lime make responsible lending decisions and we expect that our clients will likewise make responsible borrowing decisions. To that end, Lime is committed to complete pricing transparency. Clients know the full cost of borrowing before they complete their application and we remind them again before we issue their loan. But the commitment to pricing clarity doesn’t end there. Lime supports a number of local business and financial education initiatives.
Making loans to people who cannot repay them is not Lime’s business and is not in the interest of the clients whom we serve