Building an All Digital, Mobile-centric Lending Platform
By Don Shafer, Co-Founder + Chief Evangelist, Quilo
Thanks to Quilo for contributing to the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator’s Founder Feature series! Quilo empowers community banks to fully launch core-independent digital lending products in less than six weeks. To meet Quilo and the other fintechs in the 2022 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, powered by The Venture Center, click here. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Venture Center: Where did the idea for Quilo originate?
Don Shafer: Boris Fuzayloff has spent 20+ years leading teams building fintech platforms for Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan & Goldman Sachs while I was leading teams for companies which I co-founded (Banking Solutions, Inc, BancLeasing and Kasasa) to help community financial institutions compete with those mega-banks. Mutual friends thought it would be a great idea for us to team up.
The two us them spent a week in 2020 discussing what was going on in the lending arena. Technology that helped people refinance their high-interest credit card debt was making news. AMEX, Chase, and Citi Bank were offering their credit cardholders the opportunity to pay off any charge over $100 and replace it with a low-interest installment loan.
We realized that millions of prime consumers were taking advantage of those offerings, and that community banks were stuck on the sideline because they lacked the technology to deliver the “all-digital” experience necessary to compete. So we decided to build the Quilo Platform, an all digital, mobile-centric lending platform that provides instant funding to approved applicants to pay down high-interest credit card debt, replenish their checking accounts for large debit card purchases, and make new purchases online or in a store.
What problem does Quilo solve?
Quilo enables banks to perform two game-changing moves:
1) Deploy deposits into prime loans earning 4-5-6% NET income.
2) Launch an all-digital, mobile-centric lending platform that is required table stakes if they want to succeed in acquiring Gen Z and Millennials as customers.
What has been the most difficult part of building this business?
Assembling the different number of partner companies necessary to bring Quilo to life, and the time and money it required to comply with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and all the federal and state banking regulations.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur and why?
Elon Musk, because his goals are so audacious.
Why did you decide to apply for the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, and what do you hope to gain from it?
It doesn’t matter how awesome your product or service may be. Success in this industry depends on getting the word out and getting bankers to learn about your product.
To be able to make one-on-one presentations to 150 – 200 bankers would take a salesperson at least a year. To do so in a few months is like getting the benefit of a multi-million dollar marketing and sales budget. The advice, coaching, and training the accelerator provides are a testament to how sincere and driven they are to bring the best that fintech has to offer to community banks!
Is there anything else you would like to share about your solution?
I have worked for 30 years to deliver innovative products to community banks, and have seen the total number of community banks and credit unions decline from 30,000 to less than 10,000. Most of those realize that if they are going to remain relevant and have a sustainable business, they must acquire Gen Z and Millennials. In order to do so, they must provide all-digital offerings. Not doing so is not a viable option.
While we were building the platform, we kept that in mind. The result is a truly amazing platform that can originate, underwrite, approve and fund a loan in a couple of minutes.
It can be done while sitting on a couch at home, or in the passenger seat of a car on the way to dinner. And that will make all the difference.
Thanks to Quilo for contributing to the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator’s Founder Feature series! To meet Quilo and the other fintechs in the 2022 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator, powered by The Venture Center, click here. For questions, please email email@example.com.