From its humble beginnings as a bootstrapped startup in 2011, Fast Loan UK has established itself as a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved personal lender.
Founder and Managing Director of Fast Loan UK, Joe Brunt, pulled together £30,000 at the age of 22 to build a team of four who continue to thrive with no debt and zero external investors thanks to the cost-efficiency driven by organic growth and refinement of their business model, systems, and processes.
Offering fair and responsible lending
As the world of high-cost, short-term lending emerges from years of public and regulatory scrutiny, Fast Loan UK is committed to building responsible lending solutions.
The Hertfordshire-based business fosters an ethical approach towards lending by adhering to the rule book and learning from the mistakes of those who came before them. While many lenders are inundated with customer complaints and the costs of facilitating repayments, Fast Loan UK is able to deliver a transparent and straightforward service to customers, or, as Joe puts it: “We don’t get many complaints because we treat our customers fairly and do things properly.”
According to Joe, many UK payday lenders fail due to unsustainable business models and spiralling costs.
"Most high-cost short-term lenders rely on repeat lending to cover the costs of their operations. Their appetite for profit means they risk accumulating enormous higher risk loan books which they can't sustain. By keeping costs low and maintaining a strong focus on compliance and customer service, Fast Loan UK provides fair and responsible loans and a service that customers trust," Joe explains.
Cutting costs with improved automation
As with any financial service, the day-to-day running costs and upfront investment required to adopt new technologies can chip away at the bottom line.
Fast Loan UK's business model is all about embracing automation to simplify manual tasks and therefore cutting costs where competitors cannot. This is realised by in-house development of lending systems tailored to the business model. Instead of running before they can walk, Joe and the team are refining their systems and sealing any gaps before scaling their operation.
Reduced operational costs means they can pass on the savings to offer competitive rates on both short-term and long-term loans.
Whether it's analysing credit scores, reducing the burden on employees with customer service bots or spotting market trends ahead of time, Fast Loan UK is preparing for a future lending landscape dominated by technology-driven differentiators.
Embracing Instant Payments with Modulr
When the FCA took over from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2016, many lenders struggled to stay afloat. Many banks were reluctant to offer business accounts to lenders, unless they were major players with big numbers on their books - leaving short-term lenders in a difficult position.
When Fast Loan UK tried to make things work with an offshore third-party payment provider in Gibraltar, they weren't getting the speed they needed. Most transactions were taking a few hours, and if it was the weekend, they would often have to wait until Monday for payments to go through.
However, everything changed when Fast Loan UK came to Modulr.
“Modulr’s automated payout solution enables us to process bulk loan disbursements in a matter of seconds. We can pass on the cost savings from streamlined operations to offer more competitive rates to our customers.” - Joe Brunt, Managing Director Fast Loan UK
Not only was the speed of Modulr a big bonus, but it was also important for Fast Loan UK to find an API that could integrate with their existing systems. Without scope for integration, Fast Loan UK would not be able to reach their goal of seamless payments automation.
“The team at Modulr has built an intuitive API that fits around our business needs so that we can build automated payments functionality into the core of what we do.” - Joe Brunt, Managing Director, Fast Loan UK.
Achieving 10x business growth with a small team
Having the capacity to process instant payments at mass scale meant Fast Loan UK could grow their business while maintaining the intimacy of a small team.
“Without embracing automated systems and real-time payment processing, we would need a team of between 15-20 agents to manage our current customer base; we can’t afford to do that. Payments automation has not only kept operational costs down, it has also allowed us to scale and grow our operations without acquiring new staff.” - Joe Brunt, Fast Loan UK.
Since partnering with Modulr, Fast Loan UK have been positioned well to scale their operations tenfold.
Building a sustainable future with Modulr
“By automating key operational payment processes, Modulr has unlocked our potential to become a fast growth sustainable lender by keeping costs down, and keeping our team focused on serving borrowers as best as we can.” - Joe Brunt, Managing Director, Fast Loan UK.
With Modulr providing a robust payment infrastructure and automated payouts, Fast Loan UK has been able to ramp up its growth, disburse loans quickly and deliver a better service to customers - all without incurring heavy operational costs or overburdening its small team. This will help Fast Loan UK to achieve its vision of building a sustainable future and providing ethical loans to customers across the country.