MADISON, Wis.—The Filene Research Institute said it has entered into a collaboration with QCash, a digital lending platform that offers relationship-based underwriting, without credit check, to members in search of small, short-term unsecured loans.
Ben Morales, CEO of QCash Financial and one of the original members of Filene’s i3 program, who is also a senior leader at Washington State Employees Credit Union, “has been meticulously refining payday loan alternatives at the credit union over the past decade, which ultimately led to QCash’s solutions,” Filene said.
According to Filene, WSECU’s QCash program books more than 30,000 loans annually, maintains loan loss rates in the 6%-8% range, provides financial education for members using this product, and generates a $4-million/year net.
“We wanted to find a way to offer a better alternative to payday loans,” said Morales. “We are honored to be associated with a prestigious organization such as Filene to make this program available to more credit unions and their members.”
The collaboration between Filene and QCash Financial offers credit unions the opportunity to bring this lower cost, multi-channel loan experience to their members while also participating in its evolution by sharing data with the researchers at Filene.
“With more than 100 million payday loans issued annually at rates between 300%-500%, the need is obvious,” said Tansley Stearns, chief impact officer at Filene. “Through Filene pilots, credit unions are able to bring new ideas to their members that have real impact. We can’t wait to see the results with QCash.”
Those interested in learning more about QCash are encouraged to attend one of several free webinars scheduled in in early 2016. Registration information is available at filene.org.
According to Filene, results from the QCash pilot will be collected over the next several months and will include data regarding user demographics, loan growth, repeat usage, and response to the digital experience.