Building a one-stop-shop to simplify how credit unions lend

Zest AI team
May 25, 2023

A deeper look into Origence’s exclusive offering, Zest Auto

A successful partnership starts with a shared vision. 

In the case of Zest AI’s expanding partnership with the Origence team, this shared vision will focus on giving credit unions tools that will help them thrive with efficiency. But in times like these, it can be more difficult to imagine the scenario where credit unions can thrive — especially when we’re looking at harsh economic conditions ahead of us. 

But we also know that members have a deep belief in their credit union’s ability to serve them well during an economic downturn. Plus, over half of those whose primary financial institution wasn’t a credit union also had a positive opinion on a credit union's ability to better serve people during recessions and other bear market conditions. But every credit union has to have opportunity and access to the technology that will help them navigate harsh economic times.

So that’s why we decided to build Zest Auto, an exclusive offering through Origence’s origination platform that will give small credit union automotive lenders (i.e. those less than 100 million in consumer portfolio) access to fair and accurate AI-automated underwriting. 

As two CUSO organizations, enabling credit unions with the best technology to serve their members is deeply ingrained in both of our missions. By growing our partnership with Origence, we can simplify underwriting for credit union automotive lenders, making smart, inclusive, efficient lending decisions accessible, quick, and easy. This can turn “making it through” tough economic times into helping your members more easily navigate whatever comes their way.

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Credit unions need a way to simplify the way they lend. We found through research with the Harris Poll in 2020 that 74 percent of members expect a lending decision to be made in seconds. And with today’s technology, that percentage has likely risen with the years.

So, how long does it take for a credit union to return a loan decision today? According to a survey of NACUSO attendees, over 80 percent of credit unions will take more than 30 minutes to underwrite a loan and return a decision. By this point, that member has likely filled out another loan application and received an instant decision. In today’s world, an instant decision for your members means the difference between the car they want at a reasonable interest rate you’ve offered, the car they want at whatever interest rate the auto dealer is willing to offer, or their second-choice car because someone else came through with the financing faster on their preferred vehicle. If you want to be your members’ first choice, you have to make sure you can get them theirs.

While there are some more complex circumstances that require a deeper look at someone’s credit history, technology has the capacity to cut down on time and manual review. And our friends at Origence are enabling credit unions to simplify and make those smart, inclusive, efficient lending decisions through the Zest AI technology, making fair underwriting accessible, quick, and easy.

Automate, automate, automate!

You know that common saying, “The proof is in the pudding”? There’s actually an older expression it derives from, stating the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And folks, do we have some pudding to share with you!

Now, all this is to say, we’ve got some exciting results captured in the initial tests of this expanded work with Origence. They are preliminary test results... meaning — if we lean into our aforementioned expression as a metaphor here — that there’s pudding, and the perfect person to eat pudding has had the pudding and really enjoyed it. 

With that set aside, we are truly excited about the potential for delivering exponential automation capabilities to Origence arc OS users.

The initial results demonstrate that across different lender case studies, with different policies, applicants, risk profiles, etc., we can improve automation goals for credit unions safely and efficiently. 

Key primary results we'd like to point out are:

  • We achieved an auto-decisioning rate of over 50 percent using Zest Auto across the three case study customers. 
  • With Zest Auto credit unions can experience more than four times better accuracy in middle tiers compared to benchmark score results
  • We more than doubled the customers’ automation rate without changing their portfolios. 
  • Across each case study, the majority — over 70 percent — of instant approval gains came from automating the approval of new borrower applications the customer had previously approved in prior applications.   

Now maybe the TL;DR?

By expanding our partnership with the Origence team, credit unions are getting the best of both worlds through one relationship. Origence is delivering a convenient and configurable loan and account origination system that is automated by Zest AI’s technology so that you can streamline your auto lending from a one-stop-shop. 

Not to pilfer another turn of phrase you might recognize — but, it almost sounds so easy that a caveman could do it.

Interested in adding Zest Auto to your indirect auto lending portfolio? Head over to Origence for more information.

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