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Filene, QCash Collaborate on Platform for Short-Term Loans
Thursday, January 7, 2016 6:30 AM

Filene Research Institute is collaborating with QCash, a digital lending platform that offers relationship-based underwriting, without a credit check, to members in search of small, short-term unsecured loans.

Ben Morales, CEO of QCash Financial, an original Filene i3 innovator and a senior leader at Washington State Employees CU (WSECU), Olympia, Washington, has been refining payday loan alternatives at the credit union over the past decade, an effort that led to QCash’s solutions. WSECU’s QCash program books over 30,000 loans annually, maintains loan-loss rates in the 6 percent to 8 percent range, provides financial education for members using this product, and generates $4 million per year net income.

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 percent, 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.”

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.