Money & Banking

Shriram Housing Finance launches video-based credit underwriting

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on February 25, 2021

Shriram Housing Finance Ltd (SHFL) has put in place video-based personal discussion with customers as part of its credit underwriting process.

This is aimed at ensuring that customers as well as employees are out of harm’s way in these pandemic times.

“Earlier we used to meet every customer. Now, we have started doing video personal discussions with the customers (PDC).

“Under PDC, a customer is sent a link. The customer comes online and our underwriter speaks to him/her, spending about 45 minutes to an hour understanding the customer’s business/job profile, cash flows,” said Subramanian Jambunathan, MD and CEO, SHFL.

The entire conversation is recorded and gets tagged to the loan account.

“So, the entire discussion, which we used to have in person, has moved online. This does not happen with every customer.

“But it is happening in about 25-30 per cent of the customers. I expect this to keep increasing by the day,” explained Jambunathan .

Partnering for customer leads

SHFL, which is a subsidiary of Shriram City Union Finance Ltd (SCUF), is partnering with companies, clubs, aggregators, who are digital, to acquire customer leads.

For example, the company has a tie-up with a loyalty programme, where it has given pre-approved loans to a certain set of customers in that programme.

SHFL’s offer loans for purchase of a new / resale house, as well as purchase of plot and construction of houses . It also provides loans for self-construction of a house or extension / renovation of the existing property

“So, once a customer says ‘yes, I want this’, he gets a digital application form. This form is filled by the customer and sent to us with his papers (such as bank account statement).

“The bank account statement is analysed automatically on the system and we get a report. Credit score report from the Credit Bureau gets pulled in automatically. Essentially, the credit underwriter has to see the reports and say okay/ not okay (to the loan proposal),” said Jambunathan.

He underscored that the entire underwriting process, which would take about two to four days, has been compressed to a day.

“There is also full-fledged record of the video discussion, which is tagged to the account. Earlier, when our underwriter would visit the customer…whatever he would put down on paper would be the final word.

“Now, the video PDC is available for auditing purpose. Customers cannot deny what they had spoken because it is pretty much there on record,” the SHFL chief said.

He observed that SHFL has enough data to ensure that its credit underwriters can be trained on how to interact with the customer, the kind of questions to ask, and the signals to look out for.

Business

SHFL, in which SCUF has 77.25 per cent stake and Valiant Mauritius Partners FDI Ltd has 22.75 stake, expects to grow its assets under management to ₹9,000-10,000 crore in the next two-three years from about ₹3,500 crore now.

“Our outer limit to cross the ₹10,000-crore AUM mark is March 2024,” said Jambunathan.

Published on February 25, 2021

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