March 28, 2017

Best in Credit: Top Influential Leaders

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Winners of the CreditDonkey Best in Credit have been announced. Read on for the latest credit innovations.

Best in Credit
Best in Credit © CreditDonkey

Top Credit Innovations

At CreditDonkey, we're big fans of credit cards for their ability to help spenders and small business owners manage their cash flow and - if done right - get some rewards in the process. But sometimes there's a purchase or a need that doesn't quite fit into the credit card realm.

You might be new to this country and lack the type of credit history that would pass muster with the traditional banks, or you may have your eye on a new set of wheels and want to go after a nontraditional loan. Or if you're a business owner, you may be looking to partner with someone new who can help you extend credit to your clients or customers.

Whenever you need something that may be off the beaten path of the traditional credit route, it's worth exploring all your options. There are a lot of new innovations on the market these days that aim to extend credit to willing participants, but it's not so easy to know which ones are good.

We're helping with the search by highlighting the very best innovations in credit. Read on.

Best Credit Innovation
Best Credit Innovation © CreditDonkey

  • Klarna

    Klarna aims to change the way ecommerce works by enabling shoppers to pay after they've received their purchase, whether as a lump sum or over time. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, the company employs an international team of technology professionals with experience at companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Experian, and PayPal.

    Why Klarna is a Top Credit Innovator: The company assumes the credit and fraud risk inherent in online shopping, protecting consumers while ensuring that retailers still receive their money. Available in Europe and the United States, Klarna is a unique, innovative credit company that's disrupting the old norms of online shopping.

    Follow @Klarna

  • Dun & Bradstreet

    Dun & Bradstreet provides credit and credibility solutions for small and emerging businesses. Chairman and CEO Bob Carrigan was previously CEO of IDG Communications, where he led media operations in 90 countries and transformed the company from a print publisher to a leading media company and a leader in the technology event and media space.

    Why Dun & Bradstreet is a Top Credit Innovator: From concierge services to help building marketing leads, they provide a number of high-end services that will help your business grow. In addition to these services, they also offer business education so you can learn how to make your company's credit stronger every day.

    Read: Beyond One Buyer: The New B2B Enterprise Sales Reality - Live Podcast | Dun & Bradstreet
    Follow @DnBb2b

  • Affirm

    Affirm is a credit company with a singular goal: to reimagine the outdated credit industry in a consumer-friendly way by rebuilding the core components of financial infrastructure from the ground up. CEO Max Levchin is an experienced angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of PayPal, while CTO Libor Michalek has served as an engineering director at YouTube and Google, as well as CTO at Slide. Consumers who select Affirm at checkout are given the flexibility to buy now and pay for their purchase in 3, 6 or 12 month installments—whichever best meets their budget. Affirm show shoppers their exact total cost upfront, eliminating credit’s inherent uncertainty. And they have eliminated hidden fees and compounding interest from the equation, so customers will never pay a penny more than the amount shown.

    Why Affirm is a Top Credit Innovator: In a time when fewer and fewer consumers can claim to trust their banks, this company puts people first, with transparency, clarity, and innovative ways to allow customers to pay on their terms. Affirm offers easy financing on consumers' biggest purchases, minus the fine print, and is accepted at an ever-growing number of online retailers. Affirm’s approval process is quick and easy: shoppers provide a few top-of-mind pieces of information to receive a real-time credit decision. Their modern underwriting does the rest, considering a variety of data sources beyond the FICO score to make a holistic and accurate credit decision - and enabling them to extend credit to many of those who are overlooked by the traditional system.

    Read: Buy With Affirm
    Follow @Affirm

  • lets users pay a monthly fee of $2.99 to have items from your favorite online retailer shipped to your door for free for you to try.

    Why is a Top Credit Innovator: Subscribers get seven days to determine whether or not to keep their order, and whatever they don't want can be returned at no cost. This service is a cheap, incredibly useful way for you to perfect your wardrobe.

    Follow @try

  • RentTrack

    RentTrack allows landlords and property managers to collect rent online, while tenants get benefits including automatic billing and the ability to build credit for paying their rent. CEO Matt Briggs began his career by founding 700Credit, America's largest credit reseller and acquired by ADP, and CTO Darryl Eaton has over fifteen years of experience developing B2B and B2C products for companies (including Yahoo and RightScale).

    Why RentTrack is a Top Credit Innovator: This company was born from the idea that tenants should see the same credit benefits as mortgage holders, with the aim of helping young renters build great credit. RentTrack is the only company to report rent payments that has been approved by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the three major credit bureaus. Tenants can pay their rent by check, e-check, credit card, and debit card. They can pay on their computer, on their phone, or in some cases by check at the office (if the PM is using their check scanning service). They report back to the beginning of the lease (up to 24 months).

    Read: Collect Rent Online and Screen Tenants Effortlessly
    Follow @RentTrack

  • Meridian Finance Group
    Meridian Finance Group offers businesses the credit, insurance, and trade finance tools they need to expand their sales in both the U.S. and abroad.

    Why Meridian Finance Group is a Top Credit Innovator: Their products include receivables and export credit insurance, political risk insurance, project finance support, and more. If you own a business that's trying to expand their U.S. and international sales, you should check out the variety of services Meridian is offering.

  • Entrepreneurial Finance Lab [EFL Global]

    EFL Global's "psychometric credit scoring" has been proven to enable better decisions in small business and consumer financing. CEO Jared Miller previously served as a Vice President at Citi, where he held positions in Digital Analytics/Decision Management and the Global Transaction Services business in the corporate bank.

    Why Entrepreneurial Finance Lab [EFL Global] is a Top Credit Innovator: Their system helps lenders come to a deeper, quantitative risk understanding for better, more profitable portfolios. An Equifax study proved that EFL's system has the ability to reduce default rates by as much as 50%.

    Read: Unlocking access to finance in underserved microfinance segments
    Follow @eflglobal

  • SelfScore

    SelfScore is dedicated to helping international students quickly and easily acquire a credit card in the United States and begin building their credit score. Co-founder and CEO Kalpesh Kapadia was one of the foremost analysts/investors in Wall Street's tech sector prior to founding SelfScore, and his co-founder and CPO Michael Hallinan has served as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and co-founded a software startup that later merged with AhaLife.

    Why SelfScore is a Top Credit Innovator: The American financial system has long made it difficult for international students to acquire a credit card, but this startup will get the ball rolling with just four simple documents. SelfScore is aiming to open the U.S. financial system to underserved but deserving populations, starting by connecting international students with fair credit.

    Follow @SelfScore

  • Capital Float

    Capital Float promises businesses loans on their own terms, with working capital loans delivered in just a few hours. Managing director and co-founder Sashank Rishyasringa previously worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company's New York and India offices, while his fellow founder and director Gaurav Hinduja ran operations for Gokaldas Exports, India's largest apparel manufacturer.

    Why Capital Float is a Top Credit Innovator: Their quick, customized loans are perfect for eCommerce sellers and have flexible repayment options, and they also offer collateral-free business loans within three days of applying. Capital Float aims to make the process easy, too; clients can apply from anywhere, at any time, and all fees and charges are laid out up front.

    Read: Why Online Vendors Should Apply for Capital Float's Online Seller Finance
    Follow @CapitalFloat

  • Creditsafe

    More than 90,000 businesses choose to check reports with Creditsafe, making it the most-used provider of business credit reports in the world.

    Why Creditsafe is a Top Credit Innovator: Their reports are designed from the ground up to help users check for risk signals and make smart, informed business decisions in a matter of seconds. They can provide credit reports from any country in the world, making them an excellent option for companies that do business abroad.

    Read: Trade Payment Data & Business Risk Intelligence
    Follow @CreditsafeUSA

  • Tugende

    Tugende is a unique startup that aims to help Ugandan motorcycle taxi drivers achieve financial independence by providing them with vehicles in a lease-to-own arrangement.

    Co-founder and current advisor Matt Brown was formerly a journalist and Aga Khan media fellow in Uganda, while co-founder and current CEO Michael Wilkerson has been in Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar 2009-2010 working as a journalist and political science researcher.

    Paul Sselunjoji is Tugende's longest-serving employee; Paul is an alumnus of the prestigious Educate! youth leadership development organization (which also has Colorado ties) and he is studying industrial engineering at Kyambogo University here in Kampala. While still a high school student, he won a nation-wide business plan competition and has helped set up several small scale businesses–including selling fertilizer on credit–near his home village of Hoima.

    Why Tugende is a Top Credit Innovator: This startup seeks to improve the quality of life of drivers by guiding them to ownership of their own bike in 19 months or less, saving them money over long-term rental. Tugende knows that motorcycle ownership is more than just a profit-boosting proposition for these drivers; it provides job security, allows for better savings, and puts the driver's future in their own hands.

    Tugende provides financial products and services (lease-to-own arrangements and insurance) to commonly excluded groups, creates a job with each leased product, doubles take-home income and affords income and job stability when drivers own instead of rent, and provides savings in the form of the owned asset to help buffer against economic shocks. This increased income and savings, as well as job security, enables clients to plan for the future (instead of just focusing on making ends meet day-to-day), and most clients invest in businesses, housing and land, cattle, and the health and education of their families once they own their asset.

    Tugende strives to be the biggest non banking financial institution in East Africa, using asset financing products to serve customers whose risk profile, financing needs, and lack of formal financial options makes them underserved by existing financial institutions.

    Read: Looking for a great summer fellowship? Join Tugende in 2016!
    Follow @Tugende1

  • Rental Kharma

    Rental Karma makes it easy for users to sign up and start building their credit just by paying rent.

    Why Rental Kharma is a Top Credit Innovator: Over 100 million Americans struggle with credit or have no credit history, but this company aims to help solve that in a simple, sustainable way. This is an easy, inexpensive way to build your credit, which can get you better interest rates and save you money in the long run.

    Read: Friends Rental Kharma
    Follow @rentalkharma

  • Nova Credit

    Nova Credit understands that new arrivals to the U.S. don't have a U.S. credit history, and gives businesses the ability to check their overseas credit reports. Nove Credit would know; their team is comprised of immigrants, from CEO Misha Episov, who emigrated from Russia in the '90s and worked with Goldman Sachs, COO Nicky Goulimis, who grew up in the UK and has a background in consulting with Bain & Co, to CTO Loek Janssen, who grew up in the Netherlands and has a background working in A.I. in Australia and the US.

    Why Nova Credit is a Top Credit Innovator: Between international students and immigrants, there is a large untapped market that Nova Credit can help your business tap into. Immigrants also represent a highly-educated, high-earning customer segment that is severely underserved.

    Follow @neednova

  • Credit Kudos

    Credit Kudos has built a platform that makes smart credit decision-making possible for the 8 million "unbanked" Americans, as well as those with thin or nonexistent credit histories. Co-founders Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield are both experienced engineers; Freddy was on the engineering team with Bitnami, and Matt was CTO at Universal Music's artist discover startup, Spinnup.

    Why Credit Kudos is a Top Credit Innovator: Rather than punishing consumers at the low end of the income spectrum, this startup is leveraging its experience and knowledge to develop a new type of credit scoring product that provides them with fair and true representation. Credit Kudos' mission is to make it easy for consumers to prove to lenders that they are responsible spenders, while protecting lenders at the same time.

    Read: Financial Inclusion: Who's tackling what?
    Follow @creditkudos

  • Float

    Float is a data-driven technology company that empowers emerging credit consumers to build financial resilience, stabilize cash flow, and pursue opportunities.

    Why Float is a Top Credit Innovator: This startup will allow you access to credit in about 180 seconds, without a FICO score, so you can start building credit right away. Float is also committed to clear, upfront pricing, making it an attractive alternative to traditional credit.

    Follow @hellofloat

  • BondIt

    BondIt is a turn-key financing solution that aims to create convenient access to capital for the entertainment world. CEO Matt Helderman founded Buffalo 8 Productions, which has had four films premiere at Sundance, in 2012, and shortly after co-founded BondIt with Luke Taylor, who also helped found Buffalo 8 Productions.

    Why BondIt is a Top Credit Innovator: Whether making an independent film or seeking more cash on hand, entertainment professionals can use BondIt to ease the payment and funding processes for their projects. Founded by film producers for film producers, BondIt is built from the ground up for the entertainment industry.

    Follow @Bondit_film

  • Trust Science

    Trust Science is a startup that aims to take trust from a feeling to a measurable statistic, with trustworthiness ratings for any individuals your company might do business with. Chairman, co-founder, and co-CEO Evan Chrapko built and sold one of the world's first SaaS companies in just thirty months, while co-founder and co-CEO Ashif Mawji has been named one of Canada's Top 40 Entrepreneurs under 40.

    Why Trust Science is a Top Credit Innovator: This startup wants to make people and businesses trust each other more, and their patented technology gives users tools to do just that. Trust Science's unique system scours through public data and applies calculations to tell you how trustworthy individuals are, making it a great resource for businesses.

    Read: Solutions
    Follow @TrustScience

  • UpgradeUSA

    UpgradeUSA makes it easy for your small business to acquire new and needed technologies by offering a fixed monthly leasing payment plan for all of your equipment.

    Why UpgradeUSA is a Top Credit Innovator: With partners like Dell, Lenovo, Cisco, and more, the company offers users the best office technology around in one easy payment plan. This leasing plan allows you to keep more up-front capital for your small business, a vital part of building any new company.

    Follow @UpgradeUSA

  • Credit Dream

    Credit Dream is aiming to provide universal access to credit with proprietary technology that connects investors to borrowers and offers lower rates with higher returns. CEO Edmilson Rodrigues is a former Google employee and serial entrepreneur, while CTO Túlio Braga holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science and has studied at Stanford.

    Why Credit Dream is a Top Credit Innovator: This company's dream is for every consumer to have a credit score that's recognized in any country, with privacy for individuals, auditability for the network, and an open API businesses can use to offer their products and services. Credit Dream is developing a Blockchain-based series of decentralized apps, including Meu Crédito and Swapy, to achieve this goal.

    Follow @CreditDream_inc

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