After successfully working with Perpay to purchase a laptop for his daughter to take to college, a father wrote to the Center City fintech company and said, “I love your product. I just wish it actually helped me build my credit.”
When it launched in late 2016, the team at Perpay — a platform that helps people affordably finance large purchases from its ecommerce marketplace — made a business practice of reviewing all customer feedback. It has often been a source of inspiration for new features and functionality. This review was no exception.
In early 2020, Perpay worked with Experian and a select group of beta customers to hook into the credit system and do a trial run of the new product.
“In month one, we saw an immediate increase in customer’s credit scores — large, double digit increases,” said Zach Binkley, VP of risk and analytics at Perpay. “When you look at how many consumers could benefit from credit-building commerce, the potential is pretty incredible.”
Perpay built and operates a platform that makes big ticket items accessible and affordable for customers with limited or no access to affordable credit. Through its microlending platform, it uses income-based financing to help customers pay for unexpected expenses or larger items that have historically been a source of financial stress, such as furniture or a new appliance. Unlike with predatory payday and rent-to-own lenders, Perpay customers make payments automatically out of their paycheck each pay period, so they never miss a payment or overextend their bank accounts — no late fees, no interest.
The new credit-building product, Perpay+, falls perfectly in line with the brand’s mission to help people build simple, transparent and inclusive financial products. For $2 more a month, customers on Perpay’s platform can opt in to let the fintech company report their payments in order to help build their credit scores. Perpay gives customers access to a dashboard that tracks changes to their credit and educates them on the underlying factors that lead to a positive change in their scores over time. It’s another helpful tool to enable customers to improve their financial wellness through better practices.
“We’ve always seen positive trends in terms of customers growing within the platform,” said COO Nikos Petrides. “With the launch of Perpay+, we are now helping customers improve their financial outlook beyond the platform, which is incredibly gratifying. In the six months Perpay+ has been live, 20% of our customers have moved into a higher credit score band. When you hear directly from customers that they were able to repair their credit or that they now qualify for a mortgage, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Coming out of the pandemic, the Perpay team is not only growing its brand architecture, it has also grown out of its old office space into the new Aramark building at 2400 Market St. With an employee count of 45 in its new, breathtakingly grand space — imagine windows that scale from floor to sky-high ceilings, featuring views of 30th Street Station and the Philadelphia Museum of Art — Perpay is fully equipped to serve its growing customer base. Although now, the team isn’t only helping people buy the things they need; it is becoming a true financial partner, working with customers to help them achieve their long-term goals.
“From an empirical perspective, we’re seeing the life changing impact that credit building can have on our customers,” said Binkley. “There’s still so many opportunities to learn from them.”
Which begs the question: What will they ask for next?
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