Fintech​ ​company​ ​Anyfin​ ​launches​ ​service​ ​to​ ​lower consumer​ ​interest​ ​rates

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Anyfin, a digital lender who promises to simplify the process of refinancing consumer debt to the act of snapping a picture, announced the official launch of their service today.“When communicating with friends and family, we’ve evolved from email, to text, to pictures,” said co-founder and CEO Mikael Hussain, “but banks have failed to keep up with today’s consumer. Why should getting a cheaper loan be any more difficult than posting a selfie?”The service, which allows consumers to apply for refinancing by taking a picture of their credit card bill, personal loan statement or purchase invoice, is targeted initially at customers in Sweden, where each adult carries an average of EUR 2500 in unsecured debt at rates that can run in excess of 25%. This despite the fact that Swedish consumer rank amongst the highest in credit quality across Europe.Anyfin seeks to solve these problems by leveraging multiple technologies. Using artificial intelligence for underwriting and customer assessment, the team says it can price consumers more accurately according to their individual credit risk. Meanwhile, the fully digital application process is not only far more convenient for the customer, but lowers the cost of operations--a savings which can be passed on to the consumer.“Our approach means we charge no upfront fees, offer better terms and are simpler to use than anyone else,” Hussain says. “What’s not to like?”Initial reaction has validated the team’s hypothesis on pent up demand and opportunity in the market.“We were pleasantly surprised by the consumer response of our silent beta, despite having done zero outbound marketing,” Hussain shares. “And we were able to help our approved borrowers lower their rates by more than two-thirds, despite a cautious risk approach—so consumers are clearly overcharged.”Hussain and co-founder Sven Perkman were both previously with Klarna, a Sequoia Capital-backed Fintech unicorn which has built its $2B+ valuation by making it easy for consumers to take small loans for e-commerce purchases, where they held leading roles in credit risk and engineering, respectively. They are joined by Filip Polhem, who was with iZettle, Europe’s leading alternative point of sale payments provider (similar to Square in the US).“It’s always tricky operating in the consumer lending space, particularly where you’re simplifying borrowing,” says Polhem, whose work at iZettle focused on helping merchants accept cards for payment, rather than lending to individuals. “But with Anyfin, we’re not encouraging anyone to take on extra debt, we’re just helping them to get a better price on the debt they already have—arguably the price they deserve.”