Anyone in the student lending space understands how tedious and time consuming the loan evaluation process can be. Missing a detail on a credit history or identification check can result in significant delays. Thanks to Q2 Lending, a new UK-based education lender called Knoma – which stands for “The Knowledge Market,” and disperses vocational loans to working adults – can securely and accurately automate the loan decisioning and onboarding process for more than 90% of its applications, cutting months off the traditional approval timeline.
CEO and Founder Brett Shanley started Knoma (short for Knowledge Market) to reinvent the way working adults pay for continuing education and vocational training in a tech-driven world. “What gets us out of bed every day is the digital skills gap,” he said. “The World Economic Forum estimates that over 50% of the entire working population needs to be retrained by 2022. With Knoma, we’re democratizing access to lifelong education by putting the student first and in the center of what we do.”
This scale of a dream requires immense innovation. That’s where Q2 Lending comes in. Its agility and versatility make Knoma’s vision of revolutionizing the student loan industry a reality. Q2’s API-led technology follows Knoma’s customized auto-decisioning rules in an open, flexible ecosystem, enabling Knoma to provide no-fee, no-interest funding.
How Does it Work?
Knoma enrolls colleges and educational partners into its program, and partners feature the “Pay with Knoma” button as an option for students who have been accepted into their programs. Students who select the option receive fast, no-cost financing because educational partners pay Knoma, not the students. Partners are willing to pay Knoma for the benefits of increased enrollment, reduced student financial strain, and guaranteed immediate payment.
The Q2 Lending interface allows educational partners to see the status of all applications in one place, gather the funding amounts for each enrollee, and receive a unique bank code to quickly reconcile Knoma payments in their accounting system.
Q2 Lending’s intuitive, straightforward process takes most applicants less than two minutes to complete and typically provides a funding decision in under two minutes. Upon receipt of the application, Q2 Lending’s automated process immediately kicks in. It syncs Knoma’s customized decisioning rules for underwriting, risk, and decisioning with best-in-class fintech solution providers and credit bureaus to automate the heavy lifting associated with loan approvals. APIs research and cross-check borrower identity, determine creditworthiness, and automatically render loan suitability, drawing upon True Layer and Credit Kudos to check banking data and Onfido to verify the applicant’s identity. Only 10% of received applications require a secondary or manual review.
Upon approval, Q2 Lending connects data from Knoma’s single-source backend, through Salesforce, to multiple solutions (such as Conga) to manage the student loan contract – the most crucial document in the loan process. Q2 Lending integrates with Conga to populate loan data and repayment schedules onto the contract and obtain the student’s digital signature. Q2 Lending links with other solutions to provide students and educational partners with a transparent, secure dashboard to track and manage transactions and access payoff schedules. It automatically flags any missed or overdue payments.
Students rave about Knoma’s fast, fully automated application process, the instant funding response, the ability to bypass multiple requests for paperwork, and the modern repayment dashboard. With these benefits, not to mention the elimination of fees and interest payments, Shanley hopes to continue revolutionizing the way people learn and work. “Knoma offers the ecosystem and financial support to drive lifelong learning,” he said.
Why Knoma Chose Q2
Shanley partnered with Q2 after experiencing Q2’s capabilities firsthand while leading a previous student loan company. He credits Q2 for transforming his previous company “from zero to hero” and recognizes Q2’s ROI.
“It would cost me hundreds of millions if I spent all my time trying to build this kind of system from scratch—and it would take years to do it. Q2 did all that for me.” Shanley has been able to transform and reimagine the student loan process for working adults – and has flipped the traditional model of charging fees and interest to students over to Knoma educational partners and colleges.
What’s Next for Knoma?
In its first year, Knoma has already attracted upwards of 60 educational providers, and continues to add new ones. The “Pay With Knoma” button has been used to quickly and accurately process more than £3 million in completed student loan applications.
With a proof of concept, Shanley is ready to scale. He plans to use Q2’s agile, adaptable ecosystem to grow Knoma’s footprint in an industry typically steeped in bureaucracy, red tape, and hidden fees. By disrupting an outdated and inefficient process, he’s making the student the sole focus of student lending.
Learn more by watching FINTECH Circle: “Responsible Fintech” featuring Q2 and Knoma.
Click here for more information about Q2 Lending.