In the first part of a series of guest Q&As with our regional customers, Jenny Larsson, Chief Information Officer at Avida Finans talks to our very own Patrick Radise about Avida’s journey, adapting to trends and challenges in the market, choosing Provenir technology and nurturing tech talent.
Can you tell us about Avida Finans, the markets you serve and the products that you offer?
We are a Swedish credit market company that since the start in 1983 has focused on offering loans to individuals and corporates in the Nordic region. At Avida we are unique. We want to be seen as a professional compliment to larger banks and a responsive partner that helps private individuals or companies realize their plans. Our business is growing and we currently have 115 employees working out of our offices in Stockholm, Oslo, and Helsinki.
What challenges or needs did you face in your industry that led you to look for a decisioning solution like Provenir?
Time is a critical factor for us; our customers expect an instant decision at the tip of their fingers. This requires a solution that can automate processing and models. We also had a disbursed system landscape and saw an opportunity to act smarter and faster with one platform that could plug into multiple areas.
What types of data are you using to determine credit decisions? How has Provenir’s technology helped your team access new data and build new credit risk models?
We use application data, internal data, credit bureau data, and other sources in order to perform a full credit assessment of each application. The main advantage of the Provenir Platform for us is the combination of ease of use, suitability, and flexibility when it comes to integrations, plugins, and speed. In turn, this means we can develop models in a more agile manner.
How has Provenir’s technology helped to enhance your speed-to-decision application process and customer experience?
We’ve enhanced our models which have resulted in improved accuracy overall – a fantastic result which helps both our customers and the company. In the past, we had models embedded into systems that have required different software engineers and suppliers, more effort, and longer lead times to update. With Provenir this is now in the hands of our analytics team, it’s more visualized and easily configurable, which in the end, shortens time-to-market.
In addition, we have also built a strong partnership with Provenir where their team really understands our product and provides excellent support.
What trends do you see developing in the market and how are these driving your vision and shaping your innovation plans?
It’s an interesting market at the moment, a lot has been turned upside down. However, general trends persist – digitalization, the expectation from customers that every interaction is instant and smooth. We’re also a small player with highly-skilled colleagues and ambitious plans; to make them come true we’re continuously removing mundane tasks so we can focus on the things that matter most for us and our customers. Data is another trend and at Avida we’re building a lot of insight through data to be able to make real-time decisions on our business.
Finally, what’s it like to work at Avida Finans? How do you nurture tech talent and what advice would you give to someone starting out their career in finance technology?
No day is the same. We’re small and entrepreneurial, this means that everyone matters and can make a difference. This motivates everyone at Avida where we change and improve things constantly.
From a tech perspective, we want to try out new technology and continuously update the solutions and infrastructure so it’s further ahead than the market in general. We believe that this develops the talent at Avida but also attracts external talent. We’ve been on a journey for the past 2 years where we’ve raised the bar significantly, everything newly developed is made through microservices in the cloud, we’ve moved a lot of infrastructure to the cloud, automated processes etc… the list goes on. People that join us typically like the entrepreneurial side, the possibility to grow and make an impact and finally they are attracted by the technology landscape.
In terms of advice for someone starting their career in finance technology; firstly build your technical foundation – be curious and make sure you find people in your organization that are smart and can share knowledge. Secondly, it’s important to understand your business and your customers to deliver the right solutions, make sure you understand the processes, and what’s important for the company to be successful.