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Affordable Loans

The company

Affordable Loans is a small consumer credit provider operating in East London. Run solely by proprietor Cheryl Smith, who has four decades of experience in

the industry, Affordable Loans was incorporated in 2016 and is a member of the Consumer Credit Association (CCA).

The challenge

To serve her clients, Cheryl used to drive from her home outside London to visit households across her catchment area. The process of agreeing loans was all

paper-based, using CCA-approved forms.

Despite involving long hours, with a 45-minute to one-hour commute each way, the system worked well until Cheryl and her customers faced protracted lockdowns

because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Worrying about the viability of her business, Cheryl turned to the CCA for help.

The Sdx solution

It just so happened that the CCA had launched the perfect lockdown solution to all its 400 members. The Association’s CCA Digital application, powered by Sdx secure messaging technology, is a digital wallet for all loan documents.

It allows CCA members to send their customers a mobile text message with a link to the wallet, instead of having to drop off documents in person. Customers can scroll through the CCA-compliant contracts and sign them with a single click.

Members pay a per-wallet fee that includes the cost of CCA documentation. There is no setup cost, and the service can be used by any loan customer with a

computer or smartphone.

The results

Cheryl was at first wary of using the digital service. “I’m not a wizard on a computer,” she admits. “But once I got the hang of it, it was very simple. You just put the details in, send the form, and they sign it and send it back.”

Some of Cheryl’s older customers, too, balked at the idea of moving from paper to digital documents. But Cheryl found it easy to talk her customers through the

process of using CCA Digital. “That was so simple,” they told her. “I’m getting good feedback,” she says.

It’s not just her customers who appreciate the change. Without the commute to London delivering paper documents by hand, Cheryl can save herself up to two

hours to spend with her family, every day.

She is using some of that time to grow her business closer to home, building a website and drawing on expertise at the CCA.

CCA Digital is “giving me time to think about what I want to do to make my business bigger, rather than working flat out with the customers I’ve got,” she says. “I’ve never thought of going back to paper again, because CCA Digital is a lot more simple.”

“If I had heard about digital signing, even before COVID, I would have changed over anyway - it’s easy and convenient. I can’t understand anybody who’s not using it now.” Cheryl Smith, Affordable Loans

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