Wisr (ASX:WZR) partners with NAB


by Ortenzia Borre

Wisr Limited (ASX:WZR) CEO, Anthony Nantes talks about the company's partnership with NAB to provide an initial $50m in funding to support its personal loan book and diversify its funding partners.

Ortenzia Borre: Hello, I'm Ortenzia Borre for the Finance News Network and joining me is CEO of Wisr (ASX:WZR), Anthony Nantes. Anthony, welcome back.

Anthony Nantes: Thanks. Good to be here.

Ortenzia Borre: Now, Wisr (ASX:WZR) describes itself as a neo-lender? Can you explain to us what that means?

Anthony Nantes: We have a genuine vision around bring financial wellness to all Australians. And what that means, actually to deliver on that purpose, what we've had to do is really reimagine and reinvent what a consumer lender can be. Taking a personal loan out from Wisr (ASX:WZR) is a really different experience. We're the only lender in Australia, possibly the only lender in the world that will give you a loan at a rate potentially up to 5 per cent lower than a big four bank, but not only that, but after we've given that loan will go on the journey with you, and actively help you manage that debt and pay it down a little bit faster with a tool like the Wisr (ASX:WZR) app. Our loans are really focused on providing access to smarter and fairer credit for Australians and as a result, we're seeing that part of our business really starting to scale now at a pretty incredible growth rate.

Ortenzia Borre: And where are the applications coming from?

Anthony Nantes: A whole variety of channels. That's one of the more exciting things. We've got great relationships across most of the larger broker aggregators in Australia. I think almost 10,000 brokers in Australia can write a Wisr (ASX:WZR) personal loan for one of their clients. But on top of that, we're performing exceptionally well across digital channels, across partnership channels, and our own financial wellness ecosystem. With now more than 85,000 Australians having entered that ecosystem, you starting to become a strong source of customer for us for that personal loan product.

Ortenzia Borre: Thanks Anthony. Now can you tell us about your new debt program with NAB (ASX:NAB)? Talk us through the highlights.

Anthony Nantes: NAB (ASX:NAB) is an incredible partner to bring on board. They are the number one in Australia in debt securitisation. It allows us to go and focus on being the best in Australia at that consumer experience and delivering something that's really different for a borrower. You put those two organizations together and we can really deliver something of real size and scale in this market.

Ortenzia Borre: Can you tell me about the financial metrics and NAB's commitment to fintech?

Anthony Nantes: From a margin point of view, it's one of the reasons why it is so pivotal for the company. We're going from a fairly thin margin model where we were moving most of the risk and return off our balance sheet in terms of our lending book and bring that on-balance sheet and as a result, getting access to that full margin ourselves. We talk about on average it's going to be more than a tripling of margin for the company going forward. And it really sets us up to scale and grow significantly over the next couple of years. NAB's shown an incredible commitment right across Australia in funding, good early stage fintechs. And there's great examples on market where NAB's gotten involved early, provided access to capital like this, and we've seen the result of those types of companies where it's a Zip (ASX:Z1P) or an Afterpay (ASX:APT) or others where that access to capital provided by NAB has really helped scale those companies significantly.

Ortenzia Borre: Now you've recently released some results. What are the highlights?

Anthony Nantes: Turning on the NAB funding deal is one of the most material events in the company's history, so that was a really exciting announcement we got to put out to market and to set the company up to really be able to grow going forward. On the back of that, we recently talked about the fact that across the $150 million mark in terms of loans originated, we're doing that in fairly quick succession.The first 50 million took over 45 months. The second 50 million took eight months. The last 15 million took a roundabout six months, and this particular quarter we've seen a really an uptick in our growth rate which we've been talking about for a while. We were getting ready to turn on the NAB facility and really start to accelerate our growth. That growth rate is now approaching $150 million per annum run rate as well. So it's really great growth for the company.On top of that, we've released the Android version of the Wisr (ASX:WZR) app, the Wisr Credit platform and the WISR app financial wellness ecosystem. And we continue to really scale all parts of the company. So it's, it's been some pretty good news recently.

Ortenzia Borre: That sounds fantastic. And to the last question, where would you like to see Wisr (ASX:WZR) in the next 12 months?

Anthony Nantes: I think over the next two or three years, it's really about us seizing that significant opportunity that sits in front of us. There's over 3 million applications for a personal loan every year in Australia. We're currently taking 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of that. So I think there's a huge opportunity for us to really go and take significant market share over the next couple of years to leverage that new debt capital facility we have. Those increased margins and revenue that we're going to drive from that, and that really differentiated offering of being the only lender that will actually give you a loan, but help you pay it down faster. So I think it's some exciting times ahead.

Ortenzia Borre: Anthony Nantes, thank you so much for updating us on Wisr (ASX:WZR) and for joining us on FNN.

Anthony Nantes: Thanks for having me.