OnDeck Australia proudly became one of six founding signatories to an industry Code of Lending Conduct at the end of June, with a focus on protecting small business.
Our involvement as a lead advocate and signatory for the adoption of an industry Code in Australia really has its roots in who we are and what we stand for as an organisation.
Our US listed parent, OnDeck Capital, was established 12 years ago as a pioneer of the global fintech industry; today it is one of the largest online lenders to small business in the US. Its focus on good practice and culture led it to be a founding member of the industry’s peak body in the US. OnDeck then became one of three online lenders who helped design the SMARTBox, an industry-first global best practice transparency tool that uses plain English to explain contracts, and to disclose and streamline prices for small business loans.
In Australia, it has always been our position to support a long term strategic view of online lending as a transparent, professional sector of the financial services industry that is the leading provider to and support of small business in Australia. In this quest, we’ve been able to adopt our parent’s strong, established, tried-and-tested systems and governance as our own and taken its learnings and experiences with small business and, together with our local knowledge, applied them to our business in Australia.
We believe this long history and strong culture of best practice and our strong knowledge of small business is what really differentiates us in the local market and the opportunity to develop and sign up to the new Code was an obvious choice for us. The next step on our path to good practice is to bring a disclosure tool like the SMARTBox to Australia for the benefit of small business.
Fintech is an emerging industry in Australia. We are growing more rapidly and more aggressively than the US fintech experience. Creating a Code lays the foundations for a quality local industry that will be the key to growing Australia’s small business economy and ‘Innovation Nation’ agenda and importantly, closing the credit gap.