One of the biggest highlights of the last decade has been the gigantic adoption of online banking globally. This widespread adoption has also given birth to countless FinTech startups, 75% of which actually fail in a short span, as per a few studies. FinTech, being one of the fastest-growing sectors, also represents complex traditional systems that are tough to crack.
Especially given the myriad of compliance requirements and integration complexities, only a small handful of entrepreneurs have succeeded in this domain. Jessica Zhang is one of a select few who have worked wonders with revolutionary products. Jessica is an impactful FinTech leader and entrepreneur who has transformed traditional FinTech systems and enabled companies to expand their reach with her contributions at Stilt and its “credit-as-a-service” platform, Onbo.
Jessica’s Journey with Stilt and Onbo
As a key executive at Stilt and founding team for Onbo, Jessica led the team to create Onbo, a game-changing lending infrastructure that is being called the “AWS for lending.” Onbo has changed and simplified the way lending infrastructure was built by both FinTech and non-traditional FinTech companies, just like how AWS transformed data storage for software.
Creating and launching a credit product for FinTech companies has always been an arduous task, but Onbo makes it seamless with a user-friendly and developer-centric API. It offers a full-stack “credit-as-a-service” infrastructure that can be used to launch credit products without changing the current stack of the FinTech company. Onbo takes care of all the lending complexities – its ‘plug and play’ solution abstracts away the burdens of acting like a lending institution. It takes care of regulatory compliance, licenses, loan origination, loan management, debt capital reporting, partner integrations, risk management, etc.
Along with all that, Onbo also enables customization through modular and scalable solutions. It enables its enterprise customers to focus on their core value propositions, customer experiences and innovations, while the tech is taken care of by Onbo. This solution saves millions of dollars for companies and is already doing it for several companies and industries.
This is reflected in comments of key FinTech leaders like Michael Borton, CEO and Co-Founder of Altro, who said, “Onbo gave us the flexibility to test in-market rapidly and get real credit lines in our users’ hands within weeks. This allowed us to iterate on the product quickly based on real feedback and empowered us with agility and flexibility as we grew.”
Onbo disrupting traditional systems with tools like “Credit Builder”
Onbo comes with a long list of possibilities, such as “Credit Builder” being one of the popular use cases. Credit builder is a tool for consumers with little or no credit history to establish a credit history over time. Usually, this is done through a series of micro loans used for everyday purchases through a course of 6 to 24 months.
Per CFPB, 26 million American adults are “credit invisible” and 19 million have “thin credit” – that is a combined 18% of the population and workforce. Recent research suggests that poor credit history can cost consumers up to $5,000 each year and over $90,000 throughout the lifetime.
For many decades, only banks or credit unions have offered credit builders, given its complexities and fragmented infrastructures. Recently, there’s been a growing demand for non-traditional players seeing these value propositions and enabling financial sustainability for underserved communities. These changes are all set to change the FinTech world and how people engage with financial products and services.
Jessica’s role in building Onbo and the direct economic and social impact enabling financial inclusion and sustainability
As the vision and brain power behind Onbo, Jessica wears many hats and leads the efforts to define, design and develop Onbo. Onbo is considered the backbone of financial innovation – the core infrastructure for financial services through the latest technology innovations.
“Notably, the new product represents an expansion for Stilt from having a strictly consumer focus to include a B2B offering that could grow to be an even larger source of revenue” said Rohit Mittal, CEO and Co-Founder.
The combined efforts of the team and Jessica’s vision have led Stilt into raising over $375 Million in combined equity and debt capital backed by prominent investors, including Y Combinator, Link Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and executives from Doordash, Stripe, Brex, etc.
Lisa Dolan, Link Ventures Board Member in a conversation to Techcrunch stated, “Stilt is now taking their next step in changing the game of access to credit in the U.S. Onbo will enable traditional and non-traditional financial services companies to offer optimized lending products for their communities out of the gate.”
Experienced Founder, Social Entrepreneur, Corporate Impact
Jessica comes with a promising history of professional success and corporate impact. She has co-founded and successfully grew Oppti, an all-in-one career development platform that helps students, school districts and Fortune 500 companies manage workforce training and career development. She is also behind Building BLOC, a 501c3 nonprofit that facilitates virtual mentorship and professional networking opportunities for high school students.
Jessica started her career working for the CFO of Global Trade at J.P. Morgan with a $5 Trillion balance sheet. She has helped to perform over $7 Billion transaction diligence and advisory across various asset types for institutional clients, including Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, MGM, Colony Capital, PCCP, etc.
Because of her achievements and expertise, Jessica is regularly invited as a judge and speaker on prominent panels like Fintech Nexus, 12th Annual Business Excellence Awards by Globee Business Awards, Fintech Finance Awards 2022, and Global Stevie Awards for Women in Business, to name a few.
Furthering Global Innovation and Sustainability
Jessica and her team are well-positioned to continue building a sustainable global economy through innovation and technology. As the world recovers from COVID-19 with rising interest rates and looming recession, Jessica aims to make financial products more accessible to the public with a focus on financial inclusion and sustainability, saving households millions of dollars in spending and indirectly creating millions of job opportunities.
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