Oakam has enhanced its mobile app with the launch of Oakam Grow, a new feature that uses gamification to make consumer finance more engaging, rewarding and inclusive. Oakam Grow builds on the UK-based consumer lender’s application of behavioural science to encourage the development of positive credit habits, and supports its strategy to bring digital disruption to the largely analogue micro-credit industry.

Frederic Nze, Oakam’s CEO and founder  said “The UK alone is home to 12 million consumers who are underserved by traditional lenders, and digital transformation is sorely needed to expand access to fair credit and bring more people into the financial system,  Oakam’s digitally-led strategy, and the recent addition of Oakam Grow, helps meet this need while providing us with data-driven insights that empower better underwriting decisions that look beyond the traditional credit score.”

Oakam Grow gamifies the experience for its mobile app users through the application of social currency theory, which enables customers to share in the financial upside of their responsible credit behaviour. Customers earn points when making repayments via the app or referring friends, redeemable for loan repayments, cash-back, store vouchers, lower rates on future loans, or to socially vouch for friends in the loan application process. 

Oakam says it is seeking to disrupt the £1.8 tn global micro-lending industry through the use of AI, machine learning and cognitive science. The century-old industry has seen little innovation since its founding and today relies on the same analogue processes that keep cost-to-income ratios above 50 per cent, and prices high for consumers. The industry’s network of around 200,000 doorstep loan agents globally also leaves consumers with poor or no credit history vulnerable to misleading offers and predatory practices.

Oakam’s omni-channel model, comprising its digital properties and UK retail network, confronts both the issues of inefficiency and consumer protection. The addition of Oakam Grow is expected to deliver significant benefits through increased customer engagement and lower cost-to-income ratios by positively aligning good borrower behaviour with financial incentives. The UK based fintech lender is backed by Cabot Square Capital LLP.