Church is spearheading Prospa's push from Australia into the New Zealand market and says it's provides a new opportunity for advisers.
Prospa has been running for seven years in Australia and has lent more than A$1 billion to SMEs on the other side of the Tasman. It has been piloting its products in New Zealand for the past six months and has already lent $10 million.
The initial New Zealand lending has been direct to business (Prospa doesn’t do consumer lending). It is now starting to roll out its offer to mortgage advisers.
Prospa founders and joint CEOs, Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli are in New Zealand currently as part of the company's rollout here.
"We want to be in New Zealand in a big way," Moshal says.
Prospa loans to SMEs are between $5000 and $150,000; they are unsecured (up to $100,000) and for terms from three months to 24 months. Loan purposes can be varied including refurbishments, hiring staff, but new plant and to fund marketing campaigns.
The total market for SME lending is estimated to be between $4 billion and $5 billion a year, across the more than 515,000 SMEs in New Zealand.
Church says its a great opportunity for advisers to expand their offering and to help ring-fence their clients.
Advisers can manage the loan themselves or refer leads to Prospa. It pays a 3% commission for every settled loan and 1.5% for repeat, or refinanced, business.
Church is currently recruiting for salespeople in Auckland and Christchurch.
Prospa's interest rates are calculated on a risk-adjusted basis. Applicants have to answer 21 questions and the company pulls in other data sources to help assess applications. It says there are 450 data points in the evaluation process. Interest rates range from 8.5% to 29%.
The firm has a range of funding lines including; venture capital, superannuation funds and debt arrangements.
In Australia default rates have been between 4% and 5%.
Church says she was attracted to the role as the company had a very high net promoter score, good levels of repeat business and enjoyed high employee satisfaction ratings .