FinTechs Self Lender and Steady Announce Partnership
In recent years there have been plenty of examples of FinTechs partnering with (or sometimes being purchased by) traditional institutions. Oddly it’s somewhat less common to hear about two complimentary startups working with each other. Yet that’s exactly what Self Lender and Steady are doing, announcing a new partnership aimed at benefiting gig economy and other independent workers.
Self Lender is a platform that allows users to take out credit-building loans, enabling them to save money while also increasing their credit history. Meanwhile Steady is an app that seeks to provide independent workers with ways to increase their income as well as offer resources for managing the unpredictability of their money. Now Self Lender will be featured as one of the tools that Steady users might be interested in for improving their financial standing.
In a press release announcing the partnership, Self Lender CEO James Garvey said of Steady, “Steady is known for its ability to minimize the ebb and flow of income for freelancers and gig economy workers across the nation, and its tool makes for an excellent companion to our efforts.” He went on to say, “This partnership takes us another step further in reaching our goal of helping the millions of Americans achieve financial stability and peace of mind.” As for what Self Lender brings to the table for Steady users, the latter company’s CEO Adam Roseman said, “We know our members have a desire to improve their overall financial well-being, and this partnership directly aligns with our mission of bolstering their financial standing. Self Lender helps our members not only build their credit score but also establish important savings habits.”
This partnership comes as the “gig economy” continues to grow thanks to companies like Uber, Lyft, Shipt, Wag, and numerous others. In fact, according to recent figures released by Intuit and LinkedIn, 43% of Americans will workers in the gig economy by next year (this compared to just 6% of the workforce that was independent in 1989). Of course, while this new economy brings opportunity and flexibility for individuals, the sector has been criticized for the lack of security it provides to workers. For example, as independent contractors, gig workers do not recieve the same overtime or insurance benefits that a full-time employee normally would. Furthermore, in addition to the less-than-predictable paychecks many independent workers receive, they are also responsible for paying quarterly estimated taxes — something that may come as a shock to those anticipating taxes to be withheld for them.
Considering the unique challenges that face gig economy workers, the partnership between Steady and Self Lender seems like a natural one. This is especially true since, with no formal salary to show potential lenders, there’s no question that credit history will be an even more important factor for these individuals than “traditionally employed” (A.K.A. not self-employed) workers. All in all, it’s nice to see two FinTech firms working together to not only benefit each other but to also increase their impact for users.