We worked with ClearChoice to build the next generation e-commerce platform where shoppers can pay for thousands of brand-name items with interest-free loans from their credit union.
Technology: Ruby on Rails, jQuery, Postgres, Elasticsearch
Capabilities: Full Stack Development, Product Development, Strategy
The Business Case
ClearChoice wanted to build the next generation e-commerce platform, Savvi Shopping, where shoppers can pay for thousands of brand-name items with interest-free loans from their credit union.
Initially, ClearChoice selected a freelancer to build out their application. The task proved to be too complex for the freelancer, so ClearChoice reached out to us and asked if we could help get the project back on track.
“We chose Haught Codeworks for their ability act as a strategic advisor, provide insight and understand the consequences of choices made in product development. We wanted a partner to help us understand the cascading effect of decisions for a more efficient build.”
– Eric Webb, CEO
When we started this project, there were a few variables to consider:
We wanted to build on the work already completed by the freelancer. In some cases that meant stripping down the code, deciding what we could use, then building on it again.
We had to integrate a system that was more than just a regular e-commerce site. Of course, Savvi had to appeal to shoppers, but also had to investigate the buyer’s ability to pay, create a regular payment plan and execute everything in a very secure way.
We also had a very tight timeline to work within so prioritization of features and functionality was paramount.
ClearChoice had two important and specific assumptions at the beginning of this project. First, ClearChoice thought that the credit union was going to be able to create the underlying loan underwriting algorithm to decide whether a candidate is qualified for a loan. It quickly became apparent that the vendor wasn’t going to be able to provide that algorithm. It was important to have the algorithm integrated earlier in the process vs. having a bunch of code with no data sets so we had to add a whole new workflow. We were able to step in, and because we understood the use case and architecture so well, our developers were able to develop the mathematical solution needed by the concept.
Second, we thought the ACH processor was more automated but we actually had to create extra code to kick off each processor. So, essentially, our system was the brains of the operation. We also developed an interface the functioned as a hub for our clients. It enabled accurate reporting, customer management, and credit limits handling faster and easier than available in their system. It was a much more elegant solution.
“The team at Haught Codeworks is smart. They were able to take a concept and develop a complex loan underwriting algorithm that didn’t just look at account balance over the past 6-months, but also tracked trends in deposit and withdrawal to give another dimension to the qualification of the loan. To get the same result, we would have had to hire a CPA with underwriting experience. The default rate ended up being less than 3%! Haught Codeworks is truly a team of architects.”
– Eric Webb, CEO
We successfully launched a pilot that was used by credit unions to allow members to buy brand-name items via an interest free loan from their credit union. We were also able to integrate a more traditional credit card payment option as well.
Loan agreements are incredibly easy to execute thanks to the integration of Adobe E-Sign. And an easy payment schedule is immediately generated via Forte’s API to make ACH payments to the credit unions to pay back the loans over a six-to-eight month period.
Savvi makes it easy for ClearChoice to manage the product catalogues offered by vendors using multiple methods of delivery. ClearChoice can easily keep track of when a vendor’s stock is depleted or renewed, prices are changed, or other catalogue info is updated.
Finally, Savvi makes the credit unions’ lives much easier by streamlining the member onboarding process. This means the platform imports thousands of users’ data – credit limits, payment dates based on direct deposit history, and max payments due to average daily balances. As an added bonus - this allows the credit unions to create marketing campaigns directly targeted for their most Savvi-eligible members.
We were able to take a number of complicated financial and catalogue-related transactions and make them incredibly easy to work with for the end user.
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