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Why we invested in Method

In this post, Joshua Pulman, senior associate at Truist Ventures, announces investment in an embedded finance start-up pioneering debt management tools with the potential to accelerate financial wellness.

While much time and investment have been spent expanding access to credit and protecting consumers against bad actors, the reality is that borrowers spend increasingly more time on account management. For example, after taking on a new loan – be it a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, mortgage, or student loan – consumers are responsible for a new account number, bill pay, and payment authorizations. To make matters more complex, they may need another username and password if they are a first-time borrower at a bank or FinTech. Managing bulky account information between different institutions adds painful friction to basic financial wellness activities, from tracking debt payments and balances to comparing rates.

Given the complexity of managing multiple accounts across different platforms, financial wellness activities, such as debt consolidation, are an administrative nightmare for consumers. Navigating the unique authentication, account linking and payment process at each institution involved can be daunting and is prone to human error. Changing providers may also result in having to repeat the process to update any previously linked bills. And as a result, borrowers may not refinance debts at a lower interest rate because they are experiencing “password paralysis” or “banking app fatigue.” Without the ability to centralize or aggregate debt and payments across multiple platforms, consumers are forced to manage their payments through individual platforms. Not only is this a frustrating user experience, but it can also have a direct impact on consumer financial health.

Eliminating this pain point from personal debt management is critical to delivering financial products that delight customers and accelerate a consumer’s path towards financial wellness. At Truist Ventures, we believe the future of financial services will accomplish just that by embedding financial experiences into platforms that empower consumers to view and proactively manage their holistic financial stack. It is with this thesis in mind that we are thrilled to announce an investment in Method – a universal debt API that reinvents consumer debt management. We are excited to partner with Jose, Mit, and team, who share our passion for innovation and seamless customer experiences that help serve unmet financial needs in our communities.

Borrowers are demanding centralized services for data-driven, personalized financial journeys towards financial wellness. To meet these demands, lenders are searching for seamless and compliant integrations to expand services within their highly regulated platforms. Enter Method. The company’s mission is to make personal debt management self-driven and autonomous. Method’s APIs can empower consumers to view and pay debts on any platform, making personal debt management financial institution agnostic.

Method’s Data API allows lenders to instantly link a borrower’s existing liabilities – including credit cards, student loans, car loans, and mortgages – using just the borrower’s phone number. Once connected, the debt accounts are instantly payable and accessible in a single user-interface. Method’s Debt Payment API allows lenders to then push funds directly to borrower debt accounts and bills, which not only de-risks underwriting, but also provides a seamless user experience for debt consolidation. Method manages the entire data retrieval and money movement process and handles compliance requirements, identity verification, and bank partnerships for lenders. The API provides access to 15,000+ lenders in the US, covering 95% of consumer debt accounts.

With Method integrated as the debt data backbone, financial platforms have the opportunity to deliver uninterrupted personal debt management solutions and help consumers find optimal credit products. Once a personalized offer is selected, Method’s platform transforms the re-financing experience by helping customers link existing debt lines and moving funds over electronically. Method can execute the end-to-end account linking and disbursement in under a minute. This opens the possibility to put refinancing on autopilot. Simplifying debt management is even more impactful in rising interest rate environments with inflation when access to debt consolidation could meaningfully reduce monthly bills. Embedded refinancing and debt consolidation experiences made possible by Method can enable lenders to more easily support communities in an impactful way, especially during uncertain times.  

Data connectivity APIs encourage lenders to spend less time authorizing customer activity and more time serving highly personalized products. Method whittles dozens of integrations into a single tool for borrows and lenders so that both spend less time verifying data and more time accelerating financial wellness.

We are excited to leverage Truist’s platform in support of Method’s growth. This is the first company to benefit from Truist Ventures’ accelerated early-stage investment program. These investments will focus on start-ups developing tip-of-the-spear technologies that bring surprise and delight to financial services – Method being an exemplary start-up to kick off this exciting initiative.