by Dominique Lescott
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nevisian entrepreneur, Fletcher St Jean, launched the first digital financing brokerage service in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
EZirates is on a mission to be the FinTech solution to make the process of finding the most suitable interest rates on loans and insurance products in one place. The digital brokerage service was started by St Jean along with business partners Rodney Brown, Claude Lake and Latoya Browne. St Jean recently returned to Nevis after holding executive level positions in the US in financial services.
“There’s an easy way to obtain credit or loan from any financial institution on your island, from your home or office, using your smart device or computer”, said CEO.
With a soft launch in 2020, EZirates started after a conversation with friends of the CEO, St. Jean who had to travel from Nevis to St. Kitts for a loan officer appointment and used multiple vacation days to go through the in-person loan application process. A full official launch is anticipated for March 2022, which was delayed because “We have been working to implement an automated credit check system on the platform and most banks in the region were busy with the acquisition of Scotia bank”, said St Jean.
According to the CEO, what makes EZirates different to a bank, is that they search their entire portfolio of lending partners, to find it’s members the best interest rate, and special offers, as opposed to a bank that is limited to its own in house financing. The service is completely virtual, allowing for easier and more convenient access to information.
“Our platform is built on advanced technology, ensuring your data is safe and secured”, said the CEO.
The platform promotes ease of use for customers to complete and submit an anonymous loan application, then partner institutions will be notified of the finance request.
“If we can’t onboard certain clients due to cost, then we are not focusing on making financing easy for our community” said Claude Lake, Chief Product Officer.
Understanding that there are some credit unions that are extremely small and cannot compete with their larger counterparts and banks, EZirates are “Making credit easier for consumers” and have plans to work with smaller Credit Unions to ensure they bridge the technology gap and allow them to become more competitive by making credit application process easier for consumers.
Similar companies such as habito.com in the UK, a digital mortgage brokerage services company that offers a personal and modernised approach to the home buying experience and in the US based Sofi.com, a one-stop shop for finances, the app allows users to save, spend, earn, borrow and invest, all in one place, have seen massive success. The CEO is confident that the ECCU will experience the same.