The nationwide market for independent financial service providers, operating beyond the contours of the arena dominated by large financial institutions, is $86 billion. Furthermore, 61 million Americans, or nearly 20% of thepopulation, work with independent financial experts rather than a large bank, according to the Federal Reserve.
This burgeoning off-mainstream loan market is also providing more than half of the 344,000 finance experts, who were victims of recession-led big-bank layoffs, a shot at the career after they were let go five years ago and struggled to find another job.
Verifico diminishes the odds of scammers with a stringent verification process that brings on board the most reliable and qualified finance professionals to service a national base of 70,000 potential borrowers, according to CEO Benson. The vetting process involves thorough checks on financial consultants' background histories with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), interviews with their colleagues and supervisors, and an extensive scan of online reviews and complaint boards.
"One CPA was rejected because of multiple complaints on scam boards, but it is worth it for our users who are entrusting their finances to professionals on the system" Benson said.
The financial matchmaking service has 1,000 independent finance experts on its rosters and handles 500,000 inquiries a year. While its online user interaction platform is similar to eBay (EBAY), it has an edge in terms of a back office system, helps financial service providers seamlessly advertise their services, manages client projects, streamlines services, processes online payments and tracks the progress of a client account from start to finish.
Verifico says its service has been helping large financial institutions strengthen their lending operations, too. The general sense among borrowers is that "banks are not lending as much because their loan applications are getting rejected. But that's because banks have added more criteria for loan applicants. The financial experts on Verifico help customers connect with the right vendors," Benson said. "As a result, banks are getting more qualified loan applicants."
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.