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Paycheck-linked Lending: Scoping

Plan your paycheck-linked lending integration.

Overview

Invite borrowers to allocate part of their monthly paycheck to pay down your loan while lowering your default risk at the same time.

We typically see lenders implementing this solution in a two-step flow:

  1. Verify an applicant's income and employment.
  2. After making a loan decision and having the user accept loan terms, add a regular pay allocation.

We suggest integrating Argyle in two phases:

  1. Scoping (this guide) - determine how you want to use Argyle and how to present the Argyle experience to your users.
  2. Technical implementation - a guide to get you started and running.

Scope the user flow

There are five aspects to consider when thinking about the user flow:

  1. Where in the process do you want to leverage Argyle?
  2. Which users do you want to route through Argyle?
  3. How to on-ramp and off-ramp users for verifying employment and income?
  4. How to on-ramp and off-ramp users for paycheck-linking?
  5. How can users manage their connected accounts?

Where in the process do you want to leverage Argyle?

Argyle has the ability to read all information within an employment account. This can be used at various periods in the application process:

  • During pre-qualification or early application - autofill an entire application (personal information, employment information, etc).
  • Underwriting - decisioning for an applicant.
  • Verification - during verification of employment or income phase after decisioning.
  • Paycheck-linking - when setting up a regular allocation from the borrower's paycheck.
  • Ongoing servicing - ongoing monitoring of employment, income, deposit details to ensure loan repayment or for future marketing opportunities.

Argyle has persistent access to an employment account once it is connected. Therefore, wherever you insert Argyle in the process, you get all of the downstream benefits (e.g. if you implement in phase 2, you automatically get the data for phases 3 and 5).

From a product perspective, you can use Argyle to:

  1. Verify income and employment (VOIE) to make a loan decision and link a user's paycheck (recommended).
  2. Just link a user's paycheck.

The recommended flow looks like this:

Which users do you want to route through Argyle?

There are a few ways to initiate Argyle:

  • All users through Argyle (recommended).
  • Argyle for covered companies only.

All users through Argyle

Send all users through Argyle and leverage Argyle as a switchboard to alternative loan funding options. Our experience with clients shows that sending all users through Argyle provides the best user experience and highest conversion rates.

For users where Argyle has coverage, they can connect their accounts. For users where Argyle does not have coverage, they are presented to a “Don’t see your company?” button that closes Argyle Link and initiates a callback for you to funnel the user back to your application for an alternative path. The callback function receives an object containing a search query that was entered by the user.

Argyle has coverage and the users successfully connect their employer accounts.
Argyle does not have coverage and the users are funnelled back to your application.

Argyle for covered companies only

This option requires you to know who employs the user. You can then check that employer against the Argyle system to confirm coverage. The user will be dropped straight into the login screen (without the need to show the search screen).

You can utilize the search Link items endpoint to query the Link items database and power the company search field in your application.

If Argyle does not cover a particular employer, then funnel the user to an alternative flow:

Constraining the Link item list

Not all payroll platforms support pay distribution changes and not all platforms allow more than a single 100% allocation. To successfully implement the paycheck-lending solution, constrain the available Link item list based if a payroll platform supports:

  1. Pay distribution updates.
  2. Two or more pay allocations.
  3. Amount allocations (as opposed to percent allocations only).
  4. Fractional amount values.

The Implementation part of this solution covers how the Link item list can be constrained based on the above criteria.

Verify income and employment (VOIE)

This section is relevant to you if you are using Argyle's Employment data. Otherwise, you can skip to paycheck linking.

How to on-ramp users?

Now that you have determined 1) where in your flow, and 2) to which users, you want to surface Argyle, it is important to frame Argyle correctly for your users. Best in class implementations provide two things:

  1. Incentive - users need to clearly understand why they are verifying their income & employment and the benefit of this. Making it clear that it allows them to complete their application faster and get the best rates, the ideal.
  2. Context - provide users with context into the process they will go through. Users need to understand that they will 1) search for their employer, and 2) connect their employment or payroll account.

An example on-ramp screen is provided below:

How to off-ramp users?

After the users connect their accounts and are funnelled back into your application, it is important to inform the users what will happen next in the process. This depends on your overall flow and goals but here are some examples:

Make a loan decision

When users connect their accounts, you can retrieve their employment and income information via the Argyle API to inform your loan decisioning process.

Scope the required data

Argyle has access to 120+ employment record data points. For verification of employment, you are most likely to want to retrieve:

  • employment status
  • job title
  • hire date

For verification of income:

  • net pay
  • gross pay
  • taxes
  • deductions

You can also retrieve full documents:

  • W2 forms
  • Paystubs

Please refer to the Argyle API reference for a full list of all available data points. If you want to do calculations and projections with income data, you can use our Calculator pre-build to get started.

Data retrieval times

Not all data is created equally. Employment information as job title or profile information as name are quite stable and usually can be retrieved very quickly. However, paystub information requires more time to download and scan pdf files. Please refer to the diagram below to inform your decisions on data retrieval times:

Paycheck linking

How to on-ramp users?

After making a loan decision and having the users accepted loan terms, drop the users back into Argyle to link their paychecks to the payback of the loan. Users have to confirm a regular and automated pay allocation to the financial institution of your choice.

If you are using the recommended flow, the users do not need to reauthenticate with their payroll platform to link their paychecks. Argyle maintains an active session and can drop the users directly into the pay allocation confirmation screen:

To initiate this process, we advise to provide:

  1. Incentive - users need to clearly understand why they are setting up paycheck-linked payments and the benefits of this. It can include hard benefits (i.e. cash rewards), or soft benefits (FDIC insurance, interest, etc).
  2. Context - provide users with context into the process they will go through. Users need to understand that they will 1) see their overall pay distribution with a new allocation to your bank account and 2) have to confirm the new allocation.

On-ramp screen example:

How to off-ramp users?

Pay allocation confirmation process within the payroll platforms is beyond Argyle's control. Some platforms confirm them almost instantly, while a few others can take 24 hours or more to have a pay allocations status change from pending to active. The most frequently experienced scenario is that it takes a few seconds to confirm a new pay allocation.

To check that a pay allocation has been confirmed within the payroll platform, you should subscribe to the accounts.pay_distribution_updated webhook. Please, find more information about webhooks subscription in the Implementation part of this solution.

After the users link their paychecks, they are funnelled back into your application. If the allocation is confirmed instantly, you can surface an off-ramp screen like this:

Otherwise, inform the users that the pay allocation confirmation is pending and that they will be notified once it is confirmed by the payroll platform.

How can users manage their paycheck-linked allocations?

By default, Argyle has your users grant ongoing access to their employment accounts. You should provide them a way to manage and disconnect their accounts and pay allocations. Provide users with an option to invoke Argyle Link (e.g. from an account settings page) to allow users to manage their connected accounts:

Next Steps

Paycheck-linked Loans: Implementation - now that you have scoped the user flow, let's move to the technical part of the implementation.