The Paycheck Protection Program Was Fintech’s ‘Moment to Shine.’ That Spotlight Also Revealed the Problems With Those Loans

Pitfall for fintech: PPP lending rules don’t reflect real-world conditions

Fintech’s work with minority communities going forward isn’t a given, policy observers say.

While Marisa Calderon, executive director of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s community development fund, said that the “facelessness” of fintech lending could be a bonus for minority borrowers, the structure of the PPP program, where there was very little risk to the lender, might not be a universal example for regulators to watch going forward.

“Some of our borrowers mentioned they assumed it would be easier to be approved if they weren’t going into a place where they could see what they looked like,” she said. “When your only interaction is over a computer, you’re just a number on a paper or a name on a paper.”

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