A fintech business which is pioneering a new kind of flexible software platform for banks and building societies is targeting substantial growth after a move into the centre of Manchester.
BEP Systems designs and develops software which enables lenders and their brokers to bring new customers on board more easily and respond faster to changes in a dynamic market now driven by web and mobile technology.
It moved into Accelerate Places on Princess Street to accommodate expansion and has now revealed a series of new contract wins as it targets year-on-year growth of 50%.
BEP Systems is led by managing director Chris Little, a former IBM executive who is an expert in lending software, and chief technology officer Stuart Bean, whose career includes spells with Together Money, Lloyds TSB and Egg.
They lead a growing 20-strong team in Manchester which specialises in product design and sales, project management and business analysis.
Its platform is Apprivo 2, which has already been adopted by more than 10 customers ranging from Gatehouse Bank to Savills Private Finance.
It is used to take people looking for mortgages, loans and savings products on an online journey from initial inquiry through to customer acquisition.
They have just been joined by two new customers, Equifinance and Marker Harborough Building Society.
Chris Little says BEP intends to grow significantly in the next few years, building on an increasing number of relationships with brokers and lenders looking for software solutions which are easier to tailor to their needs than cumbersome, large-scale systems.
He said: “There are around 150 mortgage lenders in the UK, with the big names doing the lion’s share of the lending. But beneath them there is a hugely competitive field of sizeable building societies and new market entrants who are looking for flexible solutions which can be easily configured to meet their specific needs.
“We are pioneering configuration as a service because we allow our lenders to go into the back end of the Apprivo 2 system and set up their products and workflows in a way which enables them to self-service any changes they need to make.”
He added: “We’re in an era where the market is evolving rapidly, customers have high expectations in terms of product and experience, and lenders need to be able to respond quickly. Traditional systems don’t have that flexibility.”
BEP’s expansion follows a decision to move the business into Accelerate Places, a hub for scale-up companies looking to grow.
Chris said: “There is workspace out there which almost makes it look like running a business is a lifestyle choice. It’s not – we wanted to be in a great, central environment in the city, but one which was also serious about growth, and that comes from the other businesses you’re alongside.
“That was what convinced us to go into Accelerate Places. It is very handy for clients coming by train into Piccadilly and it also has a nice vibe, but it was being in a place run by people who actually do scale-up businesses themselves that made the difference.”
Accelerate Places Manchester is currently home to 26 scale-up businesses. It is part of a network of scale-up hubs run by the digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot.
Georgia Kaye-Berry, who runs Accelerate Places Manchester, added: “BEP Systems is definitely a business to watch. It’s also a prime example of the way digital technologies are driving growth in financial services in particular and in the North West economy as a whole.”