US fintech launches to provide affordable health cover
A tech-based credit provider in the US has launched Covered Care, which will provide financial cover to people with low credit ratings.
Created by Covered Holdings, the initiative has been created by a group of industry veterans who spotted a need for fair and accessible credit options for the average consumer, particularly in times of medical emergency. It will also provide affordable healthcare financing for people declined by traditional credit.
Financial technology experts Ken Rees and Tim Ranney developed Covered Care in response to emerging medical needs amid the coronavirus pandemic. With healthcare practices eager to grow again but traditional credit providers tightening availability, they saw a need for affordable healthcare finance options.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm for the healthcare industry in this country. Just as practices are opening their doors again, most lenders are reducing access to credit for the people who most need it,” said Ken Rees, founder and CEO, Covered Holdings.
“The current health crisis placed a spotlight on a serious market need to connect these two groups, so medical professionals can focus on serving their patients and patients can get affordable credit to cover those expenses.”
According to data from analytics company FICO and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over half of American adults have a credit score that's under 700 or no score at all. These consumers are typically denied credit or given prohibitive interest rates – often for medical needs.
Covered Care promises high approval rates for healthcare financing and a fast, hassle-free experience for non-prime customers. They call this “Credit at the Speed of Life.”
The fundamental difference between Covered Care and traditional lenders is that they aim not to turn people away, using alternative data sets to approve as many applicants as possible. Being a fintech there is no paperwork required so that customers can be approved in seconds.
“I’ve seen most of the underwriting strategies used for higher risk populations in the past 15 years,” said Tim Ranney, co-founder and Chief Credit Officer of Covered Holdings. “We have a better approach that allows us to extend credit to most applicants while keeping APRs affordable. Our goal isn’t just to approve a few more customers than other providers – our ambition is to approve everyone.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”