Barbon Insurance Group, which trades as HomeLet and Rentshield Direct, has now snapped up Movem.
Movem uses personal online banking transaction data to validate tenants’ financial means and payments history, which is central to the tenant referencing process.
The service was amongst the original six start-ups shortlisted for the government’s Rent Recognition Challenge - a contest for start-ups to help tenants to have their rent payment histories counting towards their overall creditworthiness. However, Movem did not make it to the final three who are now competing.
Martin Totty, chief executive of Barbon Insurance Group says: “Movem has developed a platform which offers real possibilities to further enhance the tenant referencing process utilising open banking data. This is a major initiative that the government is clearly committed to driving forward and which ultimately will offer multiple applications across many sectors.
“We were especially drawn to the possibility of the Movem platform enhancing our referencing process in terms of improved fraud detection, sadly a growing problem for us all, whilst also having the potential to streamline the overall process.
“Movem has other developments planned which open up further exciting possibilities. Under Barbon’s ownership, we can … take Movem to the next stage with the strength and security of a long-established industry provider behind them.”
Totty says the lettings sector is now seeing considerable innovation with new technologies and new concepts presented on a regular basis.
“At times this must appear bewildering to letting agents having to sift through the myriad of pitches and presentations and needing to decide where, if anywhere, to place their bets. Innovative start-ups with savvy technology capable of further development are now present in many sectors. Prospective customers will want assurances around long-term access to capital and risk management expertise, especially in regulated markets, before fully committing to new ventures and adapting their own processes. As part of the Barbon Group, alongside our HomeLet brand, Movem now has that long-term security.”