Pledger finds the data security it looked for with Forest Admin

The path to getting a bank loan isn’t without its fair share of hurdles. Whether it’d be for freelancers, the elderly or people who wouldn’t be considered solvent, we are not all equal in the eyes of traditional banking institutions. This is why some companies are trying to re-invent the way money is loaned – Pledger is one of them.

As for any business that requires tough KYCs, the security standards required are high. This is why the choice of an internal tool – either built in-house or not – to monitor the business is paramount. Luckily for the Pledger team, Forest Admin’s hybrid SaaS architecture is designed specifically to protect customers’ data, and turned out to be a perfect fit for the young start up – saving them both money and time.

Forest Admin's Architecture

“It isn’t just an internal tool that runs simple CRUD operations on a given database – it is much more than that,” said Patrice Trognon, Pledger’s CTO.

Launched in January 2022, Pledger’s idea is to loan money to those ready to collateralize an asset – let it be physical or not. A senior in his/her 70s might not be able to guarantee a certain number of years to reimburse the loan, but they can collateralize their life-insurance money for instance.

Pledger loans from 20k to 150k – up to 300k under strict circumstances – hence the stringent KYCs and the need for substantial security.

Patrice is accustomed to security issues because of his background in fintech and was wary of using a back-office built outside of the company. However, Pledger’s co-founder, Thomas Breitenstein, already used Forest Admin in his previous start-up and was convinced that it was the right choice.

Forest Admin organized a kick-off session with Pledger to address Patrice’s concerns one after the other, convincing him that Forest Admin has what it takes to offer them the support they need.

More than what meets the eye

At first glance, “one can be mistaken in thinking that Forest Admin only runs CRUD operations, but it goes far deeper,” explained Patrice.

An internal tool that restricts itself to basic manipulations “would be useless on an encrypted database” – such as with Pledger.

Patrice realized that he and his team could, for instance, plug Forest Admin to various API calls coming from their backend, and give them oversight over their crypted data. This is no small feat and was considered a high priority for the CTO.

Running their application on NodeJS and their Database in PostgreSQL,

One of the main challenges was the ability to encapsulate Forest Admin into a VPN, which is not an issue since the API calls made towards Forest Admin are operated through an endpoint predefined by the company, which itself can be local, or tucked inside a VPN.

Patrice confessed “that he thought Forest Admin would not be able to check the security box” so needed by Pledger.

Security being placed front and center in Forest Admin’s architecture, Patrice “saw” what he wanted to see quickly and “was totally hooked.”

Thorough follow-ups

Being an online business, Pledger ought to follow closely the pathway of its customers, and potential customers.

Pledger customers must first run a loan simulation, after which they will move on to the official application. Forest Admin intervenes to help the company follow-up pending subscription and whether these potential customers activate or bail out – and if the latter, at what moment to understand why.

Some of this data is encrypted, but Forest Admin can safely display them to project relevant analysis.

One of Pledger’s peculiarities is the fact that their solution runs on multiple databases – one of them storing electronic signatures – which raised the question whether Forest Admin would be able to query all of them. It surely is.

Pledger is currently setting up Forest Admin smart actions for mailing to smoothen their automation, and again, the backend responsible to make the calls is handled by Pledger – yet another illustration of how not intrusive Forest Admin’s solution is.

Last but not least, the closing of an electronic signature isn’t easy, so Pledger has set up yet another Forest Admin smart action that enables them to track the signature from beginning to end to know whether an application is complete or not.

This is a typical example of smart actions, which are specific to each business. You can read more about them here

Beyond its smooth day to day operation, Forest Admin supports companies in a way that saves them both time and money.

Simpler and cheaper

Pledger is not an orthodox Forest Admin case study with a simple database, so the initial effort by the Pledger and Forest Admin teams was “more important” than traditionally, said Patrice – “but in software engineering, what costs you the most isn’t development, it’s maintenance.”

“In comparison to the development of a classic back and middle-office solution like I have done in the past, where you are the sole owner of the tool, Forest Admin’s internal tool brings us simplicity, and will ultimately be cheaper.”

The Workspace feature is not something that Patrice and his team have had time to explore yet, but the demo they were given made them “tick,” Patrice admitted – and it’s only a matter of time before they get on it.

Security, simplicity, reduced cost due to low maintenance, and finally true support provided by Forest Admin’s customer support team – Patrice is sold and confesses to have become a Forest Admin champion.

If, like Patrice, you have questions about whether ForestAdmin internal tool solution would be a good fit for your project, please reach-out to us here – we will be happy to book a demo and show you what we do.

If you wish to read more such interviews and case studies, here’s a list for you:

  1. How Yousign enhanced their Forest Admin setup with their own security layer
  2. How Techfugees uses Forest Admin to manage projects supporting displaced persons
  3. How Raspberry Pi uses Forest Admin to manage resellers and design partners
  4. How is Carrot getting Bitcoin to the next billion people with the help of Forest Admin?
  5. How Spendesk consolidated its customer data into Forest Admin for Customer Success and Support


Our Website: forestadmin.com

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Gabriel Hardy-Françon

Gabriel Hardy-Françon