Vouch wants you to construct a social network of people who trust you financially – people who will, yes, vouch for you.
The Vouch formula looks to back to a bygone era of banking when community bankers routinely asked their customers for “Social character” references before granting loans.
Founded in 2013, Vouch made its first loan last October.
Borrowers build online trust networks by sending messages to friends and family members to vouch for them, and typically to commit some amount of money if the borrower does not repay.
So joining a person’s vouch network is an expression of trust in that person with a dollar amount placed on it.
The vouchers sign an electronic agreement to pay, if necessary, that is legally enforceable, Mr. Lee explained.
The members of a trust network fill out online surveys, identifying themselves– which is then verified by Vouch – and they agree to have their own credithistories looked up.