How Upstart uses personalized contextual messaging to solve an important piece of its loan funding puzzle & retains customers


Messages were sent in
6 months


Customers were retained by Upstart in 6 months

Upstart is a leading AI lending platform partnering with banks to expand access to affordable credit while reducing the risk and costs of lending for their bank partner.


Millennials & younger loan applicants often don’t get loans due to inadequate credit history. Upstart’s mission is to serve them. However, communication with them was a challenge. Millennials want to communicate in the medium of their choice & comfort – messaging – not on emails/telephone.

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Upstart decided to use SMS-Magic to communicate using messaging with the applicants

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At a time soon after loan decision through bulk but customised messaging and for notification of payment dues & dates


By using an easy-to-customize messaging template that sits on top of their Salesforce

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With the option of two-way communication through Salesforce CRM preserving all communication in the CRM


If our loan applicants did not receive timely SMS-Magic text messages, we wouldn’t be funding loans & we would lose customers.

- David Ross, Head of IT, Upstart



Text messaging is the glue that keeps the conversation afloat – keeping customers updated about the status of their loans.

233K+ messages were sent in
6 months!


Upstart gets more customers, while more of them get funded as it is able to keep the customers in the system through timely and regular updates on the loan status.

Upstart was able to retain 100+
customers in 6 months!



Challenge 1

Difficulty in keeping the applicants engaged & in the system till the loan is funded.


Text messages were sent via SMS-Magic to keep the applicant informed at every stage in the loan cycle – when the application was received, when documents needed to be uploaded & when the loan was funded. This improved the applicant’s stickiness & helped retain customers.

Challenge 2

Upstart’s customers don’t use emails/check emails regularly, demographically they are young people – millennials & college graduates.


Used SMS-Magic text messaging as a primary form of communication – one that their customers were comfortable with to stay connected & updated.


Challenge 3

Problem in servicing approved loans & ensuring payments happened on time.


Text messages for – monthly reminders for payments due, need for any additional documents were sent & the customers were timely updated.

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