Shares in consumer-finance company Wisr (ASX:WZR) got a boost this morning after monthly loan data from the company showed business is back on.

As a lending service tied directly to domestic consumption, Wisr was hit hard during the height of the COVID-19 chaos.

WZR shares fell from a high of 32 cents to March lows of just six cents in just over a month.


However, the company said it booked new loan growth of $13.8m in May — a 48 per cent increase from April ($9.8m).

Chief exec Anthony Nantes said lending activity has now returned to “pre-COVID-19 origination levels”, despite the company introducing tighter credit-application measures during the March downturn.

Wisr said it also cleared $4m of new loans in a single week for the first time.

Shares in the company jumped by more than 20 per cent in morning trade, as investors saw evidence of some stability in the business model.

The company said that from March 1 to May 31, it provided three-month loan deferral plans for 395 customers who were struggling to meet their repayments across its 6,800-strong client base.

Collectively, those customers have deferred loans totalling $10.3m — equal to 6.7 per cent of Wisr’s loan portfolio (~$153m).

“Interest on the outstanding principal during the full or partial deferral periods will be capitalised, in line with industry standard,” Wisr said.

So far in June, the company has only received two such requests, in line with its pre-COVID average.

Nantes said that while the company was able to make adjustments to adjust to the risks posed by the pandemic, its equally fast rebound can be attributed to its capital-light business model, where balance sheet risks are underwritten by larger banking partners such as NAB.


In other ASX tech news this morning:

Shares in workplace software company LiveTiles (ASX:LVT) rose by more than 10 per cent in morning trade after it achieved $18m in cost savings following an April restructure which boosted cash levels.

LVT also flagged more operational changes in July to streamline its product portfolio, and said the impact of COVID-19 is like to play “a global role to accelerate digital workplace software adoption”.

However, clean-tech business Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) had some less positive COVID news, warning of potential delays to projects amid the risk of secondary outbreaks — particularly in China and the US.

As a result, the company made what it described as a “substantial reduction” in forecast revenue for the 2020 financial year, to a range between $30-40m. Shares in PET fell by 12 per cent in morning trade to 40 cents.