Machine Learning for More Equitable Credit Powers Airfox — ZestFinance Partnership

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According to a recent press release, “Airfox, a startup providing transformative financial services to emerging markets, today announced a partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) leader ZestFinance and Brazilian retail giant Via Varejo to deliver a new microcredit model with next-generation algorithmic infrastructure predicated on more equitable credit risk analysis. Combining machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics to extend credit opportunity to underserved populations without incurring greater risk, this partnership will allow Airfox and Via Varejo to capitalize on a significant market opportunity that is ripe for disruption. Airfox plans to develop a more holistic, transparent, digital picture of an individual’s credit potential to expand microcredit services, offer lower interest rates, and grow financial inclusion for the underbanked (who typically operate in a cash-based economy without a formal credit history). The partnership with ZestFinance also extends to banQi, the Airfox digital challenger bank developed in partnership with Via Varejo to serve the 50 million Brazilian consumers who lack a traditional financial institution.”

The release continues, “Airfox aims to leverage Zest ML for modernized credit scoring and future loan and credit applications. In order to better calibrate risk, ZestFinance technology can analyze large alternative data sets — including the massive Via Varejo database of 60 million customers, as well as utility and service billing, banking, and digital payment information to serve customers lacking traditional credit histories with affordable credit. Airfox’s banQi expects to also leverage the model to develop personal loan products via the banQi digital banking app, with services ranging from debt consolidation to paying off high-ticket expenses for education, healthcare, funding small business, and more. ‘Accessibility to capital has not kept up with the digitization of life, especially in emerging markets,’ said Justin Hoffmann, executive vice president, Airfox. ‘This is a landmark milestone for both Via Varejo and its customers, as the company will now be equipped with a next-generation, automated machine learning platform for credit risk analysis that incorporates alternative data sources in hopes to increase accessibility to credit for millions nationwide’.”

Read more at PR Newswire.

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